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Top 19 Tools and Resources to Innovate Your Classroom

Top 19 Tools and Resources to Innovate Your Classroom

It’s no secret that students are preoccupied with the Internet. They are inseparable from their smartphones and tablets, so teachers have hard time making them understand that classes are for learning, not browsing, Tweeting and texting.

So how about using a slightly different approach that can make everyone happy? Instead of forbidding your students to use their tech devices, you can find a way to use them on behalf of your lectures. Here are my top 19 tools and resources to innovate your classroom.

1. LearnBoost

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    LearnBoost will help you record, sort and organize each student’s progress. This is the best way to share grades with your students and their parents.

    2. Schoolbinder

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      Schoolbinder is a free online student organizer that enables you to create a class page and add, organize and edit assignments for your students.

      3. My Big Campus

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        My Big Campus provides all the resources you and your students need to bring some innovation into the classroom. Your students can access the platform through their tablets and smartphones for the purpose of learning, so everyone will end up happy.

        4. The Together Teacher

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          The Together Teacher provides many resources that will help you maintain an organized classroom, including project ideas, to-do lists, plan templates for your lessons, sub plans, and many more resources.

          5. MyHistro

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            MyHistro enables your students to combine Google maps, media and blogging to create interactive timelines and tell personal stories, which will greatly increase the collaboration in your classroom.

            6. Dipity

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              Dipity will enable your students to create timelines for class purposes. Presenting creative timelines in a fun slideshow will convince them that learning is fun.

              7. SonicPics

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                SonicPics enables users to add recorded narration to pictures and create a threaded story. This feature can find multiple uses in the classroom, including custom presentations, curriculum reviewing, and personal narratives.

                8. MindMeister

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                  MindMeister is a mind-mapping tool that will enable your students to develop and organize their ideas for class projects by encouraging collaborative brainstorming.

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                  9. Glogster EDU

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                    Glogster EDU will enable you and your students to create interactive online posters that combine graphics, videos, photos, sounds, text, and much more.

                    10. ClassDojo

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                      ClassDojo will help you improve the classroom behavior by awarding points to students who behave well.

                      11. Remind101

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                        Remind101 is a safe and simple way to send group text messages to your students and their parents, so you can send notifications and reminders without invading their privacy.

                        12. Socrative

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                          Socrative will help you engage your students beyond the classroom by sending quizzes and other educational exercises that will make the process of learning and testing fun.

                          13. Edmondo

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                            Edmodo is a social platform, similar to Facebook, which you can use to continue the class discussion after your students leave the classroom.

                            14. CollaborizeClassroom

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                              CollaborizeClassroom will allow you to create a personalized learning site that will leave your students prepared for the activities in class by collaborating and helping each other.

                              15. Prezi

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                                Prezi will change the way you and your students make presentations in class, by incorporating a visually stimulating canvas that’s much more appealing than the usual slide-by-slide presentation.

                                16. Projeqt

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                                  Projeqt is one of the best ways to inspire your students to express their creativity and learn through an intuitive platform for creating dynamic presentations.

                                  17. Gnowledge

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                                    Gnowledge will enable you to create and share tests with your students and fellow educators. The website provides various test resources that will make that process easier.

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                                    18. Mentimeter

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                                      Mentimeter allows you to share questions with your students and enables them to send instant feedback through their tablets or smartphones.

                                      19. ClassMarker

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                                        ClassMarker is a great way to create secure online exams and quizzes with multiple types of questions. The tests will be automatically graded, saving you a lot of time and effort.

                                        Conclusion

                                        Today’s teachers have to roll with the educational innovations if they want to stay connected with their students. The times of “ex cathedra” teaching are long gone, so now every teacher has to reinvent their approach in the classroom in order to motivate students to get involved and interested in learning.

                                        Your students’ gadgets don’t have to be a distraction now that you know how to use them with the purpose of creating a more inspiring learning environment.

                                        Featured photo credit: Richard Lee via flickr.com

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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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