In the digital age, teachers have an impressive selection of technological resources to help facilitate classes, engage students, and streamline processes. The problem, however, is that because there’s such an abundance of tools, it can be difficult to know which to use, and how to understand the value they bring to education.
Currently, more than 65% of teachers incorporate digital learning tools into their classes on a daily basis. As these tools increase in popularity – and curriculums are even designed for and around these tools – technology is becoming an inherent vehicle for students’ growth. With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of the best technology tools for the classroom, as well as a recap of why technology tools are important and how they’re shaping the schools of tomorrow.
What Are Technology Tools?
A technology tool is an electronic, digital, or physical resource that can support teachers in the delivery and testing of content. Technology tools include apps, platforms, and software, and can be used in virtual, hybrid, or traditional learning environments.
The Importance of Technology Tools
Digital literacy is on the rise, with many young students being adept with technology early on and are familiar with technology as an essential component of everyday life. In education, technology tools can help further students’ abilities, provide innovative ways to work, and offer access to new experiences. For teachers, technology tools can consolidate workloads, assist students with diverse capabilities, and supply a single place to monitor students’ progress.
Examples of Technology Tools
Trusted in more than 40,000 schools around the world, Sphero Robots level up students’ programming, computational thinking, and problem-solving skills. Sphero’s robots for grades PK–12 make learning to code feel like play and are highly customizable to teachers’ and students’ needs.
littleBits is a kit of electronic building blocks to help students develop important STEM skills and turn ideas into reality. The physical blocks encourage students to explore engineering and programming concepts, as well as enjoy screenless STEM learning.
Technology Tools for Quizzes & Questionnaires
The Kahoot! platform uses games known as “kahoots” to create multiple-choice quizzes that students can take via a web browser. The quizzes can be constructed for any subject and are available in 17 languages.
Google Forms and Google Classroom
With Google Forms, students can anonymously submit questions and responses to teachers, and teachers can request information and feedback from students. Google Forms is part of Google Classroom – a suite of education tools to simplify how teachers make, distribute, and grade assignments.
Socrative is a tool to engage students as they learn. Through the platform, teachers can launch a pop quiz or ask for instant student feedback during an activity. With this information, teachers can tailor their content and approach in real-time.
Nearpod empowers teachers to design interactive lessons using videos, games, and polls. Teachers can tap into over 20 formative assessments and media features to produce fun and interesting ways for students to learn information.
Studies show that 65% of people prefer information to be presented visually, which is why EdPuzzle celebrates videos as a medium for teaching. Teachers simply find a video, add their questions or embed quizzes in the video, and then assign the video to students.
Desmos is a math-centered platform with a number of tools to help students visualize equations and plot graphs. Tools include the graphic calculator, scientific calculator, geometry tool, and practice tests. Students can additionally enjoy specially-designed math quizzes and games.
Used by 50 million people worldwide, Quizizz enables teachers to share high-quality, interactive quizzes in a matter of minutes. Quizzes can range between multiple-choice, open-ended questions, audio and video responses, and quick polls.
Technology Tools for Communication and Collaboration
One of the most comprehensive tech tools available, ClassDojo is an app and platform to connect teachers, students, and parents. Students can make avatars and track their development, meanwhile, teachers can take attendance and encourage positive behaviors.
Designed like a board of post-it notes, Trello is extremely user-friendly and is an intuitive space for students to make workflow charts, update one another on projects, and document progress.
Flip (formerly FlipGrid)
A free tool from Microsoft, Flip is a video-sharing and discussion app. In the app, teachers can build “grids” that enable students to connect and collaborate in small groups, as well as share relevant content.
Seesaw is for elementary school teachers and has multimodal tools for students to fully express themselves in the learning journey. The app makes learning and communication simple, giving teachers access to student messages, progress, and lessons on any device.
Technology Tools for Design and Development
Canva is a free graphic design tool that allows students and teachers alike to construct presentations, posters, infographics, logos, videos, and more. Plus, with free templates and design tips, users can work together to let their creativity flow.
Known as an “all-in-one sidekick” for teachers, Kami is a digital platform with more than 40 features to personalize learning for students. Via the platform, teachers can upload resources like slides and images, and convert them into dynamic lessons and tasks. Additionally, teachers can give feedback through voice, video, and screen capture.
Buncee is a creation and presentation tool with multiple pathways for students to communicate their learning experience. With 2,000 templates to choose from, students can design creative content for assignments and feedback purposes.
Best suited to more mature students, Genial.ly is a sophisticated platform for making presentations, infographics, interactive images, and videos. Notably, in 2021, Genial.ly was awarded the Best Presentation Tool by Edtech Digest.
iPad Technology Tools
Apple has a host of apps and software for educational institutions using iPads. iMovie is a video editing app where students can create professional-looking videos quickly and effectively. Additionally, GarageBand is a music production station that enables students to make tracks, podcasts, and other audio files.
Technology Tools for Review
Using Blooket, teachers can transform question sets into game mode, where students have to answer prompts about the content they have recently been taught. Blooket is ideal for teachers who want to sense-check students’ performance without imposing intimidating test environments.
This live learning gameshow tool introduces or reviews classroom concepts. Gimkit can also function like flashcards, where teachers import existing question sets or spreadsheets to the platform. Students can also submit their own questions, via the KitCollab feature.
Pear Deck is an add-on for Google slides, aimed at keeping students’ attention both in the classroom and in remote settings. With Pear Deck, teachers can integrate formative assessments and interactive questions, add audio, and utilize a teacher dashboard directly to presentations.
GoGuardian unifies schools’ filtering, classroom engagement, and mental health tools in a single place. Not only does the platform fuel classroom management, but it can also notify staff about high-risk online activity among students.
Assistive Technology Tools
The SAS CodeSnaps app is a collaborative coding environment that takes advantage of printed coding blocks to empower students to work outside of an electronic device. Alongside Sphero's BOLT robot, these tools support students with visual impairments and are great for students who learn deeper with kinesthetic activities.
Total Caption CART services
Total Caption has a range of services that accommodate students with hearing loss. Tools include ASL interpretation, remote captioning, multi-language translation, and customized Zoom settings.
Livescribe pens use clever technology to take snapshots of handwritten notes to recreate the content in a digital format and convert it into audio. Students and teachers can then easily navigate through content and not be limited by visual or cognitive impairments that make handwriting difficult to interpret.
These are just a handful of the technology tools available for educators. In your search for a technical toolbox be sure to check that tools align with students’ and schools’ preferences and that they are truly inclusive – meaning everyone can reap their benefits. For more information about technology tools in action in learning, take a look at our blog and STEM tools making real-life change in the classroom.
Watch our Webinar: "A School Leader's Guide to Making the Most of Tech Tools" here.