May 18, 2023

The Three C’s of EdTech

EdTech has the power to change the way your classroom operates. The benefits are numerous for teachers and students alike, ranging from individualized lesson plans to transparent channels for feedback to students and parents. 

As the market for EdTech grows, so do the offerings, with sophisticated technologies for everything from classroom management to device security. But this education-enhancing technology doesn’t have to come at a high price. 

Yes, many of these offerings are subscription-based and sometimes pricey. Other companies, however, are committed to keeping their services completely free, allowing anyone with a computer to change the way teachers transmit their knowledge and students interact with each other. 

These programs will be felt across areas. IT departments will be happy to know these programs offer SSO options for secure logins and ways to manage accounts. Administrators will be happy to learn they’re cost-effective. Teachers and students will be happiest of all, since they have the potential to transform day-to-day activities.

If you’re here, you probably are wondering how to access and use these free EdTech tools. Here are a few tips for three of the most useful, and affordable, EdTech software. While they offer opportunities for purchased add-ons, they are accessible and useful without. 

 

Clever

EdTech has opened up a world of online resources — and created an obstacle: All those passwords.

Clever removes that hurdle. No more password recovery emails. No more wondering which username goes with which website.

With Clever, one website opens every educational resource. Thanks to Clever, accessing the many applications that have become integral to the classroom is simpler than ever.  

Clever is a centralized IT portal for students, teachers, and administrators. Using a single sign-on, students can open up all their online apps in one place. The result is an efficient, refreshingly streamlined system. Gone are the days of students logging on to different pages and teachers repeating, over and over, the page to load. Upon entering the classroom, students know exactly the first page to open: Clever. 

The result? More instructional time for teachers, fewer fumbling for passwords, and enhanced security. All of this ease comes with an additional sigh of relief: Clever is also more secure than having multiple logins, making students’ information potentially vulnerable with each forgotten password. 

Clever also makes it easier to experiment with available resources, and then reflect on what classrooms are using. Administrators can use analytics to see which apps are being used and to what extent, which will help make budgeting decisions. 

And though it’s hard to believe, Clever is free for schools.

 

Canva

Canva unlocks the power of graphic design to anyone, from budding Monets to the artistically challenged. Think: Visually stunning presentations and printables, all made possible with a few simple tweaks. Whether users are adept or novices, they’re only a few customizations away from sleek, professional flyers, and presentations.

The best part? Canva’s services are completely free for eligible educators and students through its Canva for Education program, which has a library of tailor-made templates for your school’s needs.

The applications are endless. Individual teachers can harness Canva to make lessons and projects vivid and engaging. Administrators can make resources that will go out to students and teachers — and maybe impress on back-to-school night. Students can collaborate on group projects, each able to log in to the platform separately.  

Canva also makes it easy to create uniform branding for your school, down to the font and image motifs. For example, all documents can come with school colors and logos. 

EdTech works best when the resources can integrate with each other, amplifying capabilities. And luckily, Canva offers single sign-on with Google and integrates with Google Drive.Students are canvases for learning. Canva makes it possible.

 

Common Sense Media

Pro tip: Don’t press play on a movie or assign a book before reading the Common Sense Media review first.

The website helps teachers navigate the saturated world of media, sifting through to find the materials that are educational and appropriate for classroom purposes. Teachers can identify what’s trending now and weave it into their  Parents can also benefit from this tool, as it has articles that explain what’s really going on in their kids’ phones (and lives). 

To use Common Sense Media, educators can head to the ‘for educators’ tab on top of the site, as opposed to the section of the site geared at parents.

After creating an account (did we mention it’s free?), teachers have access to a range of resources, from detailed lesson plans and printables, to content recommendations for different age sets. The result? Rather than simply put on “Inside Out,” use the Pixar movie as a launchpad for a thoughtful dialogue about social-emotional learning. 

Just as Common Sense Media is a compass for adults in the digital age, the site provides students with the skills they need to be responsible in this landscape, with lessons on media literacy and more. 

The Digital Citizenship curriculum is specifically designed to help young people navigate their lives on the internet, getting ahead of concepts like privacy and the digital footprint, mental health and social media, hoaxes, and scams … and why TikTok is so addictive.

Common Sense Media knows we’re living in a connected world, and provides people of all ages with the tools for thriving.

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