Integrating web platforms, mobile apps and social networks into the education is a big challenge. On the other side, the digital transformation is nowadays playing an important role in our society and the social technologies, the web solutions and the interactive apps are an essential resource for teachers and educational staff.
To reach this goal, in the first week of August together with teachers coming from all over Europe we explored together the functions and features of several useful digital tools.
At first, we learned how to use some tools to edit photos, create collages and for video-editing, like Snapseed, a photo-editing application, Photogrid, a photo/video-editing application that enables users to collage photos, and Magisto, a video-editing application.
Some of the interactive and creative applications we discovered and practiced were Powtoon, a web-based animation software that allows users to create animated presentations, and Mentimeter, a web application that allows teachers to create interactive presentations to engage the students.
We answered the question “How to assess in a engaging way?” practicing with some applications like Quizlet, a web-based application that helps students to learn through interactive tools, flashcards and games, and Socrative, a quiz-based, educational assessment tool with multiplefun and engagingfeatures.
We also learned how to use educational resources for teachers and students like: Ed-modo, a global education network; Ted-ed, a growing library of original animated videos, that inspire an international platform for teachers to produce in a creative way their own interactive video lesson; Ed-Puzzle, a platform for teachers and students that can be used to add voiceovers and questions on videos taken from Youtube or other sources, and to create interactive video lessons.
The participants also learned how to create their own engaging website on Weebly, practicing with the different tools that the platform offers, which allows users to add different pages, to give a structure to the web site, to add a photo gallery, to upload a video, to add a survey or a test in a website, etc.
How can we decide which tool to use? It is important to start from the context analysis to identify the most proper tools for the learning objectives. Another important thing to remember is that it is essential to promote the use of these tools safely, through an awareness of the risks that the use of these platforms can entail.
Another topic is the use of Social Networks for educational purposes. Connecting with students and parents is essential not only for distance learning, but also to support for face-to-face learning. Social Networks, like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube, can be usedto facilitate discussion among students, to connect and network, to findideas for activities that can be used inside the class, to share educational contents, and much else.
What can we add? There are many tools that the digital world offers that can be exploited in the educational context. Now it’s up to the teachers to choose which is the best for their context and goal!
Enjoy and have fun!