5 Tech Tools to Start Using Today

Karen EvansBlog, Connect Better, Differentiate Better, Tech Better

TL;DR:

  • Calendly, a Bitmoji classroom, the Notes app, Google Voice, and Math Learning Center are tech tools to start using today!
  • This post shares a link to each tech tool and an explanation of how it can be used in your classroom.

As many teachers head back to school in new ways, technology is more important than ever. Here are five tech tools to start using that have saved me!

1. Calendly

Let’s start with my favorite tool first! Calendly allows teachers or service providers to create different types of meetings and give parents or students access to book appointments.

This year, I’m teaching 3rd and 4th grade students online, and the children are required to meet with me for a weekly check-in.

I created a “Weekly 1:1 Meeting” option for 30 minutes and selected the days and times I’m available for office hours. Parents go to the link and book a time that works for them. When a time slot is booked, I get a notification, it shows up on my Google calendar, and a Google Meet link is automatically created.

In addition, the site communicates with my calendar. So let’s say I typically am available from 8am-11am on Mondays, but happen to have a doctor’s appointment on a particular day. Calendly will not allow parents to book a meeting with me during that time or any other time that I’m busy. This is so much more streamlined than anything I’ve used previously!

I created a 'Weekly 1:1 Meeting' option for 30 minutes and selected the days and times I’m available for office hours. Parents go to the link and book a time that works for them. Click To Tweet

2. Bitmoji Classroom

Create your own Bitmoji classroom using already designed templates or create your own on Google Slides. Set up your Bitmoji on your phone and install the Bitmoji extension on your browser to add your it to your room.

There are lots of good tutorials online on how to create one, but below is an excellent video on how to actually use it! My classroom features a class pet, my dog—who moves to new positions daily!

3. Notes App

Using the Notes app on your phone, you can scan copies of materials for use online. Just open a new note, click on the camera icon, click “Scan Documents”, take a picture, adjust the corners to make sure it aligns correctly, and you’re done!

You can even take multiple photos and group them together into one PDF. Michelle Ferre has a great video explaining the process if you learn better by watching.

4. Google Voice

Since many of us will be working from home for some or all of the year, it’s nice to have a number parents can call or text without giving out your personal phone number. Below is a concise video that describes the process of using Google Voice.


5. Math Learning Center

Math Learning Center is a great resource for math manipulatives that can be shared with students electronically. First, select the type of tool you want students to use. Next, create the problem you want them to solve. Then you’ll share it with them to complete and they can share it back with you when they’ve completed it. 


[scroll down to keep reading]

What tech tools are your favorites? Do you have any recommendations for other tech tools to start using today?


ABOUT KAREN EVANS

Karen Evans is a 3rd and 4th grade teacher for an online academy in Muskegon, Michigan. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Special Education, a Master’s in Measurement and Evaluation, and is currently studying Educational Leadership with an emphasis on Special Education Administration at Grand Valley State University. Her goal in the classroom is to use trauma-informed practices to make all students feel seen, heard, and loved as she equips them to see their own strengths, set and take ownership of learning goals, and achieve excellence. In her free time, Karen enjoys practicing yoga, hiking, playing board games, and spending time with family and friends. She is also very involved in the book community reading, posting video reviews, and blogging about books before publication, meeting authors, and serving as secretary of her local library’s board.