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The digital tools to suit every type of learning

The article has many links to digital tools that teachers from all sectors, primary to higher education, recommend from their experience.

Here are some different types of learning and the digital tools to suit them:

Canva

Look at Yasemin Allsop’s use of Canva, where she asks her Maths Education students to learn through production by asking them to contribute structured posters about a specific useful digital app – if you teach primary maths, this collection of brief reviews could be useful.

Spark video

This is Eileen Kennedy’s advice on how to make video work well for learning through acquisition: Video is a powerful tool – but you don’t have to do everything live.

You can record your voice over Powerpoint slides and export them as a video or use a tool like Spark Video. Or you can record your screen to show how to read a text critically or use a piece of software. Don’t try to edit too much – it adds precious time and being too slick can alienate the students.

Powerpoint animations

Paula Ambrosi uses some delightful Powerpoint animations to enliven the acquisition learning in her modern foreign languages teaching.

Mentimeter

For learning through discussion, Eileen Kennedy advises that posting a comment online can be scary for some students, so ease them into it with low-risk activities like word clouds and polls, so they get to see what others are thinking first.

Tools like Mentimeter can be used in a blended classroom as well as online, where you can share or embed links on Moodle for students to add answers and see the results, or to make comments on an issue.

Padlet

Padlet can be used to support learning through inquiry. Students were encouraged to look for examples of classical characters, such as underworld wrongdoers, in modern forms of literature, music, painting, sculpture, architectural relief, newspapers, magazines, comics, movies, TV shows, and video games.

Electude

To help students learn through practice Scott Hayden at Basingstoke Technology College demonstrates how they can do this with a digital simulation. You might like to investigate the Electude tool that creates the simulation of the car engine.

FlipGrid

For using practice to learn a specific skill, such as speaking, Sally Jones uses FlipGrid. Her video on language teaching shows how she uses it for students to rehearse their speaking skills in Modern Languages but could be used for any type of skill where the student can practise alone and then share what they’ve achieved.

In the video, Sally demonstrates how her students use the tool to practice together, then record what they’ve done on audio and video. She then offers personalised feedback for each one, and finally, they share their best examples with each other.

Learning through collaboration is a combination of learning through practice, discussion and production, so usually requires some combination of tools for each of those learning types.

For regular updates on good ways of using learning, technologies link to the blog by the Association for Learning Technology, which has regular valuable advice and ideas.

Membership of the Association confers huge benefits for everyone interested in learning technology, and there is an excellent annual conference somewhere in the UK every year.

For access to a huge range of resources ‘made by teachers for teachers in all subject areas and school levels, the TES site may well be known to you. It perfectly complements our focus here on the ‘how’, with a strong focus on the ‘what’.

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