2019 has been a year filled with gadgets, gizmos, and applications that are not only fun, but functional in the classroom. The end of the year is just around the corner, so maybe wrap it up with a little gift – Treat your students, friends, or maybe just yourself, to some of the coolest ed tech tools we could find for the classroom. From maker-bots to new Chrome devices, there are so many interesting bits of tech you can give to yourself and your classroom!
Here are a few of the new and interesting tech pieces that are sure to inspire this holiday season! Enjoy!
- Google Cardboard Virtual Reality
- Making virtual reality technology available to everyone – Once thought of as a strictly luxury item, virtual reality headsets are becoming increasingly common in the classroom and each passing year brings improvements! Google Cardboard is one of the cheapest and best options out on the market for budget-conscious educators, priced at only $15 per headset via the official Google Cardboard website. Easy to assemble, made of actual cardboard, and only relying on a smartphone to operate, these devices are perfect for younger grades and those simply curious about what virtual reality apps are all about!
On that note, there are a ton of applications out there customized for Google Cardboard. Here are a few;
- Within VR – Cinematic Virtual Reality
- Entirely Free! Watch immersive, photo-realistic content from independent creators, studios, film festivals, and more. All kinds of content is offered: Everything from documentaries and music videos to animation and short films! Send students on educational journeys that both entertain and educate by using Virtual Reality viewers like Google Cardboard.
- Get creative! Use this awesome application to create and build immersive, 360 degree tours easily using your own 360 degree photos or using Google Street View. Tools include adding image overlays, points of interest, and more! Upload created content in the Google 3D content library, Poly, so that everyone can share in the experience!
- Useful Applications and Extensions
- Small programs can be a big boost in productivity – The classroom can be a chaotic and distraction-filled space! Sometimes, just saving a few minutes can save the day and give you peace of mind. Here are a few extensions and applications that can boost your daily productivity!
- Create mobile, digital lessons in minutes! The Blendspace app makes it easy to create, build, and deliver lesson plans while integrating content via YouTube, TES resources, other digital media, your own personal files, and much more! For use on both iOS and Google devices, which means it suits many different types of classrooms! Best part? It’s free!
- Keeping up with reading, whether it be for personal or work reasons, can be hectic – Especially when trying to save articles found online to read at a later date. If you’re the type to bookmark something and then forget it exists, this might be the extension for you! Actually Read it Later is pretty simple; you set a time for reading, save any article you would like by clicking the extension icon, then when the time comes… you’re presented with a list of relevant articles. A friendly, helpful reminder!
- Jour is a journaling application created with you in mind. Made for iOS, this task list-journal-mindfulness all-in-one app focuses not just on getting your tasks done, but how you feel while doing them. Jour is designed to help you reflect on your day, set goals for yourself, and create a bit of peace in a busy, hectic life! Perfect for educators that simply need some grounding space in their always-on-the-go careers.
- Sphero SPRK+ Coding Robot and Sphero Edu App
- Sphero SPRK+ ignites the imagination – Coding in the classroom has become an exciting new standard of STEAM education, with applications and websites geared toward learners of all ages, such as Code.org, App Inventor, Codeacademy, etc. With this rise of STEAM education has come the advent of robotics in the classroom – Which is where Sphero SPRK+ comes into play! Sphero is a coding robot that teaches young learners the value of active problem solving, STEAM engagement, along with the basics of coding and robotics.
Using a companion app, users can program Sphero’s LED lights, motors, accelerometer, and gyroscope with drag and drop actions, controls, and other operations! There are other versions of Sphero on the market besides the SPRK+, so it’s easy to find the best fit.
- Chrome OS Tablets
- Google Chrome OS is everywhere – Chrome is the most popular browser on the current market, especially with Chromebooks becoming a regularly used device in wide array of educational settings. Chrome Tablets offer the standard Chrome OS capabilities, along with being compatible with many apps and other programs. With Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and other useful Google applications built into the system itself, Google OS tablets have the functionality of a Chromebook with the portability and practicality of a standard tablet. Chrome OS tablets also typically have larger displays, higher resolutions, and other features that keep them unique from Android-based tablets. Below are three Chrome OS tablet models available currently:
- HP 2-in-1 12.3” Touch-Screen Chromebook
- Acer D651N-k9WT 9.7IN Chrome OS Tablet with Stylus
- ASUS CT100 9.7” Chrome OS Tablet with Stylus
Forward Edge is a full-service K-12 technology service provider in Cincinnati, OH. We offer valuable assistance for districts in Partner Managed Services, Staff Augmentation, Cabling, OFCC Technology Design, Networking, and more to assist in all your current and future technology needs!
In addition, Forward Edge also offers help developing technology integration skills via our Curriculum and Technology Integration department. By utilizing the ISTE Standards for Coaches, Educators and Students, certifications in Google For Education, and experience with the latest technology, we provide a wide range of services like Professional Development, 1-on-1 Coaching, On-Site Coaching, Bootcamps, Webinars and more, all which deliver big benefits to your team.
Contact Forward Edge today about the variety of services we offer! Learn more about our future-proof services via our Website, by reaching us via calling (513)761-3343, or sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org