Whether you opt for third-party applications or media-hosting websites, having a digital toolkit is a pre-requisite for a succesful flipped classroom. FreeTech4Teacher notes that these tools come in different formats and degree of usability, which can be partitioned into classroom management techniques such as writing, annotating, recording, and sharing. However, the mere existence of these digital services has become its own culprit, as the bulk of tools make it hard to select the ones that will compliment your practice. To get you started, we’ve chosen the best services that deserve a place in your digital toolbox:
Educreations Interactive Whiteboard
In a flipped learning environment, delivering a direct discussion can be done through podcasting or screen casting. From being a web tool, Educreations can now be maximized through your iPad, allowing you to create a multi-page lesson plan with photos, videos, and recordings. To highlight points of presentation, you are given the opportunity to choose from a selection of colors, with the ability to resize and move photos around with ease. For podcasts, you can easily record a voice over with just a single tap, wherein the audio plays back with clarity.
Verizon Education Bundle
The Education Bundle is a suite of apps from Verizon Wireless, which combines your students’ growing aptitude in technology with thought-provoking entertainment. The best thing about this bundle is that they can be used by both iOS and Android users. Of the tools included, the BrainPOP app is one of the most interactive, as it bolsters student achievement and sparks engagement through an animated interface. Another service is the Copia, which can access and streamline electronic readings and trial-based tutoring services which are appropriate for your students’ age.
With your students, you can use Wikispaces, a free web-based tool, to share your thoughts on a difficult topic, reflect on a learner’s output, and edit their work through constructive criticisms. While the platform allows you to do all these tasks, the main core of Wikispaces is to reinforce your classroom blog and improve teacher-student interaction. For example, you can encourage students to post questions and you’ll answer them directly to the conversation thread. For your class blog, you can choose from the 14 different Wiki themes, which shows edits, number of page views, and unique visitors. Take note that you may make the page public to increase student readership.
As an engaging group writing web service, Boomwriter allows your students to stimulate their creativity, especially in writing specific chapters of a novel. Aside from writing, kids from grades 3-12 can develop their reading and assessment skills, especially when sharing stories and evaluating the output of their peers. The service is mounted with an intuitive guide, wherein you can read tips to help you create, oversee, and supervise projects. There is also a dedicated section called the Education Blog, which acts like a mini forum for those unfamiliar with the service. If you have questions, you can email Boomwriter developers and expect a response within 24 hours.
The Teaching Channel is one of the most go-to resources of most educators of all grade levels. It’s a video showcasing facility, wherein a growing community of teachers and students are imparting learning ideas and sharing inspiration with each other. Similar to SchoolTube, the videos available on the Teaching Channel are tailored to every age bracket, wherein your students can browse categories to shed light on topics pertaining to science, math, and others. In a flipped environment, Edudemic notes that the tool sparks creativity among students, saying that they get inspired by making their own videos after streaming certain clips.
For sure, there are other tons of digital services worth trying. But for now, these are five of the best tools to strike the balance between work and play.
What other must-have services would you recommend to fellow flipped educators?