Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Ed Tech Salad- Great Ingredients that Combine to Make Teaching More Delicious

Since becoming an Ed Tech I have had the opportunity to explore a variety of amazing technology tools. Some of them are redundant and have caused me to see which tool does the job I need the best. My favorite tools play together. When integrating apps, sites, and/or programs effectively, I can make several tools work together in concert and so become a more powerful educational super tool! This Ed Tech Salad has purposeful blending of ingredients that make all the flavors better.

One example that illustrates this point is the recent adoption of Nearpod and my role in training teachers and finding the best ways to bring it into classrooms. Here's what I've learned so far: When I make a Nearpod, I use Haiku Deck to make pleasing slides. I use Doceri to create short whiteboard demonstrations. I use  Kahoot to insert a fun game-like activity inside the presentation. Just as a good teacher works to integrate content areas together to give valuable context for students so learning is improved, efforts to make a tool more powerful include finding how they all tie together. I learned about Haiku Deck in my Ed Tech Endorsement more than a year ago. At the time, I thought it was nice and made pretty presentations, but hadn't given it much more thought since. It wasn't until I was preparing materials to share with teachers with the recent adoption of Nearpod that I saw Haiku Deck as a valuable aid in making professional-looking slides I could use in my Nearpod presentations. I found that I could easily export the simply made presentations in PowerPoint format and then drag that file to my Nearpod and use those slides for the presentation.

I have loved Doceri since I learned about it a few years ago. I had used it primarily as a live lesson delivery tool to control my computer that was connected to a projector. I knew about the capability to record lessons and use the whiteboard function to demonstrate concepts for students. I needed a way to have a whiteboard demonstration in a Nearpod presentation and this caused me to really explore how I can use these amazing capabilities Doceri offers in my Nearpod. The marriage of these tools has made them all powerful weapons in my teaching arsenal.

Where to begin? I've been most successful finding great tools when I start with a question. Here are some examples of questions answered by specific tech tools.

  • I would like to make attractive slides for my Nearpod presentation- what tool have I learned that can do this and export easily? Haiku Deck
  • I would like to demonstrate concepts on a whiteboard and put that into my Nearpod presentation- what tool have I learned and can export easily? Doceri
  • I would like to break up my Nearpod presentation with a really fun game- what tool have I learned and can do this easily? Kahoot!

These are all great tools on their own, but when joined together, they are a recipe for success. This learning salad improves as more ingredients are found. It really motivates me to pay attention to apps, sites, and programs that can empower my lessons to be more engaging. Instead of starting all over- I see how the new ingredient works with the ones I already love.

Photo Credit: _Nezemnaya_ via Compfight cc

1 comment:

  1. What a great analogy about using our favorite ingredients or web tools to create an amazing salad or content lesson/presentation. I too am a huge fan of the uses Nearpod, Haiku Deck, and Doceri have in the classroom for engagement, project based learning, opportunities to respond, and extending student learning. Combining them to make a super lesson sounds fantastic!