Tech Vault Tech Tools
Adobe Capture: The app lets users take a photo of something and then trace the outline. A student can then erase parts, color it in, or enhance areas, all based on the initial sketch provided by the photo.
Adobe Spark formerly Adobe Voice: Technologists recommend this app because it’s an easy way of kids to attach a voice memo over an image. It can be a good presentation tool.
Bloxels: This new game creation app is made by the same company that makes Pixel Floor Press and the two products are compatible. It allows a user to create the characters that will populate their game.
Book Creator: The app works best on Apple products, but allows kids to make their own books.
Buncee: This app allows users to add images, text, video and interactive stickers to an existing product. Students can also work on individual Buncees and then stitch them together into a collaborative project. The end result doesn’t print well, but it is possible to create a QR code for the Buncee and view it on the app or website.
Easy Blogger Jr: There are many blogging sites for students. Easy Blogger is unique in that, rather than asking five- and six-year olds to remember usernames and passwords, students can login with their photos. The app version costs $5.99 but the web-based version is free.
Edpuzzle: . One of the hazards of flipping is that lecture will remain supreme, but in a different form. Adding interactive elements is a good way to force students to interact with the material, and when they are more engaged they will hopefully grow curious.
Flipster: This digital magazine app is more easily discoverable for students. Flipster is trying to make the digital magazine reading experience more seamless.
GBoard: The free app allows a user to search Google while typing out a message on a phone. For example, if a teacher is texting a parent about an upcoming event, she can search the event page and link to it within the text message.
Goodreads: Students can easily search each other’s reading lists for ideas. Teachers find it to be a huge timesaver when they are coming up with their summer reading lists. They can scan the books’ barcodes and easily add 50 to 100 books, order them in lists and embed them on the library site or in emails to students. If a library uses Follett Destiny, sharing functions are integrated there too.
GUM: This app was not specifically designed for the education space, but teachers can use what is essentially a free social pinboard in interesting ways. The app allows users to scan ISBN codes on books or barcodes on products and then add comments. This could be useful in a health class about the ingredients in food products or in an English class where students can add a book review or other thoughts about something they’ve read.
Kiosko: This app offers an international news database that goes back to 1945. This is a powerful tool for students looking to gather different perspectives on historical events. Students can read Soviet newspapers from the Soviet era, for example, although it might take a little help from a translation app to understand the Russian.
Lark by Storybird: This digital storytelling tool is especially good for poetry. It’s available free on both mobile devices and on a web-based platform and allows kids to embellish their poetry with illustrations and text that capture their emotions. Creations can be kept private or published and they also print well.
LEGO Movie Maker: Although made by Lego, this free stop motion app is an easy-to-use solution for any kind of video creation, its very likeable because it’s easy to add titles, slow the animation down, or speed it up.
Lucidchart: A variety of app choices when it comes to mind mapping is helpful because we want students to find the right tool that lets them think and express in their own way. We like Lucidchart personally because we can easily turn a spreadsheet into a flowchart.
Nearpod: Teachers often makes lessons in Google Slides, which eventually end up in video form. But both of those options leave out student interactivity. Now teachers can put their slideshows in Nearpod and can easily embed questions and quizzes or ask students to share links and images. If every student has a device, teachers can also ask all students the same question and then push out the answer. When results are pushed to the whole class, it sends a powerful message.
New York Times VR: One of several new virtual reality travel apps that can give students a window into places and lives they’d might never otherwise have the chance to visit.
Pixel Press Floors: This game creation app is a favorite of many. Students can create their own video games by arranging tiles in different patterns. Created by the same company that makes Bloxel, kids can use characters created there in their Pixel Press Floor games. The app is only available on iOS devices.
Quizlet: This study guide creation tool has taken off at New Canaan High School. Many students use Quizlet for almost everything, divvying up the work of making flashcards amongst themselves. Interestingly, Kahoot has also become a student favorite, but not necessarily for studying.
Shadow Puppet: This easy-to-use app allows students as young as five to create videos. They can add their voice over the images and explain their thinking or their story. This app is only for iOS devices.
Skitch: A long time image manipulation app, this free tool has seamless integration with Evernote, which owns it. The app allows users to annotate over anything, circling errors, adding text or arrows, etc.
Mindmup: A solid mind mapping tool. It is a Chrome extension, so it integrates well with other Google products.
Masterpiece by Osmo: This drawing app could be a solution to some of the copyright infringement students engage in unwittingly. Osmo gives them an opportunity to create their own images, while teaching them the value of intellectual property. Once they understand how challenging it is to create a beautiful image they may be less likely to swipe someone else’s without giving appropriate credit.
Coding: Scratch and more: Most technologists acknowledge that it’s a great idea to get students started coding early. Some well-liked apps include Scratch, Scratch Jr, and Hopscotch. For younger students there is Kodable and Daisy the Dinosaur as well.
Seesaw: Digital portfolio apps like this one are becoming increasingly useful as educators and parents recognize the usefulness of a well-kept record of work. It helps tokeeps kids organized and can be a powerful curation tool too.
SpiderScribe Jr.: This app was selected by theAmerican Association of School Librarians ( AASL) as their favorite mind mapping app.
Storyboard That: Increasingly teachers are asking students to storyboard before writing. This Chrome app is great for that, Celtx Shots is another recommended option.
TechSmith Fuse: The app offers an easy way to move images from a phone to a computer.
Terraria: To some, this game rivals Minecraft. Its likeable because it’s easier to create things than in Minecraft. The game costs $4.99.
What Was There: You stand in a spot, particularly in a city, and it finds you on the map and tells you about the history of what was there. The app shows the Google Maps street view with a historical overlay. Kids can also add their own content, which could make for a fun digital storytelling tool or examination of primary sources.
YAKit: This image manipulation tool adds some fun to digital storytelling by allowing students to animate mouths or eyeballs. Some educators use Chatterpix as well.
A very special thanks to Katrina Schwartz for her input and research in the gathering of ed tech tools presented here. http://ww2.kqed.org/mindshift /2016/06/22/ librarian-approved-30-ed-tech-apps-to-inspire-creativity-and-creation/?utm_content=buffer63181&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
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