10 tech tools you use every day... or should

by 9:35 PM 2 comments
Today I stayed home sick from school. Somedays, you just need to rest.

Of course, I didn't. But, as my good friend Devin (@dschoening) reminded me:


This post is dedicated to the (almost obvious, but sometimes it's so ingrained in us we forget) tech tools teachers use everyday... or should.

1) Twitter - Perfect for connecting to other like-minded educators, and creating PLNs and social networks. But my favorite use of Twitter, finding new ways to do things through the ideas of others (check out the #madewithpaper tag, and imagine).

2) Email - I know this is pretty obvious, but email has become my number one tool for contacting parents. Not because I don't like calling (I mean, I don't mind it and all), but for my kids, it's hard to get ahold of parents by phone because it may be turned off. But most of my parents have an email address.

3) Facebook - If Facebook is blocked by your district, see what you can do to undo that. Another great tool for connecting with parents. Some of our districts' younger grades have class sites where parents can see progress of classes, and again, make that connection with teachers.

4) SoundCloud - I actually had a teacher today (yes, while I was home sick) ask me if SoundCloud is a tool a teacher could use to record text from a book for a special-needs student to listen back through while at home. They had their school issued Google Chromebook and an internet connection, so I pushed this first.

5)  Wix - One of my new favorites. While my school is partnered with Google on many things (and it's a wonderful partnership), we are able to try new things as well. I actually heard of Wix from a teacher in another building, and he's been using it for years. It's a free website building site. You can upgrade (at a cost) for more personalization, but for his students' photography and video portfolios, it's perfect... and simple. I just recently upgraded my class website: www.cbjacketjournalism.com.

6) YouTube - Another of the more popular sites to block by districts, YouTube is worth fighting for. There are many branches of this site you could use as well, like YouTube for Education. You could also use filters such as splicd.com to get only the part of the video you need.

7) TED.ed - A video site for educators that help "flip a lesson." In general, TED Talks inspire me to be better at life, and these are specific for education and lessons. Sometimes I just watch these for no other reason that I am hooked on watching them.

8) Paper.li - In Paper.li, you can create a "playlist" of sorts of content you want to read about. The site gathers the information you tell it to (based off of tags and terms, tweets, and other content filtering methods) to create a personalized paper for you... and you can share it.

Of course, I have an EdTech365 Paper.li to share with you.

9) Blogger.com - A Google tool I use with my students. I always start my Intro to Journalism class with having the students create a blog. Then, I ask them students to answer questions (to get them writing, and used to writing in it). Eventually, I stop making them use it.

A little Pavlov-ian, I believe. *Ring Ring

10) 3D Printing - I have recently been tinkering with this since I learned it was possible through my Grad class. Not just possible, but relatively accessible! Our district has a printer, and UN-Omaha has one. Right now, other than a select few students (and teachers) it's not utilized by the masses. But, UNO offers students the ability to print what they create relatively cheaply.

Because of this, I am learning about blender.com right now to create some 3D artifacts: namely some flags for our microphones!

The potential for students to use these to create models, tools, or ANYTHING THEY CAN IMAGINE is awesome.

My #paperface is #madewithpaper (by fiftythree.com)
edit: I am using Paper (an app by fiftythree.com for iPad) a ton lately, and I would be sad if I didn't add it as a special bonus. There are many educational ways to use it... it is just like paper. But, it just fun to use as well. I'm hooked. 
What tools do you use every day that didn't make this list? Just add in the comments below!

Oh, and Devin, I got this done before 10pm, so I was productive today.



I do a lot of things. The best thing I do is fathering (I think). I'm the ol' "Jack of all trades, Master of none." I teach aspiring journalists. I run. I play guitar(s). I also host a running podcast. Oh, and I dabble in drawing. And I dabble in authoring... children's books no less. I just dabble. Sometimes I ramble.


  1. Hey Rob, great read - Since I saw Wix making it to your list, what is your opinion on http://www.webnode.com and moonfruit? They are definitely my favourites when it comes to WS building.

    1. I haven't yet, but definitely will check into them! Thanks for sharing Anon.