Our Favorite Resources, Gadgets, and Gizmos from ISTE

July 23rd, 2015

Category: Early Childhood Education, Student-Centered Learning


Three members of Rodel Teacher Council—Tim Brewer, Michele Johnson, and Michelle Wilson—attended this year’s ISTE* Conference & Expo, hosted earlier this summer in Philadelphia. The four-day conference, which attracted more than 15,000 attendees, centered on the idea of integrating technology in the classroom.

We checked back with Tim, Michele, and Michelle to find out what tools, apps, and sites they discovered at ISTE, and which ones might ultimately make it into their classrooms.

Below are the top resources and gadgets they brought back from the conference.

Top 5 Free Websites:

  • SimpleK12 – Offers free professional development and resources for teachers.
  • Sumdog – Common Core aligned math games for grades K-8.
  • GoNoodle – Interactive ways to use exercise for those important brain breaks.
  • ClassDojo – Positive classroom management system that offers family communication and reports.
  • Graphite – Educational applications, websites, and games—reviewed by teachers.

Best Free Tools to Personalize and Organize:

  • Edpuzzle – Create video clips from popular online sources, add your own text, voice overs, and formative assessments. Embed the videos into your student management system or use with Google + and Edmodo. (Free)
  • Symbaloo – Organize all of your memberships, links, photos, files, and resources into one easy-to-use location and then share with students, families, or colleagues. Use an existing page or create your own. Symbaloo lesson plans are in beta test now. Video demo (Free)
  • Draw.io – Facilitate design and process thinking by sharing this website to create dynamic flow charts, draw, paint, design. (Free)
  • Explain Everything – Import or create videos, annotate and publish them in multiple formats. (Available as IPad/IPhone App only – Single device or site licenses available)

Coolest Gadgets from the Expo Center:

  • Tiggly and Osmo: Both kid-friendly gadgets connect physical play with the use of manipulatives that interact through digital learning with iPad apps.

  • SumBlox: Wooden blocks, each shaped like a number to represent a unit of measure, allow students to gain a visual representation of numeric equations and concepts.

  • Beebots: Students program the movements of mini, bee-shaped robots—and learn the basics of computer programming without ever touching a computer.

*ISTE – International Society for Technology in Education provides resources and standards for technology proficiencies for students, teachers, administrators, coaches, and computer science teachers. Sign up for newsletters, discussion boards, and advocacy opportunities online.

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Rachel Wiggans Chan




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