Educational Tools for Social Learning and Lesson Planning

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In the present technological age, I’m certain that every teacher has a few favorite tech tools that they always want ready-for-use and at their fingertips. Such tools ease their jobs and help them collaborate with their students and the broader community more easily and quickly. Tech tools for educators constantly keep on hitting the market and their domain gets larger day by day.

Wherever there is technology, there always is a scope for improvement and advancement. So, whatever tech tools there are now in the market, will either be replaced by their better versions or will themselves be improved. All this makes it hard for teachers, even the tech-savvy ones, to keep up with the latest and most useful of these online e-learning tools.

This article focuses on two broad areas of learning, Social Learning and Lesson Planning. It aims to provide you with information about the most efficient tools that can be used for both these purposes. Social learning in education is now trending and turns out to be one of the most significant aspects that need to be incorporated into the practices of education with the aid of technology. It facilitates engagement, collaboration and interaction among students, teachers or anyone connected to education. There has been a wild competition for tech development in this field, and we can witness a range of outstanding tools and apps which make learning a social thing. Similarly, teachers need constant help and guidance to provide their students with the best lesson plans and resources. There are numerous tools which help teachers do so and also enhance their professional development.

Here are compilations of some of the tech tools especially for Social Learning and Lesson Planning, including some that are becoming increasingly popular and widely used, that should be part of any tools for teachers list, whether for their own personal use or as educational aids in the classroom.

Educational Tools for Social Learning:

  • Edmodo : It helps connect all learners with the people and resources needed to reach their full potential. It is a tool meant for collaboration. It is designed to focus and bring to affect the social element in learning. It also engages students, connects teachers and students to resources, measures student progress and also consists of easy-to-use apps to personalize learning for every student.
  • Quora : It is one of the best tools, which act as reliable sources of knowledge and bring forth socializing in learning. On Quora, you can ask any question and get real answers from people with first-hand experience. It also has the feature of blogging, which allows you to blog about whatever interests you. You can choose from among thousands of topics to create a feed of information tuned to your interests. You can easily make classroom discussions happen and also connect to students and professionals on it.
  • Wikispaces : It is a social writing platform for education. It can be used to easily create a classroom workspace where you and your students can communicate where teachers and students can communicate and work on projects alone or collaboratively. It provides you with rich assessment tools to measure student engagement in real-time. It is a commendable platform for teachers and students to work together, since it provides modern, powerful, collaborative and private social environments in an instant.
  • Pinterest : It is a tool for collecting and organizing things that inspire and interest you. A pin is set up when you add an image or video to Pinterest. With the board, you can organize your pins, which can be private or public and you can invite other people to pin with you on any of your boards. You can also follow people, to see their updates in the feed. Hence, as the name suggests, Pinterest is for pinning up your interests and following them with the significant social connect element to make it ever the more interesting and engrossing.
  • Schoology : It is an award-winning LMS (Learning Management System) which provides you with tools and connections to engage students efficiently and improve educational effectiveness. It is a social educational community that adapts itself to the ever evolving learning environment. It is transforming learning by encouraging collaboration amongst individuals.

Educational Tools for Lesson Planning:

  • Planboard : Especially designed for teachers, Planboard helps you streamline your lesson plans, find resources, get organized and collaborate with others. With this tool, you can plan your classes with ease; ensure quality education by integrating and tracking standards for your curricula; collaborate with teachers across the world to create the best lesson plans. It remarkably helps teachers shorten their planning time so that they can focus on other aspects of teaching as well.
  • Quizlet : With this, teachers can develop simple tools for their students that let them study anything, for free. Tools built are highly customizable and promote individualized learning. Students can learn at their own pace and teachers can address to individual student’s needs through them.
  • Prezi : Teachers can present their lessons visually and engage their students to participate in conversations. It is a virtual whiteboard that transforms presentations into conversations for learners to see, grasp and remember ideas more vividly.
  • Ted Ed : It provides lessons worth sharing and is an extension of TED’s mission. It has a growing TED-Ed video library, where you will find carefully curated educational videos, developed with the aid of talented educators. This platform also allows users to take any useful educational video, not just TED's, and easily create a customized lesson around the video. Users can distribute the lessons, publicly or privately, and track their impact on the world, a class, or an individual student.
  • Teachers pay Teachers : It’s the world’s first and largest open marketplace for educators to buy, sell and share their original resources. It brings teachers together into a powerful community that shares best practices and raises the bar to provide students with the best possible resources to learn.

There is an extensive range of tools for Social Learning and Lesson Planning available online, but these selected few, you were provided with in this article are among the best essential ones, in my opinion. I hope, this addresses your need to know about such tools and you’re able to save your research time now. I find these tools most reliable and efficient and would recommend them to teachers, students or anyone with a desire to learn. Share with us your views and knowledge and if you wish to know more about the same, feel free to ask us through the Comment Box.

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About the Author
Author: Saomya Saxena
Educational technology blogger, loves to research and write about tools and tips for educators on how to integrate technology into everyday instruction creatively and effectively. Fond of reading and writing.

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