Developing a suite of teacher tools

Stephen Anderson compiled a collection of how teachers are learning to use Twitter to help start conversations that support better teaching. He writes that Twitter is helpful for advice or ideas, but not a good tool for sharing classroom resources. Trying to put all our tricks into one giant bag can be time consuming. We can now use 3 bags for 3 different kinds of tricks:

  • Advice on improving the classroom design, relationships (student, parent, admin)
  • A collection of cutting edge classroom activities AND all the classic activities
  • Tools and support for our students during out of class learning or if you’re implementing a flipped classroom.

Advice on improving the classroom design and relationships:

As Stephen’s article discusses, this is a natural fit for Twitter. This is more effective than listservs, because it doesn’t clog your inbox. It can be used like a cocktail hour with teachers. A major difference is that you get to invite only your most inspirational teachers! You have access to teachers from around the world and mentors that might normally be busy writing books or teaching seminars.

Collection of cutting edge classroom activities

Edufy was designed to solve this problem. This is more effective finding links to multiple websites or meeting once a year to share best activities at a conference. Edufy provides activities that fit, not lesson plans that don’t. Use checkboxes to customize any activity. Comments and voting on activities let you know if your peers consider it to be quality content. No documents to download or links to follow.

Tools and support for our students:

Websites that share files like nyscienceteacher, videos at Khan Academy, or interactives at Howard Hughs Medical Institute are a great way for students to experience concepts in new ways, or to get additional materials for review. These are better options than having a student flounder at home with homework, emailing files back and forth, and certainly higher quality than anything we would be creating on our own.

Do you have other tools that you use that give you access to support in a specialized way? What are your experiences with the tools I’ve listed?

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