In the digital age, many innovative organizations have branched off into educational initiatives, and their timing couldn't be better.
Recognizing the need for visual literacy, digital citizenship practices, and guided ed-tech implementation, many of these organizations strive to offer our students and teachers versatile tools and the most rewarding experiences possible with them.
Such educational resources are designed to appeal to both the teachers and students of modern digital classrooms. They make terrific use of design tools, social media applications, and a healthy dose of the tech our students love to work and connect with. The following 5 educational resources represent exactly the types of learning environments that are meant for today's students.
On March 24 2015, the web-based design startup Canva announced the launch of its new visual communication support program for teachers called Canva Educational. With almost 2 million regular users enjoying Canva's powerful and intuitive design tools, it seemed a logical choice for them to engage in providing a presence in modern classrooms.
This is an excerpt from their March press release describing a little about the essence of Canva Educational's purpose in the classroom:
"Canva’s new education center is aimed at providing learning resources for teachers looking for dynamic and engaging ways to integrate visual project-based learning into their core curriculum."
There are 3 key components to Canva Educational. They are:
- A drag-and-drop design tool made for teachers and students, and including Google Apps for Education.
- Workshops and PBL lesson plans.
- An advisory board of well-known edtech educators including Richard Byrne of Free Tech 4 Teachers, Vicki Davis of Cool Cat Teacher, and Edchat co-founder Steven Anderson.
While still in its beginning stages, there's no doubt Canva Educational will experience success based on the strength of its core design platform, which is a fun and versatile tool already enjoyed by millions.
The presence of the iPad in today's digital-age classroom is nothing new. But with the help of iPad in Education, it just that much easier.
There are basically 4 subsections to explore in iPad in Education. Here's a short breakdown of each one.
- In the Classroom—a brief rundown of the many ways iPad technology is incorporated into education adventures. This is sort of the "overview" page.
- Apps, Books, and More—links to apps and ebooks designed specifically for teaching and learning. Explore collections for both teachers and students.
- Teaching with iPad—features iPad lessons from teachers who have developed lesson plans with iPad as an enhancement.
- Resources—links to textbooks, tutorials, guides, app collections by grade, and special teaching programs from iOS developers.
All in all, there's a whole lot to look at here. Take your time and explore what iPad in Education has on offer.
Skype in the Classroom has grown steadily over the years into something truly remarkable. Skype was probably one of the first free online video conferencing tools to be used in the classroom, and with amazing success.
You can use Skype to collaborate with other classrooms no matter where they are, invite guest speakers from remote locations, and go on virtual field trips around the globe.
If you have never used Skype in your own classes, it's worth checking out. It fosters engagement and connection with the outside world for students that no other tool can.
Pro-Tip: Skype in the Classroom also features a teacher's community, and lets you search for specific educators or lessons from all over the globe.
This is the essence of flipped learning right here. YouTube EDU is basically a global classroom powered by video. Pretty much anything you want to learn about is going to be available on YouTube EDU.
Check out YouTube EDU's main features:
- Learn—short video lessons on every subject regularly submitted by teachers all across the world.
- Teach—incorporate YouTube lessons as part of your flipped classroom activities.
- Create—create and upload your own educational videos for use within YouTube's global learning community.
- YouTube for Schools—take advantage of the opportunity to build your own network and access thousands of high-quality educational videos.
Just think—right now there are over 300 hours of video being uploaded to YouTube every minute. Why not let your students take advantage of the wealth of information on offer, as well as the opportunity to upload and share some creativity and expertise of their own?
Google for Education
As you would expect, Google pulls out all the stops when it comes to Google for Education. It's designed to work across all student and teacher devices seamlessly; no matter if you have a class, a school, or an entire district.
Google for Education offers a wide range of tools and training, and more classroom and teaching resources than you can imagine. Productivity tools like Google Docs, teacher-approved books and vids, and avenues to affordable technology are just a few of the features.
Pro-Tip: There's also the fairly recent addition of something called Google Classroom, an organizational paperless classroom tool that goes hand in hand with Google's Apps for Education.
These 5 educational resources are designed to bring excitement and capture the imagination in any modern learning environment. If you find them useful, send a shout out to the fine folks who worked hard to make them available to you and your students.