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Students today are different than they were five or even 10 years ago. Their lives are flooded with technology and students want to use this tech to create in a variety of ways. Think about the times in your teaching career when you assigned an open ended project, meaning students could turn it in however they chose, were you surprised that all students selected to turn in a typed paper or create a slide presentation?

I have been more intentional lately about asking students what technology they are using at home to support their learning and to complete homework and presentations. The answer I receive over and over again is a word processing and slide presentation software (mainly Word and PowerPoint). At best YouTube and iMovie are thrown in there too. Although these programs can increase engagement and support learning, there are many web and mobile device applications that can extend the learning outside the classroom and provide a platform for promoting student voice and choice. Keeping up-to-date with the latest technology trends can be a daunting task, so let me take a load off your shoulders. YOU do not have to be the technology expert. You are the content expert.You do, however, have to be willing to allow your students the freedom to choose how they want to demonstrate their learning. Sometimes they may need some guidance about how to do this, so here are a few application ideas allowing students to choose how they want to demonstrate their learning.  

Let’s start easy. Next time you assign a poster project, in addition to a physical poster, provide a few other choices and see what you get! Here are four technology tools for creating a digital poster. Remember: You don’t have to be the technology expert. Let them try these tools at home to show what they know in a new way.

Tool: Thinglink

Link: thinglink.com

Tutorial: ThingLink Educational Tutorials

Example: Elementary ThingLink Example

               Middle School ThingLink Example

               High School ThingLink Example

Price: Free

Device: Multi device web tool, mobile device app

Difficulty: Beginner

Twitter: @ThingLink


Tool: Tackk

Link: tackk.com/

Student Example: tackk.com/InfiniteCrystals, tackk.com/kittishognosedbat, tackk.com/nhm8bp

Tutorial: Video Tutorial (Click “Watch Demo Video”)

Price: Free

Device: Multi device web tool and mobile app

Difficulty: Beginner

Twitter: @Tackk


Tool: Padlet

Link: padlet.com/

Tutorial: Feature Videos, My tutorial of settings

Example: The Odyssey Timeline

Price: Free

Device: Multi device web tool, mobile device app

Difficulty: Beginner

Twitter: @Padlet


Tool: Visme

Link: visme.co/

Tutorial: blog.visme.co/

Example: Student Technology Infographic By Kathy Schrock

Price: Free with an optional paid upgrade

Device: Multi device web tool

Difficulty: Intermediate

Twitter: @VismeApp

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