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20 Technology Tools Educators Should Use

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20 Technology Tools Educators Should Use

Old-school educators may feel intimidated by the new trends involved in the classroom, but that should only challenge them to make their classes more interesting for the students. There are various online solutions that can really promote the process of education by enabling teachers to organize the classroom activities and inspire students to get more involved. This article will list 20 new apps that promise great potential in terms of education enhancement.

1. Writinghouse.org

whitehouse.com

    Are you looking for an easy way to create your textbooks according to the widely-accepted referencing styles? Citation generator Writinghouse will automatically take care of the citations and bibliographies and format them according to the referencing style you choose (APA, Chicago or MLA).

    2. HowStuffWorks

    how stuff works

      This website is a valuable source of information you can use in the classroom. It explains thousands of topics in an understandable way that your students will find interesting.

      3. HippoCampus

      Hippo Games

        This interesting online project provides multimedia content that can be used for enhancing the quality of general education subjects.

        4. Fun Brain

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        Fun Brain

          It is time to acknowledge the fact that your students are influenced by technology, so you should accept that trend and turn it to your advantage. This website provides games with real educational value for young students.

          5. First In Math

          First In Math

            This online tool can be used to make math skills interesting for young students. It features online games that encourage kids to learn math because they get rewards and stickers from their teachers as they progress.

            6. DoSomething.org

            DoSomething.org

              Every teacher should encourage their students to take part in social campaigns and make an effort to bring positive changes into the society. This website is the perfect source of inspiration that takes students towards real action.

              7. Exploratorium

              Exploratorium

                Did you think that nothing could ever make science fun for your students? Implement this website into the classroom activities and watch how the impossible turns into reality.

                8. Cool Math

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                Cool Math

                  This website features various games that are safe to be used in the classroom and make school subjects interesting for your students. Besides math games, the website is also a source of geography, science, and reading games.

                  9. Edmondo

                  Edmondo

                    This online collaboration hub can inspire your students to use their full learning potential. It makes social media useful by providing customized classrooms that can enhance the learning and teaching experience.

                    10. Collaborize Classroom

                    Collaborize Classroom

                      This is a free collaborative platform that complements your classroom instructions with additional assignments, activities and discussions your students can access after class.

                      11. Weebly

                      Collaborize Classroom

                        This website enables teachers to develop a site or blog for their classroom, which can be used for easy communication with both students and their parents.

                        12. Spelling City

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                        Spelling City

                          This online tool offers games that make the learning experience very easy for young children. They can play writing, vocabulary, and spelling games that will make their education more interesting.

                          13. Starfall

                          Starfall

                            This website can help you teach young children to read through fun online games and interesting interactive storybooks.

                            14. Scratch

                            Scratch

                              Scratch is another website intended to be used by the younger population. However, it teaches them something different than reading and vocabulary–children are invited to create their own stories, animations, and games via this online tool.

                              15. Raz Kids

                              Raz Kids

                                This online source provides an entire curriculum of reading lessons in the form of cute online books. Students from a wide range of ages can use this website to improve their reading skills, and the teacher corner enables the educators to monitor their students’ progress.

                                16. Schoology

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                                Schoology

                                  This is a unique social network and learning management system that can be used by both teachers and students for the development of academic content. The website also allows users to share the content they create.

                                  17. Scholastic Kids Press Corps

                                  Scholastic Kids Press Corps

                                    Your students should be interested in reading news that is appropriate for their age, and this website is the best way to inspire this habit. Teachers are encouraged to incorporate the news they find on this website into their classes.

                                    18. MyBackPack

                                    MyBackPack

                                      Teachers have always been trying to find the most effective way of communication with their students’ parents. This website provides a solution to their problems, by allowing them to share real-time updates on the schedule, grades, and class attendance.

                                      19. iCivics

                                      iCivics

                                        This website will inspire ideas about making positive changes in the community, so educators should definitely present it to their students.

                                        20. Melody Street

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                                        Melody Street

                                          Music is already interesting for young students, but learning about notes and different instruments isn’t an easy process. This website makes everything easy because the instruments come to life and teach music lessons in a fun way.

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                                          Last Updated on October 7, 2021

                                          Are You Addicted to Productivity?

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                                          Are You Addicted to Productivity?

                                          “It’s great to be productive. It really is. But sometimes, we chase productivity so much that it makes us, well, unproductive. It’s easy to read a lot about how to be more productive, but don’t forget that you have to make that time up.”

                                          Matt Cutts wrote that back in 2013,[1]

                                          “Today, search for ‘productivity’ and Google will come back with about 663,000,000 results. If you decide to go down this rabbit hole, you’ll be bombarded by a seemingly endless amount of content. I’m talking about books, blogs, videos, apps, podcasts, scientific studies, and subreddits all dedicated to productivity.”

                                          Like so many other people, I’ve also fallen into this trap. For years I’ve been on the lookout for trends and hacks that will help me work faster and more efficiently — and also trends that help me help others to be faster. I’ve experimented with various strategies and tools . And, while some of these strategies and solutions have been extremely useful — without parsing out what you need quickly — it’s counterproductive.

                                          Sometimes you end up spending more time focusing on how to be productive instead of actually being productive.

                                          “The most productive people I know don’t read these books, they don’t watch these videos, they don’t try a new app every month,” James Bedell wrote in a Medium post.[2] “They are far too busy getting things done to read about Getting Things Done.”

                                          This is my mantra:

                                          I proudly say, “I am addicted to productivity — I want to be addicted to productivity — productivity is my life and my mission — and I also want to find the best way to lead others through productivity to their best selves.

                                          But most of the time productivity means putting your head down and working until the job’s done.” –John Rampton

                                          Addiction to Productivity is Real

                                          Dr. Sandra Chapman, director of the University of Texas at Dallas Center for BrainHealth points out that the brain can get addicted to productivity just as it can to more common sources of addiction, such as drugs, gambling, eating, and shopping.

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                                          “A person might crave the recognition their work gives them or the salary increases they get,” Chapman told the BBC.[3] “The problem is that just like all addictions, over time, a person needs more and more to be satisfied, and then it starts to work against you. Withdrawal symptoms include increased anxiety, depression, and fear.”

                                          Despite the harmful consequences, addiction is considered by some experts as a brain disease that affects the brain’s reward system and ends in compulsive behavior. Regardless, society tends to reward productivity — or at least to treat it positively. As a result, this makes the problem even worse.

                                          “It’s seen like a good thing: the more you work, the better,” adds Chapman. “Many people don’t realize the harm it causes until a divorce occurs and a family is broken apart, or the toll it takes on mental health.”

                                          Because of the occasional negative issues with productivity, it’s no surprise that it is considered a “mixed-blessing addiction.”

                                          “A workaholic might be earning a lot of money, just as an exercise addict is very fit,” explains Dr. Mark Griffiths, distinguished professor of behavioral addiction at Nottingham Trent University. “But the thing about any addiction is that in the long run, the detrimental effects outweigh any short-term benefits.”

                                          “There may be an initial period where the individual who is developing a work addiction is more productive than someone who isn’t addicted to work, but it will get to a point when they are no longer productive, and their health and relationships are affected,” Griffiths writes in Psychology Today.[4] “It could be after one year or more, but if the individual doesn’t do anything about it, they could end up having serious health consequences.”

                                          “For instance, I speculated that the consequences of work addiction may be reclassified as something else: If someone ends up dying of a work-related heart attack, it isn’t necessarily seen as having anything to do with an addiction per se – it might be attributed to something like burnout,” he adds.

                                          There Are Three “Distinct Extreme Productivity Types

                                          Cyril Peupion, a Sydney-based productivity expert, has observed extreme productivity among clients at both large and medium-sized companies. “Most people who come to me are high performers and very successful. But often, the word they use to describe their work style is ‘unsustainable,’ and they need help getting it back on track.”

                                          By changing their work habits, Peupion assists teams and individuals improve their performance and ensure that their efforts are aligned with the overarching strategy of the business, rather than focusing on work as a means to an end. He has distinguished three types of extreme productivity in his classification: efficiency obsessive, selfishly productive, and quantity-obsessed.

                                          Efficiency obsessive. “Their desks are super tidy and their pens are probably color-coded. They are the master of ‘inbox zero.’ But they have lost sight of the big picture, and don’t know the difference between efficiency and effectiveness.”

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                                          Selfishly productive. “They are so focused on their own world that if they are asked to do something outside of it, they aren’t interested. They do have the big picture in mind, but the picture is too much about them.”

                                          Quantity-obsessed. “They think; ‘The more emails I respond to, the more meetings I attend, the more tasks I do, the higher my performance.’ As a result, they face a real risk of burnout.”

                                          Peupion believes that “quantity obsessed” individuals are the most common type “because there is a pervasive belief that ‘more’ means ‘better’ at work.”

                                          The Warning Signs of Productivity Addiction

                                          Here are a few questions you should ask yourself if you think you may be succumbing to productivity addiction. After all, most of us aren’t aware of this until it’s too late.

                                          • Can you tell when you’re “wasting” time? If so, have you ever felt guilty about it?
                                          • Does technology play a big part in optimizing your time management?
                                          • Do you talk about how busy you are most of the time? In your opinion, is hustling better than doing less?
                                          • What is your relationship with your email inbox? Are you constantly checking it or experience phantom notifications?
                                          • When you only check one item off your list, do you feel guilty?
                                          • Does stress from work interfere with your sleep?
                                          • Have you been putting things off, like a vacation or side project, because you’re “too swamped?

                                          The first step toward turning around your productivity obsession is to recognize it. If you answered “yes” to any of the above questions, then it’s time to make a plan to overcome your addiction to productivity.

                                          Overcoming Your Productivity Addiction

                                          Thankfully, there are ways to curb your productivity addiction. And, here are 9 such ways to achieve that goal.

                                          1. Set Limits

                                          Just because you’re hooked on productivity doesn’t mean you have to completely abstain from it. Instead, you need to establish boundaries.

                                          For example, there are a lot of amazing productivity podcasts out there. But, that doesn’t mean you have to listen to them all in the course of a day. Instead, you could listen to one or two podcasts, like The Productivity Podcast or Before Breakfast, during your commute. And, that would be your only time of the day to get your productivity fix.

                                          2. Create a Not-to-Do List

                                          Essentially, the idea of a not-to-do list is to eliminate the need to practice self-discipline. Getting rid of low-value tasks and bad habits will allow you to focus on what you really want to do as opposed to weighing the pros and cons or declining time requests. More importantly, this prevents you from feeling guilty about not crossing everything off an unrealistic to-do list.

                                          3. Be Vulnerable

                                          By this, I mean admitting where you could improve. For example, if you’re new to remote work and are struggling with thi s, you would only focus on topics in this area. Suggestions would be how to create a workspace at home, not getting distracted when the kids aren’t in school, or improving remote communication and collaboration with others.

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                                          4. Understand Why You Procrastinate

                                          Often, we procrastinate to minimize negative emotions like boredom or stress. Other times it could be because it’s a learned trait, underestimating how long it takes you to complete something or having a bias towards a task.

                                          Regardless of the exact reason, we end up doing busy work, scrolling social media, or just watching one more episode of our favorite TV series. And, even though we know that it’s not for the best, we do things that make us feel better than the work we should do to restore our mood.[5]

                                          There are a lot of ways to overcome procrastination. But, the first step is to be aware of it so that you can take action. For example, if you’re dreading a difficult task, don’t just watch Netflix. Instead, procrastinate more efficiently,y like returning a phone call or working on a client pitch.

                                          5. Don’t Be a Copycat

                                          Let’s keep this short and sweet. When you find a productivity app or technique that works for you, stick with it.

                                          That’s not to say that you can’t make adjustments along the way or try new tools or hacks. However, the main takeaway should be that just because someone swears by the Pomodoro Technique doesn’t mean it’s a good fit for you.

                                          6. Say Yes to Less

                                          Across the board, your philosophy should be less is more.

                                          That means only download the apps you actually use and want to keep (after you try them out) and uninstall the ones you don’t use. For example, are you currently reading a book on productivity? Don’t buy your next book until you’ve finished the one you’re currently reading (or permit yourself to toss a book that isn’t doing you any good). — and if you really want to finish a book more quickly, listen to the book on your way to work and back.

                                          Already have plans this weekend? Don’t commit to a birthday party. And, if you’re day is booked, decline that last-minute meeting request.

                                          7. Stop Focusing on What’s Next

                                          “In the age when purchasing a thing from overseas is just one click and talking to another person is one swipe right, acquiring new objects or experiences can be addictive like anything else,” writes Patrick Banks for Lifehack .

                                          “That doesn’t need to be you,” he adds. “You can stop your addition to ‘the next thing’ starting today.” After all, “there will always be this next thing if you don’t make a conscious decision to get your life back together and be the one in charge.”

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                                          • Think about your current lifestyle and the person you’re at this stage to help you identify what you aren’t satisfied with.
                                          • By setting clear goals for yourself in the future, you will be able to overcome your addiction.
                                          • Establish realistic goals.
                                          • To combat addiction, you must be aware of what is going on around you, as well as inside your head, at any given time.
                                          • Don’t spend time with people who have unhealthy behaviors.
                                          • Hold yourself accountable.
                                          • Keep a journal and write out what you want to overcome.
                                          • Appreciate no longer being addicted to what’s next.

                                          8. Simplify

                                          Each day, pick one priority task. That’s it. As long as you concentrate on one task at a time, you will be less likely to get distracted or overwhelmed by an endless list of tasks. A simple mantra to live by is: work smarter, not harder.

                                          The same is also accurate with productivity hacks and tools. Bullet journaling is a great example. Unfortunately, for many, a bullet journal is way more time-consuming and overwhelming than a traditional planner.

                                          9. Learn How to Relax

                                          “Sure, we need to produce sometimes, especially if we have to pay the bills, but, banning obsession with productivity is unhealthy,” writes Leo Babauta. “When you can’t get yourself to be productive, relax.” Don’t worry about being hyper-efficient. And, don’t beat yourself up about having fun.

                                          “But what if you can’t motivate yourself … ever?” he asks. “Sure, that can be a problem. But if you relax and enjoy yourself, you’ll be happier.”

                                          “And if you work when you get excited, on things you’re excited about, and create amazing things, that’s motivation,” Leo states. “Not forcing yourself to work when you don’t want to, on things you don’t want to work on — motivation is doing things you love when you get excited.”

                                          But, how exactly can you relax? Here are some tips from Leo;

                                          • Spend 5 minutes walking outside and breathe in the fresh air.
                                          • Give yourself more time to accomplish things. Less rushing means less stress.
                                          • If you can, get outside after work to enjoy nature.
                                          • Play like a child. Even better? Play with your kids. And, have fun at work — maybe give gamification a try .
                                          • Take the day off, rest, and do something non-work-related.
                                          • Allow yourself an hour of time off. Try not to be productive during that time. Just relax.
                                          • You should work with someone who is exciting. Make your project exciting.
                                          • Don’t work in the evenings. Seriously.
                                          • Visit a massage therapist.
                                          • Just breathe.

                                          “Step by step, learn to relax,” he suggests. “Learn that productivity isn’t everything.” For that statement, sorry Leo, I say productivity isn’t everything — it’s the only thing.” However, if you can’t cut loose, relax, do fun things, and do the living part of your life — you’ll crack in a big way — you really will.

                                          It’s great to create and push forward — just remember it doesn’t mean that every minute must be spent working or obsessing over productivity issues. Instead, invest your time in meaningful, high-impact work, get into it, focus, put in big time and then relax.

                                          Are You Addicted to Productivity? was originally published on Calendar by John Rampton.

                                          Featured photo credit: Christina @ wocintechchat.com via unsplash.com

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