Written by Mo Qureshi, BSD Education
There is no doubt that the learning and development of digital skills will be a big focus in Education this next decade. As we hope to prepare our students for the technology first future and help them move past being just consumers of technology and media to having the tools and skills to become innovators or creators.
One of the best ways to slowly start bringing Technology into your classrooms is using fun EdTech tools that will help you and/or your students boost learning or teaching experiences. Check out the top 5 we thought you should try this year!
Mobile Apps have been a rage for over a decade now and it doesn’t seem to be slowing down. Thunkable is a free and easy to use online tool for students to learn how to build mobile apps using a simple drag and drop code builder. As you create you can test the app in real time on an iOS or Android device and tweak it as you go. Less experienced students can choose to “remix” an existing app instead of starting from scratch.
Creating games is a great way to learn a wide range of real world digital skills, like storytelling, art and design, programming, maths, etc. Roblox is an online platform for creating and playing multiplayer online games. As a teacher you can take your students on a journey of how their favourite online games are created. They can learn to create games using Roblox Studio, test it with their peers and can even publish it online for users to play on a computer, mobile device or even Xbox. They can also choose to publish the game for free on the Roblox platform or charge them “Robux ”, the digital currency of Roblox. To support teachers, Roblox publishes resources like how to start guides and lessons.
Boost your classroom engagement by creating visual and interactive resources for your students. Thinglink makes it very easy for you to augment to images, videos and online tours with extra information using simple to use hyperlinks. Create an educational treasure hunt for students or mix it up and let them create visual learning journeys for their peers.
Mind maps are a tried and tested method for people to effectively take notes or brainstorm ideas. MindMeister takes this a step further by making mind mapping a collaborative exercise. Students can collaborate with peers real time in the classroom while a teacher explains concepts or can work virtually from home when creating a group project.
Image via MindMeister
5. Smiling Mind
Students (and all of us) can face a series of social and emotional challenges. To help them cope with these it is important they are aware of their mental well being and learn effective ways to be mindful. Smiling Mind is a free, not for profit app that encourages mindfulness and better mental being in schools. It is specifically built for students and teachers and breaks down activities for age groups 7-9, 10-12, 13-15, 16-18 as well as adults. It comes with Professional Development training for teachers, classroom resources and student workshops.
6. Bonus – BSD Online
Of course, we would love it if you tried our own online learning platform BSD Online. Through scaffolded guided exercises, BSD Online makes the teaching and learning of digital skills and coding easy, fun and engaging. Wondering where to start? We suggest our Hour of Code Project – Life Under Water.
Image via BSD Education
We’d love to learn what other apps or technology tools you’d like to try this year!! Feel free to share by tweeting us at @Educationbsd or tagging us on Instagram at @BSDEducation, we look forward to hearing from you!