As a teacher and a student, some of my favorite apps and educational websites that I use daily are:

  • Information for my classes (both those that I teach and the ones that I am currently taking online), trending educational issues, and motivational speeches can be found on TED.com.  It doesn’t matter if you are an educator or not, this site is a fabulous source of information.
  • I installed the Flipboard app a few weeks ago on my phone and I can’t get enough!  I actually check my Flipboard app before checking Facebook and Twitter each morning.  I love the way I can read, like, and flip an article that I just read, or the app allows you to flip one into a “read later” file.  You can also have private settings for some of the pages that you flip.  If there’s an idea that I want to present to my class, I merely e-mail the page to my school account and have it ready to go when I get to school/work.
  • The ISTE site is great for my lessons.  I can easily find a standard that I’m teaching along with a huge database of resources that I can use.
  • The TCEA site is awesome!  As a member of TCEA, I receive e-mails about upcoming workshops in Austin as well as online professional development.  I’ve had the pleasure of co-presenting at a TCEA conference several years ago with my friend, Debby.  She was a sixth-grade English teacher and I was the Technology Coordinator at a middle school in Round Rock, Texas.  We presented an integrated lesson on “Endangered Species” and demonstrated how to effectively integrate technology with other teachers in Math, Science, and Social Studies.  The students did research, created graphs, submitted interesting facts about their animal, cited their work, and inserted pictures in PowerPoint.  Then they actually presented their work to their classes.  I wish I could find an example of the project, it would be great to showcase in an ePortfolio.
  • I teach Graphics Design and Illustration to students in grades 10-12.  I wanted to find an interesting way for them to provide evidence of learning during our “History of Advertising” unit in class.  I tried to keep the lesson entertaining, as well as educational.  Instead of using a paper and pencil approach to learning facts, I incorporated videos, timelines, and websites for the students to view to enhance learning.  Then, the students produced a Moovly video as a test grade assignment.  The website is great, we ran into a few bumps in the road, but eventually, we made it work.  My students really enjoyed presenting their work in this forum instead of a PowerPoint presentation.  Moovly is easy to learn, has some fabulous animations and transitions, and the presentation isn’t housed on our server, it is housed through Moovly.
  • Edutopia is a great resource for me as a teacher, but I’m also finding interesting and useful information for my graduate class, too.  I’ve been sharing a few of the things that I learn with my students.
  • Speaking of students, wow – this website has changed the way I teach forever! kahoot.it is a game that my students are loving.  The site allows me to search for quizzes, surveys, and tests that are already created.  Plus, I can create my own.  I’m using it for pre-assessment before we start a new chapter, I follow up with another game about three days later as a review, then I can end the chapter with a quiz.  The best feature that I love is downloading the results into Excel.  I give the students a participation grade, but in reality, I’m using it as a fact-gathering tool.  Once I download the results into Excel, I can then look at each question individually to see who answered correctly.  This allows me to re-teach a skill, follow up with additional activities, and just ask questions to further learning.  ***Warning*** always preview someone else’s quiz before sharing with your classes.
  • Another “game” that I found for my students is quizizz.com.  This tool is extremely helpful for actual test grades.  Questions and answers are randomized so the students can’t look at another person’s screen to find the answer.  There’s a feature that allows me to give extra time for questions which is very helpful for my students.  Again, I can generate a report that can be downloaded in Excel.  The bonus for me is that the students get their test results immediately AND if a question is answered incorrectly, before proceeding to the next question, the correct answer is shown.  The students really like the instant feedback and instant scores.
  • Thank goodness I stumbled across iTunesU.  I used it last year in my computer programming classes.  I would watch the lesson, then teach the lesson to my students.  This year I do the same thing with an added twist.  If I find a lesson that I think my students can master, I just sign into my account, and we view the video collectively as a class.  Then I can go back and re-teach, monitor, and adjust!
  • I just joined a new forum EdShelf – I’m in the learning stage at this point.  My professor’s website guided me to this interesting new world. I look forward to using this tool daily – both professionally and as a learner.
  • The last app that I’m listing is EdPuzzle.  I’ve not had the time to really master and incorporate this into my classroom, but it’s on my to-do list.