10 Tech Tools for Kindergarten
Using meaningful tech tools that are easy for our student's to use, will allow for the best opportunities for creation. Tech tools should not just be a substitute to a worksheet or task, they should be used to transform a task. The best way to get started is to have a list of tech tools that you can take back to your classroom and implement right away. Each tech tool below, is a tool I have personally used in my kindergarten classroom that I feel is meaningful and the perfect way to allow my student's to create. I will share a quick explanation of each tool, and some ways you can use it with your student's.
Book Creator is a tech tool that is perfect for virtual learning. Book Creator is available as an app and also through the website. I found that the website allowed for my student's to create and collaborate easier than the app.
I used Book Creator to create a class book. Each child was assigned a page to share about themselves. I gave them a few ideas on what to share, and once it was completed, we shared each page as a class. This allowed for us to build community by getting to know our classmates, and also give my students a digital way to create and share. You can save and share this book digitally, or also print it off to have a hard copy of your book for when your class is able to return to in-person learning.
Not only can you use this to create a class book, but you can also use this as a way to create and share a final product from your student's research or project. When you begin to use this tech tool, you will need to sign up for the 90 day free trail so you can turn on the collaboration tool. This will allow for multiple student's to create within this book at the same time. You can add fun panels. pictures, speech and thoughts bubbles, stickers, text, audio, and much more!
Adobe Spark Post
Can Adobe Spark get any better? It is my favorite tech tool. Adobe Spark Post can be used professionally as an educator, but my student's love it too! My student's use this tool to create their final product to share about their research. As a teacher, I have used it to share my favorite quotes, to share important dates and information, and more.
My kindergartner's figured this tool out in maybe 5 minutes. It is so quick and easy. They have pre-made, beautiful templates that can be added as a background. Then my student's add in their facts, words, name, and more. Once they save it, they airdrop it to me to print. Simple and fun.
Adobe Spark Video
Adobe Spark Video became my staple tech tool when we started the school year virtually. I have used many other video creation tools, like iMovie and more, and this one is by far the easiest and is most visually appealing. My kindergarten team created many Outdoor Learning Videos to share content and assignments. See our video below. My student's have used this tech tool to share about their research, retelling a book, a promotion for a project, and more.
Can you tell my student's and I love to research? This researching time allows for my student's to explore their interests and also teaches them how to research, how to share your knowledge, and ultimately have fun while learning. We use Pebble Go for research, It is so kid friendly, especially for my friends who cannot read, yet. Not having books and information read aloud to my student's, was my biggest hurdle I faced when we started researching in kindergarten.
Student's are able to type in or find a topic from the homepage. Then each blue tab has information for them to listen to. When you click the yellow microphone it reads the information out loud. Many topics have additional videos as well. This is a tech tool that is used daily in our classroom, and is an easy tool to add into your classroom.
EPIC knows the way to my heart. Engaging, colorful, audio books, and an endless variety of options. I have used EPIC for research, letter and sight word hunts, text feature hunts, independent reading time, and more. When I use EPIC for research, I create collections for student's that have books on their topic, for easier searching. You can also share these collections with other colleagues and student's. I taught my student's how to take a screenshot that allowed for them to share the different text features they found throughout books in this collage below. Is your brain spinning with ideas now?
Shadow Puppet has been a great tool for my English Language Learners and Exceptional Learners. This app allows for student's who may not be able to write yet, to share about their work. Shadow Puppet lets you take pictures of their work and record your voice to tell about their drawing, writing, pictures, and more. I have used this tool for writing, ABC chart practice, retelling a book, fluency checks, and more!
Oh, Flipgrid, you continue to get better and better. Flipgrid has been a huge hit during our virtual learning last spring and the beginning of this school year. It is easy, simple, collaborative, and creative. I have used Flipgrid for family introductions. This was great for when new student's joined the class, they could get to know the student's families. This was also helpful during virtual learning since we couldn't meet in person. I have used Flipgrid for feedback as well. After a project, or a day of working on a project, my student's were able to go on Flipgrid and let me know where they needed or wanted help. Flipgrid is also amazing for collaboration. We used it to share about our research with a high school class. They listened to our videos and left feedback for us. What ways do you see yourself using Flipgrid? You can simply start by clicking on the blue 'Add a Topic' button to create your first grid, and start creating and collaborating!
Remember when I said Flipgrid continues to get better and better? This spring Flipgrid added Flipgrid Shorts to their amazingness. Flipgrid shorts is a short video (10 minutes or less) that can be created and then shared off of a grid, elsewhere. You can add words, images, drawings, and more to make this as interactive as possible! I have used Flipgrid shorts to make short and engaging instructional videos. This was a fun way of delivering my content or lesson in a different way. Below is an example of one I created for my kindergarten student's.
Clips is an easy video tech tool to add to your tool belt. Clips is a free app that should already be on your iPad. Students can upload pictures and then record their voice over it. They can record a video, or add stickers and words. They can save their video to their photos and disperse from there. I have used Clips for retelling a book and to share their research about their topic. Once you have modeled to student's, they will have agency over their work and blow you away! Check out our Peace Day Clips we made last year!
Google docs, google slides, and all things google, use to scare me. Then I realized how easily it can be embedded into your learning management system. It is so seamless with the amount of content that can be embedded into a document. Student's are able to easily click, watch, and read all in one spot. Last spring, I began to follow a few people who continue to selflessly share their resources with others. If you are not following Christine Dixon on twitter @christinedixon or on instagram @makedesigninnovate, go do it NOW! She creates amazing STEAM resources for all ages that have some incredible engaging activities! We used these google docs and slides as extras last spring. For those families that wanted or needed a little more. Below are a few different options I have used and loved!
There is your list. I hope you found this helpful and something you can take back to your classroom and implement today! Which tech tool are you going to try? What ideas are spinning around in your head? Take a leap, jump, or tip toe into a new tech tool to give your student's a meaningful and authentic tech experience. T will love you for it!