Ed Tech Starter Kit: What are the best Ed Tech resources you would recommend to a newbie (like me)?

I am relatively new to Educational Technology, and am interested in becoming an Ed Tech Integration Specialist in schools.


1. If you could recommend only a few resources to someone starting out as an Ed Tech Specialist (working with grades 5-12), what would you recommend? Or, for someone starting out, what would you recommend doing to get rolling (i.e. Where to start? Priorities?).


2. Are there websites / resources / databases where teachers share and rate lessons / presentations / activities?


3. Do you know of any quality-control / quality-ratings related to educational resources? (I heard that weebly education had one, but it was discontinued).


4. In the future, I imagine that students will be able to search online for posted and shared lessons that speak to their learning styles. For example, a student might search for a lesson on y = mx + b graphing, geared towards a visual learner who learns best with real world applications. Does anything like this currently exist or is in-process? In the future, I imagine Khan Academy might be able to create something like this.


5. One of the major challenges I (and other teachers I’ve spoken with) encounter when we look for teaching resources on the web, is that you get dozens or hundreds of hits (without any quality ratings or quality control) that you have to sift through--which can take longer than it would to create the resources yourself--to find a few good resources. For example, if I were teaching the Industrial Revolution in America for grades 7-8, I might go online to find related lessons and activities created and posted by other teachers (e.g. multi-media presentations; role playing activities; group projects, etc.). The problem is that my searches generally yield dozens of hits that I have to sift through: most of which aren't good enough (in my opinion) to use.


Do you have suggestions of how to avoid sifting through un-qualified hits and find higher quality hits more effectively?


Thanks for your help.


- Patrick

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Patrick, I don't know if this is what you are looking for, but I follow both Larry Ferlazzo's websites of the day and Richard Byrne's blog (freetech4teachers) for resources (though not lessons as you mention).  Of course, there are many other edtech people out there tweeting and blogging on the topic.

Thanks Tim. I'm a fan of Richard Byrne. I've seen Larry Ferlazzo's stuff before.


I am going to dive in and offer a couple of words.

One of the resources that is being used increasingly by teachers is the use of online video as a resource. But as you mentioned in #5, you can waste so many hours looking for anything relevant to what you are looking for. Here is a recently produced comparison chart of the main websites in the online educationl video market that was produced to enable a direct comparision of those that provide a proper solution, rather than the volumes of video that can cause so much wasted time.


I hope that you find this useful.

One of the problems that I believe exists for many teachers is that what you are going to find of the many freebie sites is that you get exactly what you are not paying for. For example, video by itself is no solution, simply an ingredient. A large number of those freebie offerings are totaly unsupported simply because they are a hobby for someone. Hence the reason why when it comes to video, few of those providers put themselves in the position of being the teacher, and don't realise that it is quality, not quantity that is important. Poorly organised websites that take hours to find anything are virtually a waste of time. And if like most, they offer no Tech Support, then you are going nowhere fast.

The other significant issue that exists in the online educational video market is that virtual all providers are now literally ignoring the fact that video is now supposed to be fully subtitled so as to ensure that is offer access to ALL students. Only Zane Education and Brainpop are providing such support at the present time.

If I can be of any other assistance, please don't hesitate to let me know.

Thanks Nicolas for your informative, helpful response.


Have you heard of SchoolVue? It's a PC monitoring and management software. This software gives you control of your technology at all times.

Provides you with the ability to instruct, monitor and interact with students individually, as a pre-defined group or as an overall classroom, along with other tools to manage your classroom more effectively.

Some of the features include:

  • Interactive lesson planner
  • Full screen virtual whiteboard
  • Real time student surveys
  • Monitor, control, restrict and history of internet usage and application usage
  • Internet co-browse

Please visit the following website for more information and features: http://www.crosstecsoftware.com/index.php?option=com_content&vi...


Free 30-day trial

For a free 30-day trial of our software, please visit the following link: http://www.crosstecsoftware.com/index.php?option=com_content&vi...

Hey Patrick,

To help you achieve better results when researching on Google, use these simple tricks. You will begin getting more effective information through your searches.


Also, one program that really uses technology in the classroom to better education is an online classroom management system that actually acts like a parent portal. Check it out.

Thanks Bryan. 

Have you ever looked at www.diigo.com? On this site, you and/or your students can bookmark your favorite websites about a specific topic and share those links with other teachers/students; you can also engage in group-based collaborative research--it's basically a one-stop place to organize any research or information you have or want to share. It has been very helful to me this semester.

Thanks Brooke. I do use diigo.

Hi Patrick! Have you heard about Nearpod?? It's a really cool app for the classroom. You need ipads, ipods or iphones. I have tried it and know many teachers who have used it and it works wonderfully. Why don't you take a look at it? Leave you the link: www.nearpod.com

Hope this has helped!

I recently had a session with Year 9 (UK - that's ages 13-14) and introduced them to these tools.

They were particularly impressed with WolframAlpha and Google docs as they realised how useful it would be if they were working on homework together.

I like delicious.com better than diigo.



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