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Here are some new edu tools/apps that I am going to try with my class in the coming weeks.
Author’s notes: these are likely not new to everyone, but they will be new to my students. Also, these are apps/web-tools that have interested/intrigued me, in no way have I received any money for endorsing these products.

1. instaGrok

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A new way to see research. This is an app that will display research in an interactive mind map or web. I have played with this a little bit, and would say that its potential to help improve student research is very promising. Students will see the different links and offshoots of any topic and could access informative in a friendlier environment. Check it out for yourself….
A free download from the App Store, check it out here

2. Google Forms

Definitely not new, but my students have yet to experience the ease of creating and gathering primary source information through a form. The usea are endless, but will certainly change the way that students collect and analyse information for any data management projects.

Here is a great reference point for anyone unfamiliar with using forms from Catlin Tucker

3. Classkick

Classkick is a platform where students can work on teacher created assignments and you, the teacher, can monitor their progress in real-time. I have been intrigued by this app, not because of the structure that it could provide a digital classroom, but rather the opportunity for direct feedback. Having drastically reduced the amount of marks/grades this year I am always looking for ways to provide more meaningful feedback to students. This app could help. Worth noting that this app/platform is intended for a 1:1 setting (unless you are getting creative with groupings or rotations).

4. Edmettle
A very new startup from Brian Aspinall of the LKDSB. Edmettle is, “a social network and feedback management tool for teachers and students. Members of the class can reward each other for positive behaviour”. The focus with this is on understanding the soft skills, like self-regulation or organization, and being able to recognize them. Sounds innovative to me, we are going to give it a try. Give them a follow on twitter

If you have some experience with or ideas for using these tools I would love to hear about them, Cheers and Happy 2015!

(feature image from unsplash.com a great source for beautiful Creative Commons friendly images)

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