Back in 2001, when I started as a teacher, the technology boom was in its nascent stage. I remember toting a large bag filled with papers home most nights and going to sleep drowning under a vast sea of student homework that needed grading. My classroom was even worse, cluttered with books, manipulatives, globes, maps, and learning stations that left little room for anything else. However, as I write this in 2018, things have changed dramatically. Today’s teachers have edtech in their corners.
For instance, it is widely known that Problem-Based Learning (PBL) can radically change student learning. Rather than stuff students full of facts or material to memorize, problem-based learning encourages students to solve problems independently (or in groups) to find solutions. Back when I was a classroom, PBL had to be facilitated using low-tech means. Today, PBL has been merged with edtech to create awesome technology laden learning experiences. If I were still in the classroom today, I’d use these problem-based learning apps, tools, and resources:
Problem Based Learning Experience. This unique app features a collection of starter questions to help students and teachers begin problem based learning activities. Each starter question also contains links to other resources to help students work to solve the problem in a real-world way.
Thinkrolls: Thinkrolls teaches children aged three to eight the basic concepts of problem-solving and the laws of physics. Players control one of 26 characters to navigate the maze presented in the game. Kids are taught to use the physical properties of each character such as heat, gravity, acceleration, and force to their advantage.
LumieLabs – is Britannica’s K-12 digital storytelling and video-creation platform that shapes a new future for classroom learning. LumieLabs combines curriculum-relevant, project-based video lessons with millions of royalty-free, rights-cleared, fair-use multimedia clips and thousands of audio clips from best-in-class producers and artists for professional-quality content creation. It is the only video product on the market specifically designed to meet K-12 learning objectives, allowing students to become media-savvy creators. LumieLabs allows students to create stories, share them, and engage with their peers’ videos in a safe, controlled environment.
Thinkster Math:This app helps students develop critical-thinking and math abilities. It allows math teachers to relate math concepts to real-life situations. This app also tracks students’ process for arriving at their answers and helps the teacher give feedback and corrections.
Kodable– Kodable teaches coding to kids from ages 4 through 10; it is the only complete coding program on the market. This app can be used for an individual student or for a whole school district. Kodable encourages problem-solving and critical-thinking skills while informing children of algorithms, syntax, variables, and more. These are all crucial skills that coders must acquire to succeed in computer programming. With the assistance of the app’s fuzzFamily avatars, children can learn computer science with friends.
Did we miss any?