What EDTech Tools Are You Using to Meet Your Learner's Needs?

Kahoot! recently announced (finally) that students will be able to display questions on their own devices. In my opinion, this is long overdue. Kahoot! is such a fun learning tool, especially in face-to-face environments. In remote learning, however, it was extremely challenging because students really needed to be able to have two devices or have the ability to maneuver between two screens on their own devices. We all know that our students are lucky to have one device, let alone two. And, while I do have some students with pretty good tech skills, the majority do not. 

Other companies like Quizizz and Quizlet allow students to see questions right from their device. This is why a lot of us opted to use those tools instead in a remote environment. Now, we have another option!

I am sure that Kahoot! was inspired by the remote learning world to finally make this alteration; I just question why it took so long. The need was there in face to face as well. Sometimes it was hard for students to see questions on the overhead or the questions would cut off depending on your overhead and own device. But, it's here now, and I believe this is a game changer! I can't wait to try it out! 

  • What technology tools are you using to meet your students' needs?
  • How do those tools benefit your students? 

     

Comments

Thanks, Ashly, for spreading the news about that much-awaited update from Kahoot!

One learning content tool that saw a neat enhancement last year was Cell-Ed. For several years, their platform has been available via call-in (basic phone preferably with unlimited texts and minutes), mobile app (iOS, Android), and computer (web). You can switch platforms and pick up wherever you left off. Last year they optimized their platform for use entirely within WhatsApp!

For LCNV, where I work, this cross-platform functionality has been tremendously helpful - whether for referring learners and other agencies to free access through Cell-Ed's 1 Million Learner Challenge (signups ended in December, I think) or for signing up learners in our state-funded classes. 

In Virginia, Cell-Ed is on the approved distance education curriculum list for reportable proxy hours. In a time when programs are increasingly looking to adopt approved distance learning content, how our other tools are doing in being accessible for learners in low-tech environments?

Hi Xavier! I love the tools you mentioned. I remember when I first saw a presentation on Cell-Ed, I was blown away by the opportunity for low tech ESL students. I am really hoping that more EDtech and  distance learning programs start finding ways to make their services more accessible to low-tech environments. Never was the need more obvious than when the pandemic started. The program I worked for was fortunate enough to have a paper-based distance learning option for our students, but the publisher no longer offers that curriculum. Every time I speak with a DL provider or EDtech company, I mention the same thing. I would lvoe to hear others experiences with companies offering low tech options.

Adobe's Liquid Mode for PDF

Customize font size and spacing. Collapse sections. Tap to expand images. And more. That's what Liquid Mode can do for PDFs read on mobile devices (iOS, Android) and on Google Play Store-compatible Chromebooks according to their unveiling in September. I first learned about this from the EdTech Center at World Education's Readability for All webinar in October 2020 (recording and resources here); a demonstration of what Liquid Mode can do starts around 25' 55" in the recording. I'm excited about the potential of this.

Although there may be legitimate concerns for memory on a learner's mobile device in downloading the Adobe Acrobat Reader app and whatever PDFs they might use for class, there seem to be significant benefits to learning an everyday tool for reading not only instructional materials (e.g., PDFs of The Change Agent) but also reading community / school / work documents (e.g., flyers). 

Microsoft's Immersive Reader now in the Wakelet mobile app and in Canvas

If you're not already familiar with Microsoft's Immersive Reader, it enables a variety of accessibility features - spacing and font size, line focus, read aloud, etc. It also offers various language and literacy supports, such as picture dictionary and translation. It's built into Flipgrid, Teams, the Edge browser, and other Microsoft tools. It's been available in Wakelet for some time.

Now, as tweeted on February 25, 2021, Immersive Reader is also available in the Wakelet mobile app! I can see a lot of benefits to this, for instance, if you're using Wakelet as a class website / class newsletter or as a way to share LEA or learner-generated texts. Check out this GIF for a mini demonstration of Immersive Reader in the Wakelet app. 

Also announced in February - Immersive Reader is available to Canvas users as well. (My thanks to the Virginia Adult Learning Resource Center for making it available in their online courses thereby making me aware of this update.) It seems like it's only available for institutions at this time but not in the Canvas Free for Teachers? 

 

What do you think - could Adobe's Liquid Mode or Immersive Reader be a game-changer for your class / program?

My favorite tools are the basics.  I like to take notes on a Google Doc inside of Google Classroom so that students have access to the lesson after class.  I use WhatsApp for communication and for practice outside of class.  I use Quizlet and we play Quizlet Live.  

This past week, I found a PowerPoint template for a game that turned out to be a lot of fun.  You can look at my version of this game by clicking here. I'm always looking for something new to try, so I look forward to seeing what other people post. 

Peace,

Glenda

I totally agree, Glenda! Before the pandemic, I had a list of tools I was going to learn and try out, but the second remote learning happened, I went back to and relied on my most basic tools!