The new millennium brought on a great technological revolution. Children, starting from a very young age, are exposed to the digital world, and are used to multitasking, flashy colors and words. So when they start school, a simple blackboard and a teacher speaking in front of a class are just not interesting enough.

There are some tools which can enable you to create a functional and educational environment, which will motivate students to collaborate, research, analyze, criticize and gain new knowledge.

1. MindMeister:

A web-based, mind mapping and brainstorming app. It helps teachers to collaborate with their students. You can add visual maps, where students can place their own ideas, ask questions and give examples. You can publish your research or ask students to do researches on their own, that can later be commented.

The very valuable part is that you get a feedback. Based on student’s involvement and questions, you can detect their understanding and possible problems. A group work is also a benefit of this app, as students can collaborate with each other on solving problems.

2. Dropbox:

It is one of the favorite digital tools for teachers, as it keep things clean and organized. Creating a sharing folder for each class you teach will make information available to students in any time and at any place. This is a two-way street. As you transfer knowledge to the students, you can ask them to submit their homework and presentations here.

As it is a  very simple tool, there shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to using it, even for very young learner’s. This is also a way to go green and create a culture of environmental responsibility, since you’re not wasting paper unnecessarily.

modern learning

3. Blogs:

As an integral part of the modern language community, it offers you the possibility to expand the range of information that you provide to students. At the same time, blogs are focused both on the teacher and the students. You can approach classes from another perspective, by giving examples and telling stories‒ a practical application of the lessons you are trying to teach them, in the real world.

In your blog you can express your opinion, but at the same time, you are open to the public. That means your students can criticize you, discuss your ideas with you and with one another.

Considering that this promotes an interaction between students  it may very likely  lead to cooperative learning. This means that, by exchanging resources and information, an individual gains benefits for oneself, and at the same time, it leads to optimal results for the entire group.

4. Gnowledge:

Perhaps you have not heard of this one. But it is very practical when it comes to a final phase of educational process: the testing. Teachers can create tests, quizzes and worksheets, and share them with their colleagues.

Students take them online, and after that the teacher enters the correct answers, the tests get automatically graded. Saves a lot of time, right? Students can track their results and repeat tests if they want to see their progress. As it randomly orders questions, so it is not about memorizing the answers, but about gaining knowledge.

5. Remind:

In the end, you want a tool that provides you a fast and easy way of communication with parents and students. You can use it for sending messages to a group, sharing key information, set up meetings and, as it is very clear by its name, reminding students about, for example, homework.

Teaching with technology can be challenging. It requires you to learn, adopt new technology and spend some time on it. On the other hand, you are engaging your students, making topics more intriguing and getting a fast feedback. As a teacher you want to plant seeds of knowledge and technology can be the tool that you use.

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Posted by Isla Wright

Isla is a techs-savvy psychology professor, who considers herself more of a student since she is constantly in the process of learning. Although she lives and works in Darwin, Isla spends every chance she gets travelling and getting to know new people and new cultures. She combines her love of technology, teaching and travelling with her work. The small amount of free time that she has is reserved for her family and her yoga classes, which she says keep her centered.

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