Tools and Technologies for Effective Classrooms
Tools and Technologies for Effective Classrooms

Tools and Technologies for Effective Classrooms

1.    Google Tools Knowledge
2.    Google Earth Knowledge
3.    Wiki Knowledge
4.    Blogging Knowledge
5.    Spreadsheets Skills
6.    Database Skills
7.    Social Bookmarking Knowledge
8.    Social Networking Knowledge
9.    Web Resources in content area
10.    Web Searching skills
11.    Web2.0 Tools
12.    Interactive White Board skills (SmartBoard and Promethean)
13.    Website design and management skills
14.    Presentation Tools
15.    IM knowledge
16.    Video and Podcasting
17.    RSS feeds
18.     Mobile and Handheld Computing
19.    Virtual Worlds
20.    Collaboration & Communication Tools

Here is some detailed information about the first 5 technology skills. The rest will follow in future articles.

1.    Google Tools knowledge
Google is not just a search engine any more.  Google has broadened its Internet horizon and created many useful internet tools.  Google Tools can be a great piece in every educator’s tool kit.  There are a large variety of tools that can be useful to educators in all content areas.  Here are some of the most popular tools.

Google for Educators
Google supports teachers in their efforts to empower students and expand the frontiers of human knowledge. That’s why we’ve assembled the information and tools you’ll find on this site.

Create an interactive online poster using images, text background audio and video.

Google Alerts
Get email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Google Books
online books

Google Bookmarks
Social bookmarking service

Google Docs
This site allows multiple users to create and edit Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents.  It is a free, collaborative, browser based editor.

Google Docs Basic Video

Google Groups
Quickly and easily create private or public discussion groups

Personalize your Google page. Add news, photos, weather, and stuff from across the web to your page.

Google Image Swirl

Google Maps
View Larger Map
online maps that are interactive  

Also See

Google News
numerous up-to-date new stories in a searchable format

See Googles search results side by side with Wikipedia entries

Google Squared (new)  
takes a category and creates a starter ‘square’ of information, automatically fetching and organizing facts from across the web – a new great teaching tool

Google Scholar
find relevant work in the world of scholarly research

Google SideWiki
With Google’s Sidewiki, users can easily place a wiki “on the side” of any public website via a plug-in.

Google Uncle Sam
US government search

Google Videos

Google Websites
Google website creation service/tool

Google Tools
Tools in general

2.    Google Earth
Google Earth is such a powerful (downloadable) tool that I have listed it separately from the other Google Tools.  It is a virtual globe, map and geographic information program that was originally called EarthViewer 3D.

Educators can take their students to anywhere on Earth as well as Mars, the Moon, under the ocean; they can also view street view images, 3D buildings and 3D cities.  Teachers can also use The Global Awareness gallery for layers and tours related to environmental science and use a related site ‘Google Lit Trips’ for English and Language Arts courses.  Here is the Google Earth download site as well as some related links

Google Earth

Explore with Google Earth

Google Earth for Educators

Google Earth Lessons…

How to Teach with Google Earth

This site works in tandem with Google Earth.  Overlay files can be downloaded and used with Google Earth.

Tammy Worcester Google Tools Tips

Free Tech4Teachers
See the Google Earth Across the Curriculum PDF download.

3.    Wikis 
Wikis are a newer web tool that many teachers find useful in their classroom.  A wiki is an editable webpage/site.  These websites are easy to create and use.  They are used in situations where a group of people (teachers or teachers and students) needs to create, edit and review each other’s documents.  Wikis are a true collaborative tool.  Here are some helpful links.

50 Ways to Use Wikis for a More Collaborative & Interactive Classroom…

Wikis in Education wiki

6 Ways to use Wikis in the Classroom

How to Create a Classroom Wiki from Edutopia

Examples of Educational Wikis
This site is a free and open online resource for students, professionals and professors on various programs of study. Included are online quizzes and a quiz creation tool, online flashcards and a flashcard creation tool, bogs and wikis and more.

PBWikis web site

Wikis in Plain English Video

Wiki Tutorial from AtomicLearning

Wikispaces web site

Wiki Walk Through from Teacher First

What Is a Wiki (and How to Use One for Your Projects)
This site explains how a teacher can use wikis in their classroom.  This is a great learning and resource site for teachers.

Wiki Videos

At the WhiteBoard

Wikis in Plain English|

Wetpaint in Plain English 

4.    Blogs
A blog (a blend of the term “web log”) is a type of website or part of a website. One person usually maintains Blogs with regular entries.  Entries are typically displayed in chronically order.  Typically a blog is a combination of personal diary and a commentary/guide to other information on the web.  A blog is usually a one page website, often with embedded gadgets or widgets.  Here are some useful sites.

Blogger is a web-based tool that helps you publish to the web instantly — whenever the urge strikes. Blogger is the leading tool in the rapidly growing area of web publishing known as weblogs, or “blogs.”

BlogEasy offers free blog hosting, which is a free web page publishing and syndication service that allows users to quickly share information, such as news, reviews, blogs, journals, weblogs, diaries, and photos.

Blog Search from Google

Bloglines is a FREE online service for searching, subscribing, creating and sharing news feeds, blogs and rich web content.

Class BlogMeister  
Class Blogmeister is a online classroom blogging tool provided free of subscription or purchase charge by The Landmark Project, a consulting firm providing information and services for educator and education agencies.

Elgg is a new breed of social software based around choice, flexibility and openness: a system that firmly places individuals at the centre of their activities.

We provide free blogs for teachers, researchers, librarians and other educational professionals.

How to Create a Blog for Your Classroom from

This site is a podcasting and audio blogging platform that offers an easy way to create and distribute audio content. Most people will use a touch-tone telephone to make their recordings but we also provide worldwide access to the service through VoIP.

This site is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who want to provide each student with their own, unique blog. Kidblog’s simple, yet powerful tools allow students to publish posts and participate in discussions within a secure classroom blogging community. Teachers maintain complete control over student blogs.

Reluctant Blogger from TechLearning

Welcome to Weblogg-ed, maintained by me, Will Richardson, blogvangelist and Supervisor of Instructional Technology and Communications at Hunterdon Central Regional High School in Flemington, NJ. This site is dedicated to discussions and reflections on the use of Weblogs, wikis, RSS, audiocasts and other Read/Write Web related technologies in the K-12 realm, technologies that are transforming classrooms around the world.

WordPress started with a single bit of code to enhance the typography of everyday writing on the web and fewer users than you can count on your hands and toes. Since then it has grown to be the largest self-hosted blogging tool in the world, used on hundreds of thousands of sites and seen by millions of people every day.

5.    Spreadsheet Skills
All teachers should know how use a Spreadsheet (usually Excel).  A spreadsheet gridded system is used to compute grades and charts can be used extensively in the classroom.  Spreadsheets can be used to create rubrics and schedules as well as for gathering numeric data.  Charts can be created in and used to visually depict a variety of information and students can also create their own charts, thereby learning higher order thinking skills from this type of activity. Here are some useful links.

Integrating Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Everyday Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Using Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Dr Christie’s Using Spreadsheets in K-12 Classrooms

Everything You for Using Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Doc & Spreadsheets in the Classroom from Google Teacher Academy….

Spreadsheet Resourses from LT Technologies

Classroom Activities using Spreadsheet – student created

Using Databases and Spreadsheets in the Classroom

Spreadsheet Integration…

Steven Bell’s PowerPoint and Presentation Skills Resource Page

Excelets: Excel’s Excellent Adventure from TechLearning

Quick and Simple PowerPoint Photo Shows from TechLearning

Technology Tools for Teachers

Using Excel for Classroom Activities…

Using Spreadsheets and Databases in the Classroom from Half-Baked Ideas…

Tricks, Spreadsheets and Databases downloadables–d…

Computer Lessons – Spreadsheet Downloads

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