Anyone who knows me knows I have a passion for technology in education and the possibilities it offers both us and our students. I've been guilty over the years of getting incredibly excited about anything new that I can grab hold of and experiment with. I still have this excitement but it's tempered by this question:
What impact will this tool have on learning and teaching - what is the 'why' of using this particular tool?
If I, or my students, cannot clearly articulate the answer to this then I am cautious about using a tool or persisting in it's use if we can't quickly answer the question through initial use / experimentation.
I'm excited about the possibilities of Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and Google Classroom and can't wait to experiment more with these as I believe they hold the key to flattening the classroom walls and flipping learning and teaching to allow for anywhere, anytime learning. I'm still a huge fan of using Blogger as my classroom blogging platform as it's easy to set up and use. All things Google seem to be my main area of excitement at the moment as it provides a way of connecting learners, teachers, parents and communities, both locally and globally.
Storybird is one of my favourite digital storytelling tools. It can be used in so many ways to inspire writers - even our more reluctant ones will become excited about it. I've used this for many years with all levels from Year 2 through to Year 8. It's been a consistent tool that I can use to motivate and engage learners in reading and writing and also visual language. Great all-rounder.
ePals is another tool I've used for many years. Like our old pen-pals, (seems such a long time ago now!!). I think I first used ePals way back in about 2005 as a way of connecting my students globally and locally. There are a range of options for authentic inquiries and projects and we added in Skype to the mix a few years back. We also have Skype In The Classroom now, so that's another tool that can provide authentic learning contexts and connect students locally and globally. There is huge potential for tapping into experts in their field using this tool. Have a look at it and see what you think.
YouTube is also one of my 'go-to's' that I'm very grateful for. Again, you can access expertise through this medium or watch inspirational people share their knowledge. Creating your own classroom channel also offers another way of connecting with your communities.
ScoopIt is my favourite digital curation tool and I use this as part of my professional learning for resources.