The great thing about technology today is that there are so many tools to utilize in order to improve teaching. I’ve always thought that the best way to teach was to always make sure that every student is accommodated, and using different resources is one of the best ways to do that.
Something many of my teachers used was YouTube–you could look up almost anything and there would be a step-by-step YouTube video on how to do something. The other day I used a YouTube video to teach me how to change a vacuum bag. And YouTube doesn’t just have mundane tutorial videos like how to clean a vacuum bag– there are full-on lessons to watch. We’ve watched documentaries and Epic Rap Battles of History for history class, watched Crash Course in biology class, studied PSA’s in media studies class to help us brainstorm how to make our own. I think, of all resources, YouTube is one of the best ones.
Another great resource is Google Scholar. Google Scholar helps the user find scholarly articles that are trustworthy. It’s a great tool for students who are doing research on a project–it makes sure that all sources they are using are reliable.
Speaking of research, I always forget how to do my citations, and how to format my papers based on MLA, APA, or Chicago. There are two tools I use that help dramatically. The first being OWL Purdue. OWL Purdue helps outline how your paper should be formatted based on what is expected. It gives detailed descriptions of title pages, headers, footers, footnotes, citations, everything. And honestly, sometimes I get lazy, so I use Son of Citation. Son of Citation is a website where you select what kind of source you used, type in all the information, select if you want APA, MLA, or Chicago, and it makes the citation for you. It’s quick and easy. It’s also something I would recommend to students, as they were both recommended to me by my own teachers.
The resources I would use would also change based on the subject I am teaching. For example, if I were to teach a lesson on coding, a great beginners tool is the website Hour of Code. It goes through the basics of coding and makes it easy to understand. If I were giving a lesson on reactions, there’s a chemistry website that helps students understand that both sides of the equation must be equal, and the students have to solve puzzles using atoms to make sure both sides are equal (I used in my high school chemistry class, but sadly I cannot remember the name of the website).