6 Essential EdTech Tools for Teachers in 2021

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The current pandemic has definitely created 'new realities' for us teachers and educators, as is the case for everybody else. It has shaped the way we teach in transformative ways, to say the least. More and more teachers are now incorporating the power of EdTech in their daily practice creating thus new learning possibilities for their students and opening up new avenues for professional development and personal growth.  

As we navigate these new  realities, we get to experiment with new EdTech ideas and tools and discover alternative ways of enhancing our teaching practice. To this end and to help you make the best of EdTech in your teaching, I curated this collection of educational tools which I deem essential to your  hybrid teaching. 

1- Google Drive
I know many of you are already using it but for those who do not you are definitely missing out a lot. Google Drive offers an integrated suite of powerful tools that you can use to create, edit and share :documents (Google Docs), presentations (Google Slides), drawings (Google Drawings), forms (Google Forms) to mention a few. In my view, the strength of Google Drive tools is in their simplicity, accessibility, and utility. The fact that they are integrated together makes them the ideal EdTech Swiss army knife  to have in your teaching toolkit.

2- Video conferencing 

With the pervasive school lockdowns online and distance teaching becomes a necessity. There are several platforms out there that offer video conferencing services to leverage in your online instruction. Some of these include Microsoft Teams and Google Meet but our favourite of them all is Zoom. With the numerous and handy features it offers, Zoom is absolutely a must have. I must admit though that many of its original features such as Breakout Rooms are now being offered in Google Meet and Microsoft Teams. To learn more about Zoom you may want to check out this post.

3- Collaborative whiteboarding 

Collaborative whiteboarding is one of the best ways to get students actively engaged in meaningful learning experiences online and in class. One tool I highly recommend in this regard is Google's Jamboard. You can use it to sketch, doodle, take notes, and draw in real-time. It is also integrated with Google Meet (in case you use it) allowing you to whiteboard live in a video call.

4- Screencasting

Screencasting is another key digital skill that is imperative in today's hybrid classroom. You can use it to create instructional tutorials to help your students, for instance, learn how to use a certain tool, or create setp-by step guides to walk students through solutions to homework, etc. Besides Screencastify, Loom is definitely one of the easiest and practical screencasting tool I would recommend for you. "The tool is very simple and easy to use, and most importantly, it is integrated with several services including Gmail, Google Docs, Dropbox, Trello, Asana and many more. This means that any video you record can be watched directly where it is shared. ‘Posting a Loom video link on the supported services will automatically pull in the Loom embed player. This allows you to watch a video inline so you don't have to leave the context of the conversation.’'

5- Formative assessment 
A couple of weeks ago I shared a post featuring some of the best formative assessment tools for teachers. Here are two of our favourite titles from that list: Flipgrid and Kahoot:

   5.1 Flipgrid


Flipgrid is an excellent video-based discussion platform that allows teachers and students (and parents) to engage in rich and interactive learning. The way Flipgrid works is simple and easy. As a teacher you can choose a topic you want to discuss with your students and post discussion prompts to which students reply using short video clips. You can also invite guests to join your discussion community. Participants can comment on each others entries and exchange feedback. If you run out of topic ideas, Flipgrid offers thousands of lessons, educational activities, and topic ideas to get you inspired. 
  5.2 Kahoot


Kahoot functions more or less like Flipgrid. It also provides you with a platform where you can conduct formative assessments through live interactive discussions and learning games. You can create a kahoot for your class and invite your students to join discussion. You can add various types of questions to your kahoot, import slides, import spreadsheets, and many more.