There are an abundance of education technology tools available today, it may be unclear as to which is best. While I cannot answer this question, I can share some of the more popular tools that are available (most of which are free).
You may have heard of most of these, but others may surprise you.
7 Cool Ed-Tech Tools
1. MOOCs – Short for “Massive Open Online Courses”, MOOCs are platforms that offer college courses from prominent universities like Stanford and the University of Michigan. There are pre-recorded lectures, interactive exercises, and live lesson screencasts.
2. Skill-builder Websites – These sites have a focus on improving skills in a very specific topic through online video instruction and step-by-step tutorials. Sites like Lynda.com and Codecademy are good examples. While some free courses do exist, you’ll likely need to take out your credit card for most in-demand topics.
3. Blackboard Learn – This is an online learning management system that allows students and teachers to access digital course content. There is a bit of a learning curve with this tool, and the design can only be customized slightly – but it is a good choice perhaps for a small classroom. The live video chat is a nice feature.
4. Skype in the Classroom – You probably have heard of Skype, but never thought about using it for educational purposes. Skype is a great way to allow for real-time collaboration on lesson content or even projects. There is an entire section on the Skype website dedicated to Skype within education.
5. Khan Academy – This is a not-for-profit that provides video lessons (over 4,000), many of which are taught by the founder Sal Khan. Subjects range from trigonometry to angel investing.
6. YouTube EDU – A repository of all the top educational videos uploaded to YouTube. You can find pre-recorded lectures, live stream video lectures, interactive quizzes, and screencasts.
7. iTunes U – This resource features a library of courses that can be accessed and managed through the very popular Apple ecosystem. The added benefit is that there is an app for the iPhone, iPod Touch, and iPad.