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[Tech Coach] My Fav Learning Tech Tools in 2021

Can you believe it's 2022 now?! It took me almost a month to realize that we're in a new chapter. 2021 is a very special year for me - becoming a mom and still doing my favorite job as a tech coach (lucky me!). Even I suspended my work for a couple of months because of the bundle of joy in our family, I still had chances to try out different LT tools with different teachers.

Here are my favorite LT tools of the year - I skipped the most popular ones, putting some very unique tools on this list. Most of them are web-based, but some of the tools need mobile devices as well (I'll explain).

I categorized NINE tools according to their functions.

Discussion:

  • Synth - https://gosynth.com/ Synth is an online audio discussion platform, I usually call it 'Educational Clubhouse'. But it's more exclusive and safe - usually, teachers give students a link and they could leave their audio recordings there. All recordings will be shown on the page according to the timeline. Here's the little poster I made to introduce it to teachers:

  • Parlay - https://parlayideas.com/ We have some teachers in my school who are huge fans of Parlay. They use it in language classes and it works so well online. Teachers can add discussion topics in their Parlay classes and students can share their opinions as well comment on others' ideas. There are two ways to participate in the discussion: one is a written discussion so students can leave their ideas and comments (same as teachers) whenever they want; another one is a live roundtable, students and teachers can discuss verbally. The other good thing about Parlay is that they have a topic library, so teachers can easily pick up some topics suit you - of course you can create topics by yourselves!

Classroom tools:

  • Classroom Screen - https://www.classroomscreen.com/ Classroom Screen is a web-based tool that puts all tools in one place for teachers. It is great for in-person learning demonstrations in the class. Not only that! Considering that we're back to online learning so many times (who knows if more will come), Classroom Screen is a great tool for online demonstrations (especially Zoom). Instead of looking for class tools everywhere, Classroom Screen could make it all in one! As it's a web-based tool, it's free and you don't even need to install it!


Assessment:

  • Blooket - https://www.blooket.com/ Who would say no to a fun, gamified in/out-class assessment tool! After Kahoot! becoming one of the kids' fav activities in class, Blooket levels up the fun of quiz games! I love the variety of options in Blooket, which could fit different types of assessments. You can use it during lesson time, or just simply assign it as homework. I use it quite often in my class - always a champion to motivate students. I have made a presentation to introduce it during the school PD session.

It used to be totally free, but I guess now as more and more people start to use it - some of the modes need to be unlocked under premiere accounts.

Still - it's a cool, fun and strong interactive tool to use in your class!

  • Actionbound - https://en.actionbound.com/ Actionbound is a scavenger hunt creator. You make your own scavenger hunt games on the website and participants could use their mobile devices to move around physically to solve puzzles or questions. The fact that I like Actionbound is that it has many options of question types. You can ask your participants to take pictures, record voices or even just simple multi-choices questions! It also gives an excellent opportunity to let your students get out of the classroom or house to be more active while learning. A new way to do a quiz huh? If you are using it for personal use, it's free! I love it, using it as the activity for Booktober in Library and the feedback is great!

English/Math:

  • Edji - https://edji.it/#/home Edji is a versatile educational tool that combines reading and collaborative annotations to create a unique classroom discussion focused on a text, image, or PDF. Basically, multiple people could annotate on one same piece of work. This is a great tool to increase discussion in the class and especially for English lessons - so much you could do with that! I shared it with English department in my school, some teachers tried it out. From what they told me, they said that they LOVE it!

  • Hemingway - https://hemingwayapp.com/ Another tool for English teachers! The web-based editor tool could highlight your writings in different way - too complicated? Too passive? Too hard to read? It can also evaluate the readability for you! It's pretty much an advanced version of Grammarly! (know that you have seen tons of grammarly commercials on YouTube.)

  • Microsoft Math Solver - https://math.microsoft.com/en The name is pretty straightforward to tell you what it is for. It also has the application - which is even better to use! The good thing is that this math solver could search different questions for you and even find something similar so you could practice and have reflection on it. It also shows you steps of solving math questions instead of telling you answers directly. Any downside? Yes, some smart students might use it to find all answers without trying by themselves.

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