[callout]Keven Rinaman is the Director of Technology at Calvert Catholic Schools in Ohio. With a decade of experience in PK-12 education, Keven looks to share ideas, concepts, and tools with educators through his website: Teacher’s Tech Toolbox and Podcast: MAGIC Potion EDU.[/callout]
Precious minutes are lost each class to administrative tasks. This post looks to share a few tools that can help increase efficiency and enhance productivity in the classroom while also integrating technology seamlessly into lesson plans.
1. Classroom Screen
My favorite tool that I have come across in 2018. Classroom Screen is a free website that offers a wide variety of tools that are useful in all classrooms. Teachers can use the text block to post instructions, links, objectives for the day. They can utilize the noise meter to visualize an acceptable level of talking. A built-in QR Code generator saves steps for sharing URLs. There are other tools built-in and worth your time to hop over and check out! (www.classroomscreen.com)
2. Yell Key
This URL sharing website makes things easier on teachers by removing the worries of case-sensitive options like bit.ly. Simply copy your link, head over to (www.yellkey.com) and paste it in the URL bar, select a time-limit for availability (up to 24 hours), and then tap the “generate yellkey” button. A link via yellkey.com will be generated using a common word. Instruct student to type in this URL and they will be redirected to the site you wish to share! In my experience, directing students (and teachers at workshops) to link using Yellkey instead of Bit.ly has saved time and headaches due to the painstaking task of case-sensitive typing.
A website that promises to improve focus and increase productivity! Noisli generates background noise that can be played for the whole class or have student use on their own device with headphones. No site registration is required, but creating an account allows you to save mixes. The students I have spoken with love to use noisli while working on projects, but we all know the concerns of a classroom full of noise-producing devices! Noisli could be useful while students are entering your classroom as well! (www.noisli.com)
Are you the type of person that has so many tabs open that you can’t even see the site icons? This Google Chrome extension helps save system resources while organizing tabs in Chrome. When all the tabs are open and OneTab is activated, all of the pages are saved as links on a page. This page can then be shared with other via a published link or QR code. I have found it very useful for capturing online resources while I’m at conferences and sharing links from my workshops with participants. In the classroom, teachers could organize links lessons, chapters, units, etc. to easily be shared with student to review later.
While listening to podcasts does not necessarily save time, it does allow for PD while multitasking. I love to listen to educational podcasts while doing chores around the house and on the commute to work. Teachers could utilize podcasts during their planning period to hear about ideas from others while they get ready for future classes! A few of my favorites are the Wired Educator, EduTechGuys and of course #DitchPod.
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