Below is my list of helpful tools. Some of the items are apps and some are web sites, some are both. The list is comprised as most vital being first. Each of the items is chosen by its actual usefulness to an educator and/student. Practicality is the basis for making this list. All these items on the list I imploy in my classroom and use.
#1 Evernote* is a no-brainer for the BEST tool, app for educators. This is a word-processor on steroids. Users are able type or develop their work as they would on any typical computer word processor. But now users are able to insert pictures or photos directly from a mobile device, add voice messages and, most importantly, sync the work with ALL your devices. These means that your work in Evernote will instantaneously be placed on your desktop computer, laptop computer, iPhone (smart phone) and iPad (tablet). Additionally, your work can easily be shared with others via email, social networks and placed on a public web site. A must follow on twitter is @thenerdyteacher - Nicholas Provenzano. He is the educational "Evernote Ambassador" and an expert source on the use of it in the teaching realm. Recently, Mr. Provenzano published an iBook titled The Complete Guide to Evernote in Education ; it is highly recommended. Link to Evernote (click here)...
#3 Google Chrome is probably nothing new but sometimes it's function/s and/or usefulness is overlooked. By establishing a Google Chrome account the user is able to sync ALL of its website bookmarks, search engine history and reasonable web use attributes with all of their personal technology devices i.e. laptop computer, desktop computer and iOS product (iPhone, iTouch and iPad). The organization and amount of time saved by users is immeasurable. Its also considered to be the most safe surf engine to use. Here's a quick link to Google Chrome (click here).
#4 AwwApp could be the hidden gem of todays technology. Essentially this is app that provdes the user a whiteboard. Anyone access AwwApp on the internet from their device (computer and iOS device) to draw, develop and create incredible products to share with others. Perhaps the best source for students to use as a collaborative tool for presentations and/or group projects. Click here to access link to AwwApp.
#5 Educreation is an app for iPads that enables the user to use the device as a whiteboard. The attribute that separates this app from others is that one is able to record the work both visually and verbally. This can then become a podcast; posted onto a website or on YouTube for others to view (click here to access).
#6 Flashcardlet allows the user to create, share and obtain flash cards for studying. It is an app that can be downloaded on to any iOS device. The app syncs with Quizlet; an online website that functions in the same capacity (click here).
#7 Jing** provides a computer user the ability to record their voice and their computer screen work simultaneously in a very easy manner. Its a product of TechSmith that is a stepping stone to other products. Jing provides a screen capture of upto 5 minutes. Unquestionably the best FREE mode of creating podcasts to be utilized for a classroom flip, online instructional purposes and/or differentiated lesson planning (click here).
#8 PollEveryWhere* is a web based product that allows for the creation of interactive polls. Individuals are able to participate directly via their iOS product and get immediate results to be viewed. This is a tremendous tool to inspire student involvement in discussion topics and/or classroom activities (click here).
#9 Keepvid has become my video savior. As a U.S. History teacher I am using massive amounts of brief video clips, songs, visuals, etc. from the Internet; like YouTube. In doing so I found it to be distracting and cumbersome to deal with advertising and loading time issues. As a result I have used KeepVid to download and save these clips into quality MP3 files. These files an then be opened and used without the issues; give it a try you'll find it very helpful (click here).
#10 Cybraryman1 is the title of the most in depth, all encompassing and helpful teacher, parent and student web site available to date. It is run and maintained by a 32 year veteran New York educator. This website maintains countless resources that are well organized and easy to research. It is well worth your time to search and browse the site (click here).
The items listed below are not FREE, but I have found to be worth the financial commitment. Also please note that some of the free items above also have upgrades available. Each item marked with an asterisk (*) has an upgrade available and any item with two asterisks (**) is an upgrade I recommend purchasing.
- Penultimate (99 cent app) is an app by Evernote that is incredible for quick note taking capability. This app allows you to use a stylus or your finger to write while also being able to place pictures photos saved from Evernote. One can then write on the picture, describe it or explain it for further depth of learning (click here).
- SnagIt ($49.95 download purchase) is the upgrade of the free Jing computer monitor capture program. The major difference between these two TechSmith computer programs is the recording time and added special features. Jing limits the screen capture to a recording time of 5 minutes; SnagIt has an unlimited recording time and more features for making a more professional presentation (click here).
- MyTownTutors ($1 per month) is a tremendous opportunity for educators at little to no cost. This web site, founded and run by Mark Molloy, allows educators and parents access to a database to collaborate on tutoring opportunities for students. Students are now able to find certified educators that are willing to utilize their teaching mastery outside of the classroom. Teachers are able to set their own rate of pay and parents can have the safety and assurance that quality learning is being acquired by their children from top-notch educators (click here).
This listing is an effort to put, at your finger tips, what we, at AskteacherZ, have found to be the most beneficial products and websites this past year in the education profession for us. We wish you the very best in the year 2013 and thank you for your efforts with students. It's your continued sacrifice to positively impact and change the lives of our youth that will ensure a better world in the future.