George Lucas Educational Foundation

21st Century Tech Tools for Teachers

21st Century Tech Tools for Teachers

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21st Century Skills are not new, they're just just newly important. So, what are they? We talk about the four C's (not to be confused with ACTFL's 5 C's!): Creativity Collaboration Critical Thinking Communication If you want to know some more about the 4 C's, I suggest checking out these important Docs on 21st Century Skills: C21 framework_flyer_updated_april_2009.pdf C21_framework_definitions_052909.pdf You can find them on this wiki I recently started: And now, on to the tools! 1) Today's meet is a closed room online that creates a "Twitter" type stream of communication. You log onto the site, and create a room which has a specific site code. Students can use their devices to go to the room and send in tweets which you can project onto a screen so the class can see their contributions. Let's try it out. Here is the website: You can save a conversation as a transcript to post for later viewing - could be useful in class! Have fun! 2) DropBox DropBox = 2GB of free file storage space "in the cloud" - you can sign up today. Follow the following link to sign up, but DO NOT click "install" unless you have admin privileges to the computer you are using. You can install it at home. You can also install apps on all your Android and/or iOS (Apple) devices, and you can access your files through any web browser. Here is the link: Once you have set up your account, you can send an invitation to others, including your students, and grow your storage space from 2GB to 8GB for free! For each invitation accepted, you get 250MB more space. If you want more than 8GB, you can purchase it. 3) DropITtoME Once you have DropBox installed, you might like to set up DropITtoME. This allows students to send files to your DropBox by email. This is a free service which gives you an email address for your DropBox account. Once you set up folders in DropBox, students can email you their documents by putting the folder name in the subject line of their email message to you. DropBox will sort the files into the appropriate folder for you. Here is the link to register: 4) Edmodo Edmodo is a free website service for teachers, which is VERY easy to use and intuitve to the students. You can post your daily agendas, assignments, handouts, links... it is very user friendly! Kids sign up with a class code. I would like to help you set up an account. If you already have one, you can help the person next to you set up their account. You can also join other communities according to your interests (ie, subject matter, ed support companies, etc.) and you can connect to other teachers, such as your VHS colleagues, or teachers elsewhere on the planet who teach what you teach. Edmodo is a great place to collaborate and share ideas. 5) Tiny url Sometimes you may need to embed a website into Edmodo, or a wiki, a webpage, a video on YouTube... Sometimes the url is WAY too loooooooooooong... what to do? Easy! Go to this site: insert your looooooong url in the indicated slot on the page, and voilà! You have a short url to embed or send! Works like a charm. 6) Wallwisher Wallwisher is a page where you can post sticky notes, with links if you like, to communicate with a class, for example, while in a computer lab. I have used Wallwischer to help keep kids on track with a class project. Here is the link: 7) Very similar to wallwisher, but with a different look and perhaps a bit more stable. Try it out here: 8) Evernote = This is one of my favourite applications! Evernote is a wordprocessor, note taking app, that syncs everything "in the cloud." You can get apps for Android and all iOS devices, and you can access it through your web browser. You can organize your notes into notebooks, and tag them with categories. Students can email notes or assignments to your Evernote email address. By putting a code into the subject line, Evernote will send the document to a folder with the same code name. I can see the assignments, and not have to carry around their papers any longer! Yeah! 9) Google Voice While not strictly Web 2.0, Google Voice provides a private, online number that you can use to place and receive calls. There are many opportunities to use Google Voice in the classroom. If you're worried about privacy, or for in-class activities, students can even send texts. 10) Twitter You may not yet be a convert to Twitter, but believe me, it is very worthwhile! Yes, 140 characters seems like not much, but it is a lot more than you think. You can embed tiny url web links. You can share tons of info. Most importantly, you can establish a professional PLN (professional learning network) with like-minded people around the world. Here are some people to follow on Twitter: @innovativeEdu @techlearning @TeachPaperless @langwitches @web20classroom @rmbyrne @ZJonesSpanish And @dr_dmd I use Twitter with my classes for many reasons. I set up hash tags for my classes to use for this purpose. I also work with a team of WL teachers to host #langchat each Thursday afternoon from 5-6 pm Pacific time. You might like to follow our #langchat conversations! And if you want to gather a set of tweets into a transcript, try this link: That's all for today, mes amis! Merci et au revoir.

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Hans Albanese's picture
Hans Albanese
English Language Arts teacher in Japan, Course Supervisor (past)

There are a lot of good tools here that might be interesting to try out. I have seen a few lists of this type on edutopia, and they are interesting, but I am even more interested in seeing how people use the technology to meet their educational goals.
What are some project ideas using these tools?

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