The past 5 years has seen a dramatic shift in the way that technology is used in the classroom. Driven by greater access to broadband network connections and low-cost mobile devices, there is a greater emphasis on technology that is integrated into regular classroom activities and that does more than simply replace traditional forms of learning.
In response to this change, software companies have made huge progress in developing websites and apps that organize students lives. Among the more potent offerings are Google Classroom, a learning management system that capitalizes on the near ubiquity of Google Apps accounts, Nearpod, a web app that makes the traditional presentation interactive and engaging, and sends it right to student devices, and video editing applications such as iMovie and WeVideo that give every student the power to create amazing multimedia content.
Despite these and other great offerings for classroom management and student engagement and expression, what has lagged behind are tools that support specific subject areas. There are too few options for maximizing student engagement in social studies, English, science, and math. In addition, the great options that are out there are hard to find. What is needed is a focus on great content area resources and clear organization of these resources.
There are a few examples of excellent content-focused technology that are worth checking out.
- English: Shakespeare in Bits – https://siblive.shakespeareinbits.com/siblive2/ – an app that enhances the experience of reading Shakespeare’s plays with animated theater and multimedia
- Social Studies: Hstry – https://www.hstry.co/timelines – a platform for creating and sharing multimedia timelines that help establish context for world events
- Science: Anatomy 3D – https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.GoodwillEnterpriseDevelopment.Anatronica&hl=en – a Google Play app that capitalizes on a tablet touchscreen for virtual dissections
- Math: Photomath – https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/photomath-camera-calculator/id919087726?mt=8 – an app for the iPad and Chromebook that allows a student to scan a math problem and then view the solution and work