TechByte 1

Exemplary Instructional Technology Tools

Education develops through years, however, in the 21st century new skills born and some teacher be aware of how much important to apply them in their teaching journey.

Technology is playing a huge role in the education field; many schools implement it as a tool to teach and learn in the 21st-century learning design, because it could match the needs of 21st-century students around the world. In fact, we have a variety of technology tools that we can use as teaching and learning tool. Therefore, I am going to introduce three exemplary instructional technology tools that teacher can use with her students.

The 21st Century Skills

Before I begin, introduce the exemplary instructional technology tools. I would like to mention the 21st-century skills that should link with the exemplary instructional technology tools:

  1. Creativity and Innovation
  2. Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
  3. Communication and Collaboration
  4. Information Literacy
  5. Media Literacy
  6. ICT Literacy

If the tool has more of the 21st-century skills, it is better for teaching and learning in the 21st century.

Padlet is an online bulletin board that you can use to display information for any topic. It supports audio, video, text and visuals files. The teacher can let make students do many things with Padlet. For example, it can be as book reviews wall, video discussion, feedback collection, share videos or images, photo gallery and brainstorming...etc.

How to Use Padlet?

It so easy to use Padlet by few clicks you can create your Padlet page. To create Padlet:

How to Apply Padlet in Curriculum Design?

Teacher can apply Padlet in by several ways:

  • The teacher can do summative and formative assessments, so she/he can know the students prior knowledge and understanding. For instance, if language teacher wants to find out about students’ writing skills and grammar, she/he can ask students to write once sentence about what they do in their free time, and post in Padlet. That will help the teacher to plan for her next or plan differentiated activities for the next lesson.

  • Students can create own Padlet board and post all their notes and materials on it so it will be excellent way to review quiz or exam. Then, they can share it with a teacher or their classmates.

  • The teacher can create Padlet board and post the necessary information in a different format such as image, video, PowerPoint...etc. Students can view and comment or reflect on it.

  • The teacher can ask students to post anything she/he wants in Padlet board such as the mind map. Then, the teacher can give feedback on posts.

Video of How Padlet Support Learning & Teaching

Educational Benefits of Padlet

Padlet and 21-Century Skills:

  • Creativity and Innovation: Padlet gives students different opinions to post what they want because Padlet support various formats such as video, image, and PDF...etc. For instance, if teacher ask students to write about a history of USA, they can get different thing and post it on Padlet page such as a video show the history, a PDF file (information or PowerPoint slides), mind map or brainstorm show the understanding of the history or an image (pictures of USA history president, timeline of USA history)…etc.

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Padlet may not include this skills unless if a teacher asks an open-end question or introduce a topic that make students think and use different resources to find an answer. So, they can post their answer there.

  • Communication and Collaboration: Padlet support written and audio forms. Therefore, students can write or record their voices to communicate with each other. Also, they can work in groups, pairs or individual and that depend on the teacher’s activity or structure. So, they can collaborate to collect information about a certain subject such as (e.g. information about learning centers in the classroom). Then, they can write a report using the information that their classmates collect. For example, HERE my students work in groups to do a learning centers for KG and collect/write information about the KG learning centers. Then, I let them write a report about comparing and contrast two learning centers individually.

  • Information Literacy: Padlet would be a nice tool for the teacher, if she/he collect all the information literacy in one page and send it to students. That means a teacher can create a Padlet page and post all information Literacy there for each lesson or unit. For instance, if the unit or lesson about animal under the sea, teacher can post video, e-book, article and story about animal under the sea.

  • Media Literacy: Padlet does not support the media literacy directly. However, students still can post links or picture of media literacy website such as social networking (e.g. Twitter and Facebook) that talks about a certain topic. For example, students can collect Twitter pages that talks about the useful technology in education and post it in Padlet.

  • ICT Literacy: Padlet is a great example that support ICT literacy skill because students use technology and digital technologies as a tool to research, organize, evaluate and communicate information and apply their understanding.
NearPod is a presentation tool that allows the teacher to design presentation or take an existed presentation. Then, the teacher can present in the way that allow her/him to interact, encourage students to participate and collect students' data (formative and summative assessments) at the same time. It can use to present different subjects such as math, science, English and art...etc.

How to Use NearPod?

Nearpod could be created in few minutes if the teacher few the following steps:

  1. Log in or sign up (you can use Google account, or Windows account to log in or sign up as well).
  2. After you log in, click on “Create” to add your slides (you can upload a powerpoint if you have one and add video, image and activities tools such as quiz and drawing), OR you can click on “Explore” and get already NearPod.
  3. Click on Publish.
  4. Go to “My Library” – open your NearPod presentation.
  5. Send or give the PIN to your students.
  6. Students should click on “Join” and write the PIN.
  7. Students join the presentation and write their names – the teacher will get all the names on her list and then she can begin the presentation.

The video below shows the steps that I mention above:

How to use Nearpod

How to Apply NearPod in Curriculum Design?

NearPod is a presentation tool that allows interactions between teacher and students. Every student will able to join the NearPod presentation by entering unique code. Furthermore, NearPod shows how many participants on the slide and who they are, so the teacher will know if students are not on the track or if they are following with the presentation slides. As a result, using iPad with students will not be a problem because it will show if they leave the NearPod to play or use another app. It has unique feathers that allow students to participate in the lesson even if they did not talk, so shy students will not be afraid to participate. NearPod matches many learning styles such as audio and visual. Also, it allows videos and images. Therefore, the teacher can have a chance for differentiated by learning styles. By using NearPod, students can:

  • Draw: a teacher can let students draw and share their drawing with their classmate without mentions names so they will not make fun on each other.

  • Quiz (formative assessment): a teacher can see how many students reach her/his outcomes in few minutes. In addition, students will get immediate feedback about their quiz, so they will know where their mistakes.

NearPod can use with young children or adults. It is very interesting and engaging to all ages. There are many NearPod presentations are ready to use for different subjects. Additionally, the teacher can use her/his PowerPoint slides on NearPod, which allow to copy and paste the PowerPoint slides. Therefore, the teacher will not need to waste her time to do the slides again on NearPod.

Real Examples of Teachers Who Used NearPod

Nearpod: Teaching with Google Play for Education
Nearpod Testimonials

NearPod and 21-Century Skills:

  • Creativity and Innovation: As I mention before NearPod has a drawing tool opinion that the teacher can use while she/he present. This tool opens creativity for students to draw or write. However, this tool may not show the full meaning of creativity and innovation skills but it could be part of it.

  • Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: NearPod is a good tool for critical thinking and problem solving because it has the option to create a quiz and draw tools. So, a teacher can them to challenge students’ thinking by including questions that help in critical thinking and problem-solving. For example, the teacher may show students optical illusions and asks some question based on it. So, students can answer by using “quiz” tool, and teacher can get the feedback immediately.

  • Information Literacy: NearPod could include online information literacy such as online articles and e-book. The teacher could paste the link in NearPod, so students can access it easily.

  • Media Literacy: NearPod could include media literacy in its slides. The teacher can include media literacy pages such as Twitter or Facebook page and let students write a message (Tweet or send a state) with unique hashtag (#) so the teacher can read all their messages.

  • ICT Literacy: NearPod is supporting ICT literacy skill. Students use different devices to connect with NearPod, and they use their skills to do the NearPod activities (draw, answer questions, social networking tool). So, they use technology to evaluate and communicate information and apply their understanding.

Google Classroom is a free app and website for education. It is productivity tools for classroom collaboration (Google Classroom: Introduction, n.d). It can support students learning and make the teacher job easier. Also, it like an online classroom where students can share and discuss ideas, respond to teacher or classmates, submit and write assignments in few minutes. The teacher can give feedback directly as well. Google Classroom can use with students in secondary or high school or high education institutions.

How to Use Google Classroom?

To use Google Classroom, you should follow the steps below:

  1. Have a Google App for Education account: to use Google Classroom you need to have Google App for Education account. If you do not have Google App for Education, then click HERE to get it.
  2. Select you are a teacher or a student. (choose "I am a teacher")
  3. Start create you classroom.
  4. Select your students’ emails or send the Google Classroom PIN to your students.
  5. Write your classroom information.
  6. Create announcements, course files and assessments.

Here is short video that show how to get start with Google Classroom.
Getting Started with Google Classroom

How to Apply Google Classroom in Curriculum Design?

Teacher can quickly create a classroom and add students immediately from Google account or let the students join by entering class code (PIN). In Google Classroom teacher can:

  • Add materials: teacher can share with students the class materials in any format such as PowerPoint, PDF, video, Word, Docs, Slides…etc. All the materials will place on Google Drive, which can access from any device at any time. So, it will be easy for students to access the class materials. Also, teacher can have a chance to put the materials that match her students learning styles such as audio or, visual...etc.

  • Create an assignment: by one click teacher can create an assignment and put due date. Then, students can do their assignment and submit it. After that, teacher can access all summations in the site or in Google drive that automatically organizes all students’ assignments in orders. Moreover, teacher can see how many students submit and how many left. Also, she/he can see in which time they submit their assignment. Finally, teacher can mark and review students’ assignments and give feedbacks directly.

  • Post: teacher can communicate with students by posting a question or idea. Then, students can comment and help each other at the same time.

Google Classroom and 21-Century Skills: