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15 Incredible Tech Tools For Teachers To Use In 2016

15 Incredible Tech Tools For Teachers To Use In 2016

When education is combined with technology, wonderful things can happen. Students are happier, more curious, and they receive the educational support that they need. Teachers are empowered to create engaging lesson plans, assess student’s needs, and effectively create a positive learning environment. Each year, new technologies are released, or they begin to gain attention. Here are 15 of the best tech tools for teachers for 2016.

Emaze

emaze - amazing presentations

    Teachers can use Emaze to create beautiful presentations that synthesize the elements that students have been learning into cohesive units. Students can use this tool to create presentations to demonstrate their knowledge on a variety of topics. Teachers can also track the progress that students are making on their presentations. Because Emaze works on a variety of devices and allows for sharing, it is a great collaborative tool both in and out of the classroom.

    Plickers

    plickers -collect real-time formative assessment data

      Many of the edtech offerings that are available only work if the students have access to a device as well as the teacher. Sadly, for many classrooms that is not feasible due to budget, or policy forbids it. With plickers, instead of using devices, students have cardboard plickers that the teacher can scan. These can be used to do impromptu polls, to check which students understand the material, and for a variety of other purposes.

      ZipGrade

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      zipgrade - turns your phone or tablet into an optical grading machine

        Anybody who is a teacher, or who lives with one, knows how much time they spend grading papers. With ZipGrade, teachers can create and print out assignments, then they can grade them instantly by scanning them with the camera on their smart phone. All they  have to do is align the squares on the grading sheet with the squares on the app.

        WriteAbout

        Digital Writing for Classrooms

          One of the best methods of getting reluctant writers to enjoy writing and to write more often is to give them the opportunity to write about the things that interest them. In the same vein, it is also the best way to get students who might be excited about writing outside of the classroom interested in writing in the classroom. WriteAbout is a platform where students can write, give and receive feedback to one another, and publish their work. Teachers can mentor students through this process and offer suggestions and feedback.

          Kaizena

          Kaizena - Fast, personal feedback on student work

            This is an add-on for Google Docs that allows teachers to leave feedback on students work on Google Docs or through the Kaizena website. Rather than taking the time to type out feedback, teachers have the option of using voice feedback. Even better, students don’t have to wait for teachers to check their work. Instead, they can request advice and feedback as they need it.

            Custom Writing Service

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            ProCustomWriting - Professional Writers and Custom Approach

              Educators can use custom writing services for a variety of purposes. First, these services offer up great content on subjects such as improving writing skills, great tools and apps for students, study tips, and more. Teachers can also contact these services for help writing tests, quizzes, and exams.

              StoryBoard That

              Storyboardthat - Powerful Visual Communication, Made Easy

                Teachers use this utility to help students create storyboards on topics related to English and History. This encourages students to take a creative and visual approach to demonstrating their knowledge by creating characters and story lines to build stories and to reenact  historical events. Once students have created their storyboards with the help of their teacher, it can be saved as a slide presentation, PDF doc, or cels within the storyboard app.

                Aurasma

                Aurasma - Start Creating Augmented Reality Today

                  Augmented reality is becoming more and more popular as a tool that teachers can use to embed exciting and enriching elements into everyday assignments and classroom experiences. Imagine students in a classroom studying about the origins of the planet earth, scanning a trigger image and watching a clip from a lecture by Neil DeGrasse Tyson. Think about a student who is frustrated as they try to complete a homework assignment, but can scan a trigger image that leads them to a math games website that gives them a bit of a mental break while also driving home important concepts. Aurasma is the tool that allows teachers to create those trigger images and to connect students who scan them with enriching educational experiences.

                  PlagScan

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                  Plagscan - Wipe out Duplicate Content

                    It is a sad but true fact that academic dishonesty is rampant. In addition to this, many younger students lack education when it comes to discerning what is or is not original work. Teachers can use a tool like PlagScan to determine whether or not a student’s written work contains elements that are not their own. Then, they can decide whether or not they are dealing with a case of intentional cheating or simply an educational issue. Here are some detailed reviews on this and other plagiarism checkers.

                    Paper.li

                    paper.li - Collect great content to share And engage with your audience wherever they are

                      Everyday, teachers are working to teach students about a wide variety of topics. If they are trying to do so using the standard lecture model, chances are many of their students are bored to death. Paper.li was designed around the idea that students want to consume information in the same ways that everybody else does. In other words, not through lectures or boring texts, but through relevant content that is delivered in engaging ways such as newsletters.

                      Edmodo

                      Edmodo - safest and easiest way for educators to connect and collaborate with students, parents, and each other.

                        Edmodo is a sort of online social media platform for the classroom. Teachers can create accounts and then invite both students and their parents to connect with them. This platform can be used as a place to engage in discussions, to send out announcements, and to create a collaborative environment involving parents, students, and educators. This is a great tool for those who want a social media type environment without all of the concerns associated with those platforms.

                        Google Cardboard

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                        Google Cardboard - Experience virtual reality in a simple, fun, and affordable way

                          Many teachers have dreamed about getting kids excited and engaged by using virtual reality in the classroom. Unfortunately, even after the technology became mainstream, the cost of putting this technology in the classroom was simply too high. Now, Google has come up with inexpensive virtual reality goggles made from cardboard that has the potential to bring VR into all classes, not just the well-funded ones.

                          Versal

                          Versal - In the classroom or the office, creating powerful, interactive online learning experiences has never been easier

                            This is a free tool for teachers and educators that can be used to create courses for students. These courses might contain videos, interactive timelines, 3D models, and a variety of other content. Teachers can even upload their own existing content or import content from elsewhere on the internet.

                            Periscope

                            Periscope - Explore the world through someone else's eyes

                              Periscope has become a big hit with content marketers and bloggers, but the tool also has great eductional potential. Periscope is an app, created for twitter users that allows them to live stream video broadcasts via their smartphones. Audience members can join in, interact with the periscope user, or watch a video recording of the event after it is over. Teachers can use the app to allow students to create broadcasts and presentations, to connect students with subject matter experts, or to allow students to follow broadcasters who are filming relevant content.

                              Formative

                              Formative - Intervene in the moments that matter most

                                Formative is a platform that teachers may use to give out live, real-time formative assessments and receive results immediately. The teacher simply creates an assignment using the platform, and then has the students complete the assignment from the web enabled devices they have using their student accounts. The teacher can view students answers and provide real-time feedback. Even better, students aren’t limited to multiple choice answers. They can show their work, draw pictures, or find other ways to give their answers.

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                                Last Updated on January 24, 2020

                                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                                10 Good Habits To Have in Life To Be More Successful

                                Habits are behaviors and patterns that you showcase by default. They enable you to carry out crucial activities like taking a shower, brushing your teeth, getting prepared for work.

                                Interestingly, you follow this routine every day without considering them. Your unconscious habits create room for your brain to perform more advanced activities like problem-solving and choosing what book to read.

                                Everyone has habits, and several of those habits are activated every day. I would classify them into three groups:

                                • The first category includes the habits that you hardly notice as they have become a major part of your life- such as brushing teeth or wearing clothes.
                                • The second category comprises good habits to have to be more successful-like eating healthily, exercising your body and reading books.
                                • The last group consists of those habits that are harmful-like procrastinating, smoking or overeating.

                                Habits are fundamental to becoming successful in life — or probably ending up a failure. Yet, as significant as habits are, some lack the knowledge of their capabilities.

                                Habits are default activities that you engage in without giving an afterthought. They are automatic behavioral or mental activities. They help you carry out some actions without exerting too much energy. They simplify your life.

                                Several people aspire to break bad habits. For instance, some people diet to stop overeating. They exercise to reduce obesity. Habits can hinder or impact your performance and productivity.

                                That’s why I would share 10 good habits to have to be more successful in life.

                                1. Begin Your Day with Meditation

                                I recommend mindful meditation early in the morning. This practice helps you to be in the present moment. Consequently, it enables you to be mindful of challenging situations during the day.

                                Different stressors may trigger as you go through the day; meditation helps you to remain calm before taking on the challenges.

                                Personally, it helps me to devise strategies and think about ideas. Meditation is a good habit to have if you want to be connected to what’s significant in your life.

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                                2. Be Grateful for What You Have

                                Sometimes, you waste time thinking of what’s not enough. You become immersed in those daunting challenges. However, challenges justify the presence of hope. When you have life, you have expectations. You will be free from challenges when you are six feet under. The only strategy you have to stop focusing on your problems is to focus on what you have.

                                Gratitude is a time-tested pathway to success, health, and happiness. It redirects your focus to what you have from what you lack. Here’s what James Clear does every day,[1]

                                “I say one thing I’m grateful for each day when I sit down to eat dinner.”

                                3. Smile

                                Can you pause and smile before you continue reading this?

                                Now here is what just happened based on research conducted by the Association for Psychological Science; you set a pace for living a happier life when you smile. A genuine smile or what’s called a Duchenne smile is a good habit to have if you want to find spiritual, emotional and mental peace of mind.[2]

                                Smiling induces the release of molecules that function towards fighting stress. The physiological state of your body determines the state of your mind. When you slouch or frown, your mind takes cues relating to unhappiness and depression. But, once you adjust yourself by putting up a smile, you begin to feel a new level of excitement and vibrancy.

                                Can you smile again?

                                4. Start Your Day with a Healthy Breakfast

                                Starting your day with a healthy breakfast is a good habit to have and forms a crucial part of your life. Nevertheless, about 31 million Americans skip their breakfast each day.[3]

                                If you are fed up hearing that breakfast is a crucial component of your day, you are only fighting the truth. If you want to become more successful, you need to ‘break your fast’ with healthy foods every morning.

                                This habit is not difficult to form if you usually rush out the door every single morning. You can wake up earlier to fix yourself a meal so you don’t break down during the day.

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                                Get inspired by these 20 Healthy Breakfast Choices That Will Save You Time.

                                5. Exercise Daily

                                One of the good habits to have is to exercise your body and muscles every day. You don’t have to run a marathon or lift a weight. You only need to engage in less strenuous activities that oxygenate your blood and inject endorphins in your body.

                                Jack Dorsey, the CEO of Twitter, classified exercise as a good habit to maximize his already jam-packed schedule.[4] He said,

                                ‘I wake up by 5, meditate for 30 minutes, seven-minute workout times three, make coffee, and check-in.’

                                He said on Product Hunt that he follows this routine every day as it gives him a steady-state that empowers him to be more productive.

                                6. Manage Your Time as You Manage Your Finance

                                Another good habit is the act of managing your time effectively. This goes a long way to impact your achievement.

                                Time management is what separates the successful from the rest of the world as we all possess the same amount of time. How you leverage time determines your potential to succeed in life.

                                So how do you manage your time effectively?

                                Here’s Jack Dorsey’s recommendation in one of the Techonomy events;

                                “I accomplish effective time management by theming my days and practicing self-discipline. These themes help me handle distractions and interactions. If a request or task does not align with the theme for that day, I don’t do it. This sets a cadence for everyone in the company to deliver and evaluate their progress”.

                                And this is Dorsey’s weekly theme:[5]

                                • Monday – Management
                                • Tuesdays – Product
                                • Wednesday – Marketing and growth
                                • Thursdays – Developers and partnerships
                                • Fridays – Culture and recruiting
                                • Saturdays – Taking off
                                • Sundays – Reflection, feedback, strategy, and preparing for Monday

                                No wonder he was able to run two companies when others were struggling with one job.

                                7. Set Daily Goals with Intentions

                                Everyone has goals. It may relate to business or personal life. The truth is, we’re all tending towards a particular direction or another. Nevertheless, while long-term goals can offer you direction, it’s your daily goals that you establish that help you develop short-term goals that are essential for your success.

                                Long-term goals may not give you the motivation you need to keep on. But when you implement your short-term milestones daily, you become fired up, and you can overcome the challenges that come with taking on bigger tasks.

                                Here’s the main truth:Successful people don’t set goals without establishing their intentions. According to Jennifer Cohen of Forbes,[6]

                                “What helps you to achieve your desired expectation is ensuring intentions accompany your daily goals.”

                                Be intentional about your daily goals!

                                8. Seek Inspiration

                                It is usually difficult to be inspired for a considerable length of time. Sometimes, you become discouraged and feel like giving up on your goals when things are not working out as intended.

                                A practical approach to stay on top of the situation is to inspire yourself each day. When you wake up in the morning after meditation, watch some motivational videos, and let the story of great leaders inspire you.

                                Establish what Anthony Robbins called the ‘hour of power.’ Determine how many minutes you spend but make it count. Inspiration is the fuel for achievement because when you can conceive it in your mind, you can accomplish it.

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                                Michal Solowow, an investor and the founder of Mitex, a construction company puts it this way,[7]

                                “The problems I encounter in everyday life motivates me to find solutions. This is a self-propelling mechanism. becoming a billionaire was never a motivating factor.”

                                9. Save Steadily, Invest with All Prudence

                                I can exhaust the good habits to have without talking about saving and investing. Most times, you overlook the significance of saving for the future when you are living in your present moment. According to CNBC, a $1000 emergency will propel several Americans into debt.[8]

                                However, it is not enough to save, and you must invest your fund and be wise with it. If you pay attention to this now, you will set yourself for a life of success in the future. Ensure you save at least six months in your emergency account so you can be prepared for any future emergency.

                                10. Budget and Track Your Spendings

                                Benjamin Franklin warned of taking the precaution of little expenses. He said,

                                “A small leak sinks a great ship.”

                                It is easy to discard little expenses, but the truth is they always add up. This happens when you fail to budget.

                                Budgeting is a good habit to have, which can impact your financial life significantly. The money you spend on extravagant lifestyles can be saved and invested in your future.

                                The Bottom Line

                                Endeavor to cultivate these good habits to have to become more successful as you journey through life. The quicker you cultivate them, the faster you achieve your goals.

                                More About Habits

                                Featured photo credit: Andrijana Bozic via unsplash.com

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