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20 Technology Tools Educators Should Use

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

                                        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 September 30, 2020

                                          Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                                          Effective vs Efficient: What’s the Difference Regarding Productivity?

                                          When it comes to being effective vs efficient, there are a lot of similarities, and because of this, they’re often misused and misinterpreted, both in daily use and application.

                                          Every business should look for new ways to improve employee effectiveness and efficiency to save time and energy in the long term. Just because a company or employee has one, however, doesn’t necessarily mean that the other is equally present.

                                          Utilizing both an effective and efficient methodology in nearly any capacity of work and life will yield high levels of productivity, while a lack of it will lead to a lack of positive results.

                                          Before we discuss the various nuances between the word effective and efficient and how they factor into productivity, let’s break things down with a definition of their terms.

                                          Effective vs Efficient

                                          Effective is defined as “producing a decided, decisive, or desired effect.” Meanwhile, the word “efficient ” is defined as “capable of producing desired results with little or no waste (as of time or materials).”[1]

                                          A rather simple way of explaining the differences between the two would be to consider a light bulb. Say that your porch light burned out and you decided that you wanted to replace the incandescent light bulb outside with an LED one. Either light bulb would be effective in accomplishing the goal of providing you with light at night, but the LED one would use less energy and therefore be the more efficient choice.

                                          Now, if you incorrectly set a timer for the light, and it was turned on throughout the entire day, then you would be wasting energy. While the bulb is still performing the task of creating light in an efficient manner, it’s on during the wrong time of day and therefore not effective.

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                                          The effective way is focused on accomplishing the goal, while the efficient method is focused on the best way of accomplishing the goal.

                                          Whether we’re talking about a method, employee, or business, the subject in question can be either effective or efficient, or, in rare instances, they can be both.

                                          When it comes to effective vs efficient, the goal of achieving maximum productivity is going to be a combination where the subject is effective and as efficient as possible in doing so.

                                          Effectiveness in Success and Productivity

                                          Being effective vs efficient is all about doing something that brings about the desired intent or effect[2]. If a pest control company is hired to rid a building’s infestation, and they employ “method A” and successfully completed the job, they’ve been effective at achieving the task.

                                          The task was performed correctly, to the extent that the pest control company did what they were hired to do. As for how efficient “method A” was in completing the task, that’s another story.

                                          If the pest control company took longer than expected to complete the job and used more resources than needed, then their efficiency in completing the task wasn’t particularly good. The client may feel that even though the job was completed, the value in the service wasn’t up to par.

                                          When assessing the effectiveness of any business strategy, it’s wise to ask certain questions before moving forward:

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                                          • Has a target solution to the problem been identified?
                                          • What is the ideal response time for achieving the goal?
                                          • Does the cost balance out with the benefit?

                                          Looking at these questions, a leader should ask to what extent a method, tool, or resource meets the above criteria and achieve the desired effect. If the subject in question doesn’t hit any of these marks, then productivity will likely suffer.

                                          Efficiency in Success and Productivity

                                          Efficiency is going to account for the resources and materials used in relation to the value of achieving the desired effect. Money, people, inventory, and (perhaps most importantly) time, all factor into the equation.

                                          When it comes to being effective vs efficient, efficiency can be measured in numerous ways[3]. In general, the business that uses fewer materials or that is able to save time is going to be more efficient and have an advantage over the competition. This is assuming that they’re also effective, of course.

                                          Consider a sales team for example. Let’s say that a company’s sales team is tasked with making 100 calls a week and that the members of that team are hitting their goal each week without any struggle.

                                          The members on the sales team are effective in hitting their goal. However, the question of efficiency comes into play when management looks at how many of those calls turn into solid connections and closed deals.

                                          If less than 10 percent of those calls generate a connection, the productivity is relatively low because the efficiency is not adequately balancing out with the effect. Management can either keep the same strategy or take a new approach.

                                          Perhaps they break up their sales team with certain members handling different parts of the sales process, or they explore a better way of connecting with their customers through a communications company.

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                                          The goal is ultimately going to be finding the right balance, where they’re being efficient with the resources they have to maximize their sales goals without stretching themselves too thin. Finding this balance is often easier said than done, but it’s incredibly important for any business that is going to thrive.

                                          Combining Efficiency and Effectiveness to Maximize Productivity

                                          Being effective vs efficient works best if both are pulled together for the best results.

                                          If a business is ineffective in accomplishing its overall goal, and the customer doesn’t feel that the service is equated with the cost, then efficiency becomes largely irrelevant. The business may be speedy and use minimal resources, but they struggle to be effective. This may put them at risk of going under.

                                          It’s for this reason that it’s best to shoot for being effective first, and then work on bringing efficiency into practice.

                                          Improving productivity starts with taking the initiative to look at how effective a company, employee, or method is through performance reviews. Leaders should make a point to regularly examine performance at all levels on a whole, and take into account the results that are being generated.

                                          Businesses and employees often succumb to inefficiency because they don’t look for a better way, or they lack the proper tools to be effective in the most efficient manner possible.

                                          Similar to improving a manager or employee’s level of effectiveness, regularly measuring the resources needed to obtain the desired effect will ensure that efficiency is being accounted for. This involves everything from keeping track of inventory and expenses, to how communication is handled within an organization.

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                                          By putting in place a baseline value for key metrics and checking them once changes have been made, a company will have a much better idea of the results they’re generating.

                                          It’s no doubt a step-by-step process. By making concentrated efforts, weakness can be identified and rectified sooner rather than later when the damage is already done.

                                          Bottom Line

                                          Understanding the differences between being effective vs efficient is key when it comes to maximizing productivity. It’s simply working smart so that the intended results are achieved in the best way possible. Finding the optimal balance should be the ultimate goal for employees and businesses:

                                          • Take the steps that result in meeting the solution.
                                          • Review the process and figure out how to do it better.
                                          • Repeat the process with what has been learned in a more efficient manner.

                                          And just like that, effective and efficient productivity is maximized.

                                          More on How to Improve Productivity

                                          Featured photo credit: Tim van der Kuip via unsplash.com

                                          Reference

                                          [1] Merriam-Webster: effective and efficient
                                          [2] Mind Tools: Being Effective at Work
                                          [3] Inc.: 8 Things Really Efficient People Do

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