Teachers may sometimes feel overwhelmed by the multitude of resources available online. It might take one a tremendous amount of time to sift through and locate required instructional materials to use in class, which is a taxing task for the already overburdened teacher. Sometimes technology becomes an end in and of itself which is a trap some teachers fall into.
Unless technology adds tangible value to the teaching/learning process then there is no point of using it. Hence the importance of the SAMR model, a framework that helps teachers gauge their technology practices and provides them with the theoretical support necessary to make the best of technology in their teaching.
An important step towards making informed decisions regarding technology integration in education is curation. Teachers need to be effective curators of digital content. By effective curation I mean the ability to search for, locate, and assess digital resources that can potentially add value to your teaching; in other words, resources that can preferably be used at the transformative level of the SAMR model. There are several web curation tools you can use in this regard.
Besides curating your own resources, curated EdTech collections such as the one below are also great places where you can access quality resources to use in your teaching. In the list below I featured what I believe are some of the best free websites that provide treasure trove of educational content most of which is created and shared by fellow teachers and educators.
From ready-made lesson plans and study guides to practice exercises and EdTech tools, the websites below provide you with the resources you need to transform your teaching/learning and grow professionally.
Here are some of the best teacher websites to consider:
1- Timeline creation tools
In this collection, I share some helpful tools teachers and students can use to create various types of timelines. All of these tools are are simple and easy to use, no technical knowledge is required.
2- Canva for Education
Canva is a design platform that allows you to create a wide range of interactive media materials including infographics, posters, presentations, worksheets, comic strips, newsletters, book reports, cards, and many more.
Canva for Education is a Canva tool made specifically for teachers, students, and school districts. It offers all Canva pro features for free including tons of premium templates, royalty free images, premium icons and text fonts, background remover and many more.
Canva for Education offers a wide range of interesting features that make it a great design platform to use in your teaching. Both you and your students can start creating beautiful design work without the need for advanced graphic design knowledge.
3- Form Builders
In this list I share a collection of some great tools to create various types of educational forms. These are all simple and easy to use form builders. No technical or coding knowledge is required. In fact, you can set up and create professional looking forms in minutes.
While the list is created with teachers and educators in mind, anyone else looking for easy to use form builders will find this collection helpful. I have used and continue to use these tools to build forms at several points in my career as an educator and EdTech blogger. I find them reliable and helpful.
4- Game-based tools
These are tools that enable you to create game-based activities to boost students learning and collect key feedback about students performance. Tools such as Quizlet, Kahoot, Blooket, and Quizalize are ideal for designing such activities. The way they work is pretty much the same: You log in to your teacher account, create a class, invite students, start creating game-based activities, share with students.
You can either allow students to play live in class or you can share them as homework assignments. As students play the games, you get access to detailed stats about their performance. You can use these insights to address individual learning problems and to plan remedial work.
5- Web conferencing tools
In this collection I share with you with you some of the best video conferencing and webinar hosting tools for teachers and educators. You can use these tools to deliver online training, workshops, webinars, schedule and plan meetings, and more. All of these web conferencing tools support live broadcasting of presentations, screen sharing, messaging, and many more.
6- Social bookmarking and digital curation tools
In this post I featured some of the best social bookmarking and digital curation tools for teachers and students. Using these tools, you will be able to instantly bookmark web pages, videos, images, and any type of web content and save it to your personal library to access at your own pace anytime, anywhere.
7-QR Code Generators
Whether you are using QR codes in your instruction or are considering to use them in the future, this list contains popular QR Code generators for teachers and students. There are various ways to use QR Code generators in your teaching. For instance, you can use them to create interactive and engaging content, share resources with students, provide homework help, communicate with parents, gather students feedback, and many more. Check them out the learn more.
8- Random group generators
Looking for some good random group generators to use with your students in class? This list has you covered. It features some of the best random group maker tools out there. No sign-up is required to start using these tools. The process is simple and easy: type students names and click on spin to let the wheel select random names to use to create various groups in class.
9- Printable graphic organizers
This is a collection of educational resources where you can download and print free graphic organizer templates to use with your students in class. Graphic organizers are great tools to help students visualize learning and make their thinking processes visible. They can be used as scaffolds to enhance understanding by enabling students to organize information, deconstruct abstract concepts, and simplify complex information.
10- Lesson planners
This is a collection of some good online lesson planners to help you easily create, collaborate, and share lesson plans. I invite you to check them out and use our social media channels to share with us your feedback.
Wrapping up the exploration of these valuable teacher websites, it’s clear that the digital landscape has provided us with a wealth of resources that can make the teaching and learning journey more engaging, efficient, and rewarding. From my years in the classroom and now as an educational researcher, I can’t stress enough the impact these tools have had on my own practice. Whether it’s lesson planning, professional development, or connecting with like-minded educators, these websites are more than just digital spaces; they’re vibrant communities where creativity and collaboration flourish.
But, of course, one size doesn’t fit all. While I’ve found immense value in some of these platforms, you might resonate with others. It’s all about exploring, tinkering, and finding what suits your teaching style and educational needs. And as we all continue to embrace technology, it’s important to stay critical, keeping an eye on data privacy, accessibility, and relevance to our specific contexts.