16 Things Teachers Should Try in 2016 Infographic
16 Things Teachers Should Try in 2016 Infographic
What are your goals for 2016? There are so many new and exciting things to try both in and out of the classroom. Here is a list of 16 Things Teachers Should Try in 2016 to help inspire educators to try something new this year.
1. Google Cardboard
This year you will see both virtual and augmented reality take-off in 2016! Google Cardboard makes virtual reality accessible to the masses and with the advent of Google Expeditions, Google has made virtual reality not only cheap and convenient but also focused on using it to engage students in the classroom.
2. Sketchnoting (or Visual Note-Taking)
Research has shown that drawing your notes, even doodling can help anyone learn and remember information better. Two mobile apps to try with sketch noting: Adobe Illustrator Draw and Paper by FiftyThree.
The power of sharing your voice cannot be overstated! I started blogging just under two years ago and it transformed my career and my learning. Blogging with your students will give new meaning to their writing and their work! The power of sharing your voice, your learning and your passions online cannot be overrated. Start simple! The bottom line is just to get writing and posting on a regular basis. Don’t get caught up in trying to choose the perfect platform. Perfect is the enemy of done! Already blogging? Maybe you need to re-commit to blogging regularly or offer to mentor someone else who has been putting it off for far too long, and by all means get your students blogging!
If blogging isn’t for you, maybe you should share your voice through a podcast. Podcasting has continued to grow like wildfire, and educators across the globe are sharing through this medium every day. If you don’t want to podcast yourself, be sure you take advantage of the all of the phenomenal podcasts that are available online across many different platforms like iTunes, Stitcher, and Overcast.
5. Live Streaming
Live streaming is about to take over everything whether we like it or not! My opinion is that teachers should always model a positive social media presence for your students. Find ways to try one of these rapidly growing apps: Periscope, Meerkat, Blab.IM or soon…Facebook! Yep, Facebook is piloting its own live streaming application. THIS WILL CHANGE EVERYTHING!
While maybe everyone doesn’t need an Apple Watch, wearables will soon be everywhere. If you don’t quite get it yet, or maybe some of these gadgets don’t fit your teacher’s budget, it’s worth paying attention! Your students will soon be walking in with wearables, and not just watches. Eventually, even our clothing will be connected. Investigate the possibilities of wearables and ALWAYS think about how devices can be used FOR LEARNING, not just a distraction.
7. Start a YouTube Channel
Video content is dominating now that we can stream on just about any device. And here are 20 YouTube Channels for Educators to help you find great content! Oh, and as a side note, Facebook video is also an excellent way to share your voice. It is now one of the fastest growing mediums for video. Remember the days when we thought Facebook would never have a place in the classroom or the workplace? That is all changing!
8. Google Classroom
Google has made this application specifically FOR students and teachers! Google Classroom is a free application designed to help students and teachers communicate, collaborate, organize and manage assignments, go paperless, and much more! It is a must if you are 1-1 with Google Apps for Education. Not 1-1? No problem, Google Classroom is great for any classroom that regularly uses Google Apps for Education, and for any grade level that has the skills to log into their Google Account.
9. Join a Google+ Community
I have been singing the praises of Google+ for a while now, and despite what many think, it isn’t going away. In fact, it just got a major overhaul. But one of my favorite features is Google+ Communities. These communities can be private or public, and offer a fantastic way to share, connect and learn online.
10. Gamify a Lesson or Professional Development
Gamification isn’t going anywhere just yet. It is not a fad; gamification is proving to be a viable way to learn. If you haven’t tried it yet, start planning a lesson in 2016. And if you are in a position to deliver professional learning, try gamifing your PD!
11. Breakout EDU
Breakout EDU is a way to bring the escape room type of games into the classroom and teach teamwork, communication, collaboration, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills. Each game is a puzzle for the students to solved to unlock the box. This unique and engaging way of learning is great for all ages.
12. Participate in a Voxer Chat
It seems everyone is on Twitter now, but many have not experienced Voxer. Voxer offers a unique way to connect, collaborate and learn with other educators. It is a walkie-talkie app for smartphones that allows you to have not only one-to-one chats but also group chats. You can use the voice feature, or even text message. The messages are all saved so you can listen/read when you have a chance. It can be overwhelming at first, so start small!
13. Brand Yourself, Your Work, Your Class and/or Your Campus
Branding is not just for companies anymore. It is becoming a necessity to brand yourself and your online presence. It will especially be important for our students entering the workforce. To get started branding yourself, your work, your classroom or your campus, begin with your website. Choose a style, logo, font and colors that you use consistently. Create social media cover images using tools like Canva to give it a consistent look. Canva has tons of templates that make design and branding easy!
14. 3D Print Something Awesome
Yep, 3D printers are everywhere and are so much fun! If you haven’t experienced one, find one in your district or your area to try. A lot of high schools have them now, and a lot of school maker spaces are investing as well. There are also a lot of local maker spaces popping in cities across the country. Even if you don’t find a 3D printer, find out what the fuss is all about. Maker Spaces are AWESOME!
15. Let Your Students Teach You
Don’t be afraid to let your students teach you, especially when it comes to technology! There is no way to know it all these days, and technology changes so quickly that it is no exception. Be open to letting your students show you a few tips and tricks. Looking for an app that does something specific for your students? Ask them! Make them a part of the planning process.
16. Jar of Awesome
Celebrate and remember you and your students’ success and accomplishments with the Jar of Awesome. Every time you reach a milestone, a learning goal, or receive recognition, simply add a slip of paper with the accomplishment to the jar. When you or your students are having a bad day, revisit the jar and how far you have come!