Tuesday, September 11, 2012

My Favorite and Most Used Tech, Apps and Extensions

Every year people ask me what my favorite tech tools, apps, and other resources are and what I use on a daily basis. Every year, this changes a little bit. I just had someone ask me for a list of what I use the most and what my favorite Ed Tech resources are, so here you go. There are also some other great resources in the "Related" links at the end of the article.

Evernote - Evernote, an electronic notebook with lots of great features, is my main tool. I have lesson plans, lesson notes, lesson resources, research, travel info, recipes, lesson schedule, meeting notes, attached files, clippings from web sites, to do lists, personal references, tech resources and instructions and so much more. It is the main app I use for almost everything. This year I am using Evernote with my students.

Dropbox - Dropbox is a great file sync, backup, and sharing service that you can use for free. The rest of the files I need to use that are not in Evernote or Google Drive are setup in my Dropbox so that they are synced on my home and school computers and my smartphone. I can access my files from any web browser also. I never have to worry about losing a flash drive or forgetting to copy or email myself a file.

Google - I know this is kind of vague because Google has so many services, but I use a lot of them. Blogger for this blog and my class blogs, Sites for my class website, Gmail, Google+Calendar, Google Drive and Docs, search and so much more. Here's more on Why I use Google Products as an Educator.

Here are lots of great Google for Education resources and tips.

Google Chrome is my browser of choice. It's fast, secure, easy to use, has great extensions and bookmarklets, and just works great. I have it automatically open up my most used tabs: Gmail, Google Calendar, PowerTeacher, Blogger, Tweetdeck, Edmodo and Evernote. I also have bookmarklets for saving pages into my Google Bookmarks, accessing school systems, and much more.

Evernote Clipper - clip web pages and articles into my Evernote notebooks for reference or sharing with students. 

Goo.gl URL Shortener - shorten web page URL's for better sharing and tracking of sharing.

Webpage Screenshot - take screenshots of web pages, edit and format them, and save them.

Evernote Clearly - clean up a web page for easier reading and clipping.

Shorcuts for Google - one click link to all of Google's different apps and services. 

Aviary's clipping extension for Chrome to clip graphics from the internet and edit or modify them for both my edtech blog and lesson plans and resources.

I use Tweetdeck in Chrome browser to access my PLN on Twitter. It is easy to use and has great features like multiple columns and scheduling of tweets.


Edmodo is a free, learning management system that is full featured and easy to use. I'm using it for the first time this year with my students to share resources, have online discussions, post assignments, and offer online help. Here's more about my adventure with Edmodo


PowerSchool and Power Teacher - our district uses PowerSchool for attendance, gradebook, and other student information. Students and parents can access it and see their grades and attendance any time they want. It is accessable from any web enabled computer and you can generate multiple reports and export the data if needed.

Discovery Education Resources - these resources allow teachers to find lesson resources and even create lesson resources and provide engaging materials to use with students. I also use the Streaming Plus multimedia resource and the Science Techbook.

Android Smartphone - with my Android Smartphone, I can access all of my materials and resources, all of the apps and resources listed above and even control my computer with SplasthTop Remote. Android works great with all of the Google resources I use, and the Evernote app for it is awesome. 

Hardware - I have a teacher station computer in my classroom, along with 8 student desktop computers. I have a networked printer and a multi-function color inkjet printer. I also have an LCD projector connected to my computer, and a VCR and DVD player connected to the projector. I also use a Keyspan remote to wirelessly control my computer from anywhere in the room. Auxillary speakers are also a must. I also now use SplashTop Remote on my smartphone or HP TouchPad to control and access my computer from anywhere in the room.

Student Resources - students use the computers and their smartphones to access the internet for research, do virtual labs and investigations on PhET (great resource for math and science), get help on my site, get help on PhysicsClassroom, access software and services to explore and create and do their work using Blogger, Sites, Glogster, Google Docs, Evernote and Edmodo and more.

What are your favorite resources and apps? What do you use on a daily basis?


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