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Monterey County Office of Education

Leadership, Support and Service to Prepare All Students for Success

Dr. Nancy Kotowski, County Superintendent of Schools

The Curated List of Technology Tools

Big lists are fun, but sometimes we just need to cut to the chase: what stuff is the best? Below are my top technology tools that I've found. If you think something needs to be taken down or added, tell me using the form at the bottom of the page.

 

NamePlatformCostWhat it does and why it rocksHonorable Mentions
PlickersiOS or AndroidFree I love Plickers because it makes assessment in the classroom easy and effective with minimal technology needed. You ask students a question either orally or on a projector, they hold up their unique cards to answer, and you use a camera on an iOS or Android device to collect their answers. Plickers stores the student answers automatically on the app or website. Students can't easily copy off of one another and aren't as nervous about answering wrong because only the teacher will know. 
FormativeWeb BasedFreeFormative is another assessment tool that allows you to digitally assess students. It has lots of great features such as live drawing but my favorite is that you can easily take scanned or digital documents and convert them into answerable worksheets. This makes digitizing assignments from questions on textbooks or workbooks a breeze. The developer is constantly adding new features.Socrative 
KahootWeb BasedFreeKahoot is the gem of EdTech right now and for good reason. It allows for fun, rapid, game-based student assessment that gets students excited and engaged. It's not something you need to use every day, but it is a great way to review and conduct formative assessment.Quizizz 
ShowbieiOSFreemiumAlthough it's only on the iPad, Showbie is a very lightweight LMS. It allows teachers and students to easily pass back and forth documents that can be annotated on top of with ease. It makes digitizing your classroom an absolute walk in the park. 
EdPuzzleWeb BasedFreeThere are many different flipped video tools out there, but I personally prefer EdPuzzle mostly because its interface is much cleaner and easier to use, both for teachers and students. It allows you to easily take a video and add questions in the middle of them to check for understanding as students watch. Educanon, Zaption
EvernoteMultipleFreemiumEvernote is a must have for anyone who needs to jot down notes between different devices or anyone who wants to do easy portfolio building. It is a simple, lightweight note taking application that supports videos, voice annotations, pictures, and plain text. Notes are automatically synced to the Evernote server and can be accessed from any device or through the web portal. 
ScreenleapMac/WindowsFreemiumDo you need to quickly share your screen with someone? Don't have a projector? Enter Screenleap, a free, easy to use tool that allows you to broadcast your screen to anyone with the code generated from your session. Just install the plugin, press go, share the link, and up to 8 people can view your screen for free. 
ScreenflowMac$99 one timeIf you want to make high quality tutorial videos and are on Mac, Screenflow is your tool. It is incredibly powerful tool that allows you to do basic video editing plus add annotations, callouts, and highlights into your video.Camtasia Studio 
NearpodMultipleFreemiumNearpod is a cross between Google Slides and Socrative. Students watch your presentation on their screen and, when you deem it necessary, answer questions that you ask  Peardeck
PixlrWeb BasedFreeI asked one of our vendors one time why they didn't offer a web based model and they replied, "Web based tools just aren't sophisticated enough." Well, the Pixlr developers would disagree. It is a slimmed down Photoshop-in-a-browser that can do a lot of powerful picture editing without any downloads needed. 
Splashtop ClassroomMultipleVariesSplashtop Classroom is probably the ultimate tool for sending content between teachers and students. Teachers can send their screens to student devices and vice versa, making sharing ideas and content very easy. Although it is powerful, it requires significant setup on the infrastructure side.Doceri, Splashtop Personal
Haiku LearningWeb BasedFreemiumThere are plenty of LMS (Learning Management System) options for schools to use, but for the teacher going it on your own, I recommend Haiku Learning. Of all of the free LMSs, Haiku has one of the cleanest interfaces and the best set of features for teachers to use. For districts choosing a centralized LMS, I'd recommend something that isn't hosted, just because these product offerings and price vary so much. EdModo

 

Contacts

Shann Chu

Educational Technology Administrator
schu@montereycoe.org
Phone: 831.755.0394

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