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  • Writer's pictureLCS ITRTs

These Are a Few of Our Favorite Things

As we approach June, the ITRTs picked their edtech superlatives for 2021-2022. Here is a run down of some of our favorites. For each favorite in greater detail, check out our presentation link here.

1) Favorite Tech Tip: Kasey Bell’s Shake Up Learning

Kasey Bell is a former middle school teacher turned award-winning digital learning coach and author. She has a passion for technology and learning and is kind enough to share! Through her website , she shares tons of free resources for teachers. She has great blogs and podcasts on the latest technology and pedagogy. She has wonderful, FREE how-to videos on all kinds of cool & quick tech tips. She also provides courses to help people get their Google educator certifications. She has free downloads and lots of practical, helpful resources.

2) Favorite Social Media Platform: Clubhouse App

Clubhouse is an invite-only, audio platform where users can listen to and join in on conversations with others across the globe. While the social media platform was not made for educators, a lot of educators have joined, making the platform rich in conversations around education policy, teaching practices, equity and technology. Unlike other social-media platforms, Clubhouse conversations occur in real time. This can be both a plus and a minus. The advantage is that you are in the “room,” live with other educators and can ask questions and be in the moment. The disadvantage is that the conversations are not recorded, and once they end there is not a way to go back and listen. Additionally, you can set up your own room around a specific topic and invite colleagues to join in a discussion you moderate.

3) Favorite App: Google Lens

Google Lens is an app that uses your smartphone camera to not only detect an object in front of the camera lens, but understand it and offer actions such as scanning, translation, homework

help, and more.

4) Favorite Thing Google: Google Workspace

Google Workspace for Education is an awesome program that not only teaches you how to use all the educational apps in Google, but it also helps you integrate them into your classroom. Google Educator takes you step by step through Level 1 and Level 2 Certification. It is important for everyone in the Education profession to know how to use Google Workspace not only to make their work easier but also to help the students ease into the workforce with mastery of these skills.

5) Favorite Extension: Toby

Whether you are a minimalist that gets overwhelmed by a lot of tabs or someone that is super organized, Toby Mini is the extension for you. It saves ALL the tabs you need into collections, so you don’t have to keep a million tabs open. Being an ITRT, I have collections like Digital Portfolio, Staff Laptop Distribution, and Tech After Dark. It feels AMAZING to close out of everything when I’m done with it, and know it’s all saved for when I need to come back to it!

6) Favorite Book: Blended

Blended learning is the integration of technology not just in the classroom but at home as well. True blended learning gives students ownership as well as the ability to personalize their learning to fit their specific needs. It is the best way to truly differentiate for your students and meet their specific needs. If you are looking for a place to start, Blended: Using Disruptive Innovation to Improve Schools and Blended Learning with Google are two great books that discuss what blended learning is and looks like in various classrooms/schools.

7) Favorite Website: Matt Miller’s Website and Blog

Matt Miller’s website and blog are chocked full of resources and ideas that make learning fun and engaging for students and at the same time, tapping into their creativity. Tech Like a Pirate is just a part of his Ditch That Textbook website that encourages teachers to think outside the box of “read this chapter and answer these questions.” Start with your textbook materials and enhance them to infuse technology into your lessons and turn lessons into learning experiences that will stay with your students long after school is over. His website is full of templates, ebook downloads, blog posts, and resources that are all FREE for teachers to use as they see fit in their classrooms.

8) Favorite Podcast: Cult of Pedagogy

Ever find yourself doing something mindless--laundry, commuting, gardening, exercising--and want to keep your mind moving? Then podcasts are for you! My fav, Jennifer Gonzalez, covers a little bit of EVERYTHING trending in education in her podcast, Cult of Pedagogy. Join the conversation, it won’t disappoint.

9) Favorite Newsletter: Practical EdTech Tip of the Week

Practical Ed Tech Tip of the Week is a newsletter that shares practical ways to use technology in your classroom. A newsletter (email) is sent each week with clear and concise tips that you can use right away! The newsletter also links to a website with more resources, tips, and video tutorials. This is a wealth of easy to implement information at your fingertips and it’s free!

10) Favorite Standard Integration: Computer Science Integration

Virginia was the first state to adopt Computer Science standards in November 2017. These standards are a requirement by the VDOE to be integrated into K-8 core content areas. We know these standards can be overwhelming. Check out free virtual training offerings this summer through CodeVA to help get you started.

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