My name is Dale Borgeson and my tech team hails from Temecula, CA where I have managed a classroom for 33 years. This year we have high hopes that our players (education technology) will take us all the way to the postseason.
It’s time to start getting your starting nine ready for Opening Day. Every team is a balance of veterans, consistent everyday players, and rookies. Your classroom educational technology roster should be no different. A wise manager will also have a talented cadre of players on their bench.
Here is my team, my bench reserves, and my superb coaching staff. What would your team look like?
The Starting Lineup
1. Brain Shark – My go to presentation tool. The tools are easy to use and we use it across the curriculum in my classroom.
2. Learn Zillion – A real professional. Learn Zillion just keeps getting better and better. They have outstanding teacher created videos aligned with the common core for math and language arts.
3. ScootPad - A real heavy hitter! Teachers assign online practice to their students aligned to the Common Core. It’s very motivating for students and parents can follow their child’s performance.
4. TenMarks – Ten Marks, an online mathematics tutoring service, offers a free program for teachers. Ten Marks for educators is designed to be a supplement to classroom instruction, not a replacement for it. If a student gets stuck on a problem he or she can open a tutorial to help him or her through the problem.
5. Poll Daddy – I use Polldaddy to gauge my team’s morale and attitude. It’s a free poll and survey service. You can embed their tools on your classroom website and this brings interest to your site.
6. Jib Jab -A veteran player that keeps up the team morale. Jib Jab probably brings more kids to my website than anything else. Create personalized animated shorts for all seasons. Every clubhouse needs a player that keeps things loose. This is the only website that I have paid for with an upgraded membership, $10 annual fee
7. The Borgeson Bunch – Wreaking of nepotism, I’ve added my own classroom website to the line-up. Only in its second season, it is proving to be a real winner and the future looks bright for this professional.
8. Screenr – You have got to keep coaching all the time, not just in spring training. Screenr is a superb tool to create screencasts. I have used it many times to make tutorials that I embed on my website. Parents and students can view them as often as needed.
9. Kid Blog – It is necessary to have open communication with your team. With Kid Blog you have a great tool for kids to practice their writing skills and talk to the group.
Reserves / Bench:
Remind101 – A super communication tool for teachers. Register your class (their parents) to receive text messages you send out via your computer. No numbers are visible to users. A fantastic way to keep everyone up to date.
Yokto – A very versatile player. Yokto allows me to collect my videos in individual video players for every topic I need. They can be embedded in your website for you and the students to access.
SpeakPipe – I have added SpeakPipe to my classroom homepage and with a single click visitors can send me a recorded audio message that I receive via email. I can email send audio messages in return!
Voki – Who doesn’t love talking avatars. I use them throughout my site to peak interest and my students use Voki for projects and I then embed their work on our site.
Edmodo – As you most likely know Edmodo is a social gathering place with lots of extra functions. It has the look of Facebook for students. We use it to stay in touch with our pen pals in La Crosse, Wisconsin.
Pixlr – A superb photo editing service that everyone should know about. We just created collages for geometric shapes and have them featured on our website.
Tagxedo – A very versatile word cloud creator. Students have used it in a variety of ways to share what they have learned. Our most common use is in creating masterpieces from our weekly spelling list.
Songza – Just recently added to our team! Songza replaces Pandora who we had to let go. This music service is very flexible and does not have any advertising. Great for the classroom.
Issuu - Collect, share and publish in a format designed to make your documents look their very best. You can create bookshelves and embed them on your site which provides a very pleasing format for users to access.
StudyStacks – StudyStack helps you memorize information on any subject. Use the existing studystacks or create your own. A large variety of tools are available once you have added your own content.
Fotobabble - Add an audio track to any image. I have used Fotobabble to create an F.A.Q. page on my classroom website.
XtraMath – A free online tool to help students learn their basic math facts. XtraMath is very easy to use and it even sets up a rotating practice schedule for your classroom computer.
Audioboo – Quickly record an audio track and embed it on your site. A multitude of uses are quite obvious.
Spelling City – Add your own spelling and vocabulary lists for students to do online practice.
NoRedInk – A site created by a teacher for teachers that provides a fun way for students to learn grammar and writing skills. The site allows for students preferences in the content that keeps them interested and motivated.
GoAnimate – Quickly create amazing animated videos to explain parts of your classroom or as a tool for student projects.
Free Technology for Teachers – I got started here in the big leagues with Richard and he will always have a place on my team. Day in day out you will learn so much from this wiley veteran on his blog.
Edudemic - I consult with this blog on a daily basis. Here I can find out some up and coming players and how I might better use the line-up I already have.
Educational Technology & Mobile Learning - A fantastic resource of tech tools for how teachers and students can incorporate technology into their daily lives.