When you are a teacher, you need to use everything at your disposal to assist you in getting your lessons across. With the Internet, this is simpler than ever. There are plenty of tools and resources created specifically for teachers and students to make the learning process more interactive and even fun, no matter what the subject.
Below, we have gathered some of our personal favorites. These are great for the classroom, homeschoolers or just revision by students themselves.
Brainstorming is always an important process with any topic, and students begin learning it from an early age. While there will be some methods taught that can be used, such as the ladder, bubble or tree brainstorming techniques, you can also find programs online that make it easier than ever to organize thoughts for essays, papers, notes, revision or anything else that may be necessary through the year.
One teacher we spoke to about mind mapping tools said:
“These are fantastic! While they aren’t much help within the classroom due to my students being unable to access computers during class, they have paid dividends with their homework and studying. I have seen a marked improvement in scores on tests and in essay quality since instructing my students to use different mind mapper websites from home.”
Mind Mapping Tools to Try:
- FreeMind – Free, easy to use and offering full support through their website. Provided through Java and so cross platform. Provides hyperlinking and fast, easy connections to organize concepts and tie ideas together.
- Gliffy – Free but requires an account. Provides easy to create diagrams with unlimited access. Shows the flow of an idea or action. Great for teachers!
- Bubbl – Free but you must create an account if you wish you save your charts. This program has slightly more complicated programming than most, but is still useable.
- WiseMapping – Free and unlimited, this site actually allows you to share and publish your brainstorming. It is also cross-platform.
Learning Videos Online
We have all heard about School House Rock and other such video programs, and many of have likely used them in our lessons before. But there are a wider variety than ever before, and we no longer have to rely on Discovery Channel DVDs or Channel 1. You can find plenty of educational videos that have been user generated and placed online.
Some of us have tried this tactic through YouTube, and it can be a pain to find the right videos that aren’t mislabeled, useless or even inappropriate. But there is no need to fear this any longer. There are
actually educationally specific websites that host these videos for your use, and highly monitored to make sure you only have the best tools for your student’s educations.
Video Websites for Educational Purposes:
- TeacherTube – Right now there are more than 8,100 pages of viewable content on this website in every subject from math to home economics. They are created by other teachers who know the topics, and in amusing and informative ways that will help keep your student’s attention. The site is growing by the day, as well.
- Brightstorm – Short-form online video lessons by professional educators. Free math lessons.
- SchoolTube – Close to as large as TeacherTube, SchoolTube has many more educational videos also created by users. They also have a great deal of contests, which are interactive and can include your students!
Self-Checking Online Quiz Tools
Want to make the quiz process a little more enjoyable? There is nothing worse as a student than having to squint at a badly printed picture on a quiz paper to determine a graph or a geographical location. How often have you had to have a class skip a question because it was too hard to read? But with an online quiz you can make that a problem of the past.
Many online quiz making websites will let you formulate your questions, add in sounds, videos or pictures and will be self checking. So, all you have to do is collect the final scores, cutting out grading and giving you more time to work on your curriculum.
Good Self Checking Quiz Site:
- ProProfs has a separate section where you can create tests and quizzes. The best on the market, this easy to use quiz creator is fully interactive and provides advanced grading features so you can specify points, accepted answers and more.