I really gained a better understanding of the difference between active and passive technology tools after viewing the graphic below that Christina posted.
In terms of active technology tools, I have a couple different resources that I find work very well.
- Code.org is free to use and has individual student accounts organized under a teacher account. The website teaches students how to code, allows for collaborative coding experiences, and advances in difficulty as students master concepts. It even has “unplugged” activities which are designed to be used when you want to teach coding but don’t have access to a computer. (Perfect for closing that equity gap!) Code.org also offers free workshops for educators (I attended one last summer) to teach about how to integrate coding into your classroom.
- Office365 comes at a high price, but is worthwhile in the classroom. I love having my students work together on an assignment. They are able to access it from any device, thus strengthening collaboration and global connections in the process.
- Skype in the Classroom is another free tool that I use quite frequently in my classroom. This is probably one of the best examples of an active tech tool. Skype in the Classroom connects teachers across the globe. Through this Microsoft service, my entire class has Skyped with other classes in states across the country. We also have participated in a virtual field trip to North Carolina’s Aquarium to learn about habitats. Skype in the Classroom is interactive and promotes connecting globally.