Summer is a time when many edtech companies announce and release updates to their products. Below you will find a list of updates to many of our DLC-favorite tools. Be sure to click on the links included in each paragraph to learn more about these new features and reach out to a DLC if you are looking for support on using these tools in your classroom!
Canvas has a number of amazing new features coming out in the next 6 months including a new rich content editor that is more sleek and easy to use, enhancements to Assignments, and more New Quizzes functionality. In the meantime, a few features you can enjoy now are that when you “message students who” haven’t turned something in the Canvas gradebook, you can choose to message Observers (parents) at the same time. For our Elementary and Middle School Canvas users, the Student app has seen significant changes. Click here to see GIFs of these updates in action as the assignment submission process is way easier and faster.
Seesaw (E-5 Only)
Seesaw has added a number of creative tools that allow students to create new artifacts of their learning. Students can upload multiple pictures to create a collage, annotate pictures with highlighters and drawing tools, and add labels to any picture. You can also change the background for drawings to include things like graph paper. The new shapes tool allows you to add math manipulatives, arrows, and speech bubbles. All of these features can be used to create engaging Seesaw Activities for your students.
Email is something we all deal with everyday. The Microsoft Outlook 2019 Mac app has released a couple of nice features that should help us save time and even help us with our work/life balance. Have an important email you want to make sure you send but you don’t want to bother your colleagues on the weekend? There’s an update for you! You can now schedule Outlook emails to be sent at a later time. Get a lot of distracting junk emails? Check out the Focused Inbox. The Focused Inbox sorts your email into two inboxes: “Focused” and “Other." Focused is for important emails sent directly to you and Other will include promotional emails, newsletters, etc. Just be sure to check the Other inbox occasionally in case something important ended up in the wrong inbox.
The iOS iMovie app saw an exciting release in June. There are now 80 options for soundtrack songs (instead of 7) and you can do Picture in Picture and Green Screen directly in the iMovie app without the need for an additional app. Green Screen by Do Ink is still a superior green screen app, but having this functionality built into iMovie is another level of convenience and means less app juggling for students.
Adobe Spark (iOS and Mac)
Adobe Spark (Video, Post, and Page) has become one of our most popular and heavily used suite of creation tools. For Mac users, they have released collaboration features that allow you to add collaborators. You cannot have multiple editors in at one time, but it’s a definite improvement. For iOS and Mac users, they added a number of animations and stickers that can be used to create professional designs and videos.
Flipgrid is one of the best tools in the edtech scene and they just keep getting better! This summer, they launched a new camera that allows you to add a whiteboard screen to videos, upload videos and images from your camera roll, and add stickers/emojis. They added a number of partners that have pre-created topics you can use with students. And lastly, Flipgrid AR! This feature easily generates QR codes to each video submission in a topic so you can print them out so others can watch them. This is perfect for art projects, posters, or word walls. Watch the video below to see it in action!
Ok, @annkozma723 I upgraded my office hours, thanks to #flipgridAR! Love that this feature allows me to connect with students, even when I'm out of the office! 💚💕💚 What do you think? 🤩 #FlipgridFever @Flipgrid #highered pic.twitter.com/ga4VHZ43rf— Jessica Herring Watson (@JessicaRae929) August 19, 2019
Many teachers use Edpuzzle to create video quizzes for their students which are done independently. Edpuzzle recently launched Live Mode which allows you to present the video to the class and students respond on their own devices. Edpuzzle also created an LMS integration with Canvas so now you can create Edpuzzle lessons and assign them to your Canvas courses. This makes enrollment in your Edpuzzle classes way easier and incorporates their scores into the Canvas gradebook.
Kahoot and Quizizz
Kahoot and Quizizz are really fun and useful formative assessment tools. Kahoot added a new editor and question types. Quizizz added a Team Mode for collaborative review sessions. Both tools have made it much easier to create assessments quickly and are worth another look if it's been awhile since you've utilized these tools.
Book Creator (iOS and Web)
Book Creator added some nice creation tools. They added an autodraw feature to improve your sloppy drawings and additional pen tools and ink options to add a little creativity to your projects.
A number of apps were removed from Self Service over the summer because they either have not been updated in years, had similar features to other apps already available in Self Service, or no longer worked. We also added an AR/VR category and Wellness category so be sure to check those out.
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