I'll spend the next few days looking at useful sites and apps for teachers to use in the classroom. Technology has become a crucial tool in education that can not only save time but enhance a student's learning experience. Using technology, kids interact with the world and organize information they learn in new ways. As teachers, we can expand both how we teach and the content we teach. 

We'll start by looking at tools to help you brainstorm ideas for lesson plans and visually create them. While today's tools are most useful for a teacher to use, in the next few days we'll discuss different sites and apps specifically created for kids' use. 

Lesson Planning Tools

  • Planboard: You can search through posted lesson plans, collaborate with teachers across the world, plan out your lessons and units, and ensure that your lessons are aligned with Common Core Standards. 

  • Mastery Connect: Track student's mastery of standards, share resources such as assessments with an online community of teachers, and access tools that make grading easier. 

  • Youtube EDU: Find educational videos to supplement your lessons. The content ranges from young elementary appropriate to college-level. Also useful for finding supplemental videos: Ted-Ed.

  • Google in Education: Connect with other teachers and share lesson plans, resources, assessment tools, etc. Get organized with Google Docs, Groups, and Calendar. There are also plenty of education apps along with tons of other resources- you can spend a whole day just on this site alone. 

  • Quizlet: Need to assess students' mastery of the content after a lesson? Create your own quiz or browse through pre-made quizzes. 

Lesson Presentation Tools (ever miss when you had to copy pages and pages of notes from the blackboard? No? Neither do we. There are so many better ways to present content these days, from Smartboard presentations to interactive slideshows)

  • Prezi: Create presentations and share them with others. Get inspired by viewing tons of uploaded presentations. 

  • Slideshare: Upload materials you create, such as videos and presentations, and share them with your students or fellow teachers. View presentations others have posted. 

  • TimeToast: Add a timeline into your lesson with this easy-to-use timeline builder. 

  • Glogster: Mash up photos, videos, and music to create a cohesive presentation. You can add effects and animation to make your lesson unique.   

  • Jing: Take a screenshot or record your mouse movements on the computer to create narrated tutorials. 

Are there any lesson planning and presentation tools you love to use? Share them in the comments!