Tech Buffs An instructional technology newsletter

New Year Tips & Tricks

For you & your Students

This week I thought I'd mention some of tools out there that are useful anytime of the year and in some cases all year long. From creating beautiful presentations to bell ringers & exit tickets & just useful keyboard shortcuts to share with your and your students. Click on any of the buttons mentioned below to go directly to the websites to access to tools.

Presentation Tools

There are many resources available when creating presentations for your and your students. Power Points and Google Slides are no longer the only resource. Sure, they get the information presented and organized but there are so many other tools that are visually appealing and can keep your audience's attention longer than the traditional presentation. Each of the tools mentioned can be used for free and are easy to use for both you and your students. Whether you are creating a traditional informative presentation, info-graphic, or video, each one of these tools has built in design, so you don't have to pick colors, fonts, think about image placement...your only task is to add the information. The resources are designed to create slide decks, posters, or flyesr in a way that looks professional & informative & beautiful.


Adobe Spark

Useful Websites

Everyday Shortcuts

Bell Ringers & Exit Tickets

Bell ringers & Exit Tickets are a quick formative assessment that can take a few minutes of your class time and take little preparation if done using tools that can do the work for you. I am a fan of using these tools not only for the assessment benefit but in addition adding these activities into your classroom can help establish a routine for students & establish your expectations in class. There are a variety of ways to do this, take a look at a few of the ways I mention below, they can work with any content and across grade levels.

Start your week with a Map!

"Every Monday morning, we will post a new map on this site. The maps will be unlabeled, uncaptioned thematic maps with no scales or legends. The maps we post will be of five types: choropleths, cartograms, dot maps, proportional symbol maps, and isoline maps.For each week’s map, your job is simple: figure out what data is being presented by the map. To solve the map, you have to find the clues on it and come up with an explanation that ties them all together. Your answer should be specific and precise.You may wish to print out each week’s map and hang it in the hallway for students to ponder as the week goes on. For younger grades, they might also make good challenge problems for students who have finished their in-class work. However you use these maps, the most important things are to give students time to explore the maps and the opportunity to collaborate with their peers. These maps are not intended to be solved quickly, but rather to reward those students who really dig into them!"

Socrative is your classroom app for fun, effective classroom engagement. No matter where or how you teach, Socrative allows you to instantly connect with students as learning happens. Quickly assess students with prepared activities or on-the-fly questions to get immediate insight into student understanding

Poll everywhere

Our clicker-free classroom response system improves learning outcomes, and fills the diverse needs of educators and students around the world. Simply create your poll using questions, and wait for responses. Responses are live and recorded for you to check at your convenience.

~Marisa Mejia, your Instructional Technology Specialist. Thanks for the read! Please reach out anytime if you would like some help or just a friendly face to help implement these instructional tools into your classroom.
Created By
Marisa Mejia

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