Useful Tech:

I’m one of those teachers who’s a bit in-between on using technology in the classroom.

On one hand, I’m happy to learn new tech and I think that it’s important to not try to divide students of any age from the technology of the era. In fact, part of our job may indeed be to actively connect students with modern tech, even when that is not an item on the syllabus.

On the other hand, I’ve found that tech can be unreliable and underfunded. Also, my students’ experience with it and access to it are inconsistent. As a result, using it in class can quickly turn into an implementation nightmare.

So when I mention that is super useful, I also mean that it’s pretty usable.

It’s a free vocabulary drilling website/app. It works well on computers and smartphones.

Students don’t have to have an account to use it. They can still find and use your vocabulary sets.

You can type in the information, or your students can, or you can make use of other peoples’ sets. When students click on a vocabulary word, the computer’s voice pronounces it.

Here’s a desktop screenshot of a set I used in a Listening and Speaking EAP course a couple years ago.













As you can see, the program has different ways to test yourself (Flashcards, Learn, Spell, Test), including a couple of simple games (Match and Gravity).

If you want to invest a bit of time into getting everyone set up with an account and added to one of your classes on Quizlet, it would probably be worth it. It’s not super difficult. Many of my students like the convenience of studying on their phone. It’s also handy if you want students to use it for a few minutes during class.

It has other features that come with paid accounts. I’m not going into those features here because none of my schools provides us with paid accounts.

And I’ll be honest, it irks me that Quizlet’s business model seems to be really focused on getting individual teachers to pay out of pocket for teacher-centric services (and refer their networks to do so too?). So I’m here to advocate using what they kindly offer for free, and challenging the widely accepted practice of teachers paying for so many of their own school supplies and materials.

What useful, usable tech would you recommend?


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