I just read an article at Edudemic entitiled “20 Must-Have Educational Resources For All Teachers“. In this article, the author writes about the devices and web-resources that he feels are must have’s for education. In it, he challenges the readers to create their own list too. I agree with much of his list, but thought I’d make my own list a little differently.
1. COMPUTER, PROJECTOR, SPEAKERS - with these, you can find resources, create lessons, and share materials with your students through the projector.
2. SMARTPHONE - I also believe that every educator should have a smartphone. A smartphone lets you access your files, emails, and stay connected with the school, students, parents, and colleagues. It’s even saved me when my school computer was down and I had to access my notes on my smartphone. A tablet is another option.
3. WAY TO CONTROL COMPUTER REMOTELY - an interactive whiteboard, Mimio Teach system, or presentation remote control. With these, you are more able to move around the room, allow students to use the technology, and be more interactive. The Mimio teach system is an excellent alternative to SMART Boards and the Mimio pad is a fun way for students to control things from their seats. I have a Mimio and a Keyspan presentation remote control.
4. STUDENT ACCESS TO TECHNOLOGY - students need access to technology, whether computers in a classroom, a computer lab, laptop cart, tablets, or their own. This makes the learning more student centered than if the teacher is in front of the class and the only one using technology.
Apps and Web Resources:
1. EVERNOTE – Evernote is my favorite, and most used resource. I have all of my lesson plans, resources, web clippings, lesson schedule, meeting notes, misc. notes, task lists, reference materials and much more on here. I can access my notes anywhere and can even share notes with others.
2. CLOUD FILE STORAGE/SYNC - without apps like Dropbox and Sugarsync I’d be in trouble. All of my files are backed up on these systems and I can access my files from any web browser and from my smartphone. No need to carry flash drives or worry about a computer crash destroying my files and I can even share folders with others.
3. GOOGLE for EDUCATORS - I use tons of resources from Google, from Gmail, Calendar, Blogger, Sites, iGoogle to Google+, Search, and more. The resources are excellent quality, extremely useful, and free. Teachers can create websites and blogs for their students, get organized and communicate, connect with other educators, and so much more.
4. DISCOVERY EDUCATION FREE RESOURCES - these resources allow teachers to find lesson resources and even create lesson resources and provide engaging materials to use with students.
5. COURSE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM and GRADEBOOK - it is very important for teachers to have a way to post resources online for their students, have due dates, upcoming events, parent information and even student grades available online. Some schools provide these, others don’t. I use Google Sites and Blogger to post student resources, lesson schedule, due dates, and more with my students. Our district has PowerSchool for attendance and grade so parents and students always know how they are doing. Here are some other course management and grade book systems: Engrade, Schoology, Edmodo, My Big Campus, CourseKit, and LearnBoost.
Help and other Resources:
1. PERSONAL LEARNING NETWORK - A Personal Learning Network (PLN, PLC) is a must have for all educators. It is simple a network of peers and colleagues that you can turn to to share, connect, learn and discuss education ideas, topics, lesson resources, and more. It can be the teachers in your department, building, district, or from around the world. I use Twitter and Google+ to connect with educators from around the world. I learn about resources and lesson ideas, pedagogy, educational issues. I share resources and ideas with them. We learn and connect and support each other.
What would your list of teacher essentials look like?