To be an effective adult in the workplace, you need to communicate your ideas in a clear and concise manner. To collaborate on group presentations in college, you need to share your ideas and listen to the ideas of others. How do we develop these skills? It all starts in elementary and middle school. 

Collaboration no longer happens solely within the four walls of a classroom. Students connect online with both their classmates and with peers around the world. Here are some tools that facilitate social learning: 

  • Skype: All you need is a webcam to chat with people down the block or on the other side of the world. 

  • ePals: Digital pen pals! Find a classroom or project to connect with. 

  • Edublogs: Create a classroom blog where you can communicate with your students or where students can upload their own posts. 

  • Wikispaces: Create a classroom workspace where students can communicate and work on writing projects. Teachers can assign students into teams and manage the completion of their projects. 

  • Open Study: Just what it sounds like! Students can meet other students, study together, and get live help. 

  • Edmodo: A place for students and teachers to collaborate. Teachers can continue classroom discussions online, give polls to check for student understanding, and award badges to individual students based on performance or behavior.

This marks the end of our technology in the classroom blog series! I hope you've discovered a new resource or two that you're excited to implement this coming year. There's an overwhelming amount of digital tools available and it can be tricky when you want to implement them all at once! The key is to start small- choose just one website or app that will seamlessly integrate into your current teaching style. When you're comfortable with that tool, choose one more. Before you know it, you'll have a tech savvy classroom!


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