EdTech Trends and Tools for Back-to-School

A multi-ethnic group of kindergarten or first grade students and their teacher in the classroom, sitting together in a circle on the floor. The children are 5 to 7 years old. They are all wearing masks, back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic, trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus. The teacher, an African-American woman, is holding a digital tablet and a boy is looking at it while clapping his hands.

Whether teaching in-person, remote, or hybrid classes this upcoming school year, all teachers will face the same age-old issue of how to pull students back into learning after a long summer break. Luckily, educators have the latest EdTech trends on their side to drive student engagement.

Flexible Spaces to Create

For many K12 school districts, pandemic-related funding has accelerated investments in IT infrastructure that make it possible to adopt the latest tech. These districts are also updating classroom design and incorporating makerspaces to better leverage technology and project-based learning. Many of these strategic network upgrades allow teachers and students to use tools, including interactive whiteboards that enhance learning with features like media content, screen-share, digital flipcharts, and voting. One option for an interactive whiteboard is BoardShare Interactive Device which allows teachers to turn any flat surface into an interactive whiteboard, opening up new possibilities to engage students.

Teachers as a Premium

Personalized learning can help students overcome any lingering post-pandemic learning gaps. Both blended learning and micro-lessons can personalize and accelerate learning, and technology makes developing this type of content easy. For example, creating a video lesson for students to watch for a homework assignment can allow more time for Q&A sessions and instructor feedback in class. Also, teachers with access to a learning management system (LMS) can more easily curate content, keep track of learning goals, and check off student progress.

Formative Assessments

Teachers need immediate feedback to create personalized learning pathways for their students, and formative assessments give teachers this benchmark. Popular formative assessments tools include:

  • Google Forms
  • Nearpod
  • Flipgrid
  • Kahoot
  • Pear Deck

Schools now have another option: GoGuardian Teacher and Pear Deck, which allows teachers to create interactive lessons with real-time formative assessment tools. You can access licensing to GoGuardian here. Teachers that adopt real-time assessments will have an advantage in creating more equitable learning experiences. 

As the next school year unfolds and districts have CARES Act funding to spend, it will be fascinating to watch which digital trends take hold in schools and reshape the student experience.

We’re curious to know which EdTech tool you cannot live without and why. Please share in the comments below.

Sources:

https://www.k12dive.com/news/schools-must-provide-assessments-to-see-where-students-stand-after-pandemic/601405/

https://www.techlearning.com/news/3-education-trends-to-watch-for-the-upcoming-school-year

https://www.iste.org/explore/professional-development/hottest-topics-edtech-2021

One thought on “EdTech Trends and Tools for Back-to-School

  1. This is a changing market, as you know. It is not new that teachers feel the challenge as to what tools are best for integrating technology into the curriculum for student success. One tool that I found (retired educator) was best of all, was the student – who can tell you the disadvantages and advantages of any device and software. They are the “walking brains” about such tools. They can tell you how to improve it – especially special need learners, who are always compelled to learn in challenging ways. No teacher can beat that!

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