Secondary Speaks: Our Favorite Technology

This next post in our Secondary Speaks series is all about favorite technology for teachers! We surveyed 35 secondary teachers, and they share their favorite websites, software, and devices for teachers. Click through to read all of their suggestions and tips!
Welcome back to Secondary Speaks!

Today, we're talking about the technology we can't live without in our classrooms.

Winter is the perfect time to cozy up with a user manual or tutorial video, so if you see a website or device below that has promise for your classroom, check it out!

(If you want to catch up on previous posts from us, make sure to click on the Secondary Speaks tag at the bottom of this post.)

Remember: Stay tuned for more posts, and comment below if you want to join in!





Q: "What piece of technology is your biggest life-saver professionally?"


Websites & Software:
  • Kahoot and Edmodo! Kahoot is a great way to stimulate collaboration, and students can compete either individually or in groups. It's also a great way to assess students' understanding of a specific skill and get immediate feedback. The best part is that students don't have to have an account to play, and it can be used on any device that has an internet connection. The teacher can create their own Kahoot (I've used it for practice in point of view, types of sentences, text structure, etc.) or you can use one that has already been created. To create your free account, go to https://getkahoot.com/. Lit with Lyns
  • Blogger! I have used blogger for reading review blogs, a classroom exchange between my students and students in another country, a class blog where I can post links to all my homework assignments to eliminate the paper trail, electronic portfolios, and more. Betsy Potash
  • So hard to pick one, but I'm going to go with www.readtheory.org. I'm an Intervention teacher and this website has helped me support students who struggle with lengthy passages and need immediate feedback. One of my 7th graders, who is significantly impacted by his ADHD, has reached the 9th grade reading level on Read Theory. It's not a great fit for all of my students but I have found it to be wonderful for students with attention and motivation struggles. Mrs. M. 
  • Google Classroom: As we move towards a 1:1 situation in our school this Google App for Education has saved my sanity. I no longer have to track down that file that was shared last Sunday night. It organizes every thing for me.  Sarah from Kovescence of the Mind
  • Google Apps. I love how I can create documents at work and have access to them at home or on my phone. It's been a terrific way to share documents with students as well. David Rickert
  • Hands down, You-Tube, for me. I know there are more "up to the second" apps and devices. But Youtube (or the more class friendly TeacherTube) is so rife with information, how-to videos, DIY and more... it is difficult to overstate its usefulness and real-world applications. Gina 
  • MyGradeBook is an online grading website that saved me hours upon hours of work when I was in the classroom. All I had to do was follow the easy directions to set up pages for my classes and then I could input students' grades. What I liked about MyGradeBook is that I could assign weights to the various components of my classes; for example, writing tasks were worth 40%, tests and quizzes were worth 15%, projects were worth 35%, and homework (by school policy) was worth 10% of a student's grade. This was so much easier than calculating every single grade with a calculator at the end of each marking period, which is what I did the first few years I was in the classroom. The ESL Nexus
  • Teachers pay Teachers has saved me so much valuable time over my teaching career. There are so many fabulous sellers and resources that have made a huge impact on not only me, but my students as well. Science Chick
  • Pinterest has become my biggest lifesaver. I have been able to find quick ten minute fillers on days when we've sailed through the material as well as some great infographics to spice up the presentations I had already created for my students. It is also so easy to quickly pull it up and type in the concept/idea we are covering for the day. I love it!  Madame H
  • Use many social media formats -- depending on students' interests. Ellen Weber

Devices:
  • If I had to choose one item of technology to add interest to a lesson, I would choose a camera. Kids just seem to perk up whenever they have the chance to use a camera in class, and there are so many ways that photos can be used to make a classroom more interesting - from beginning of the year icebreaker assignments, to photographing the steps of a student project, to illustrating kids' own non-fiction writing. Classroom in the Middle
  • My iPad saved me recently when I forgot a poem for an important poetry event but I had saved it to my iPad and the universe was okay again! Allyson's Creative Corner
  • My Smartboard for sure! I am a math teacher and it is a LIFESAVER when it comes to geometry! I often think about my high school geometry teacher and how he had to draw all those figures.by hand.every.single.class. Ugh! The Math Factory
  • I couldn't teach without my classroom projector - whether I'm using it to show a video clip, an example of a good (or even a terrible) piece of writing, a picture as a writing prompt, or even just talking about a current event... I'd be lost without it! Addie Williams 
  • I love using my iPad in the classroom. I like using apps like StickPick and Turnitin to help save me time. The Daring English Teacher
  • The biggest piece of technology for math teachers has to be the calculator! But there are other devices like the SmartBoard or software like GeoGebra. weatherly
  • I use my MacBook Pro every day. I just bought it last summer with my summer school earnings, and it has been worth every penny. It is the most stable laptop I have ever owned. This is my 5th laptop (mt first MacBook) since my undergraduate university days MANY MANY years ago, and it is reliable, portable and sturdy. I also love the Google suite of products. I can do almost anything with my Google Drive, Blogger and Google Search engine. Kristy from 2 Peas and a Dog
  • My tablet -- I love that I can find information or look up answers to random questions instantaneously. Literary Sherri 
  • I love my Smartboard! There are so many fun games that we play, and I love how interactive it is. The students love to get up and manipulate the items on the screen, and it is a lot of fun to create new lessons! Mme R's French Resources 
  • My phone (as an alarm clock!!). On a serious note, I would die without my laptop. EVERYTHING is on there! The Lab
  • I would have to say my LCD projector and Smartboard. It allows me do to so many things that I couldn't before. One of the most effective uses is to do group revision with the class. I can put writing exemplars on the screen and we can work together to revise them. Room 213
Do you agree with one of these or have another suggestion? Comment below!

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