Mar 24

Teachers Top Tools to Change Teaching and Learning

by the Wriggle Connect Ambassadors
After a full year of online learning, what skills and tools have teachers discovered and how will they integrate them into their teaching to enhance the learning as they head back into the classroom?

Our team of experienced teachers and Wriggle Connect Ambassadors share the top tools that have changed their teaching this year.
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My Top Tool for: Creating Interactive Lessons and Resources

Evan Dunne, CBS Portlaoise  

My top tip for returning to the socially distanced classroom is using NearPod. This Android & iOS app allows for top level interactive learning. Teachers can easily plan engaging lessons by uploading pre-existing resources to NearPod and adding formative assessment tasks, videos activities, game-based learning and many more activities for the students to complete in real-time whilst in the classroom. This is a game-changer in my eyes and a real insight into the future of educational technology and the direction we are heading.

*Want to learn more about using Nearpod to collect and curate resources for your lessons?
Watch out for the new Learning Pathway on Nearpod coming soon to Wriggle Connect!
My Top Tool for: Increasing Student Choice and Creative Opportunities

Miriam Walsh, St John’s Central College  

Digital workbooks have been invaluable for me during remote learning, providing my learners with choice over assessment formats and opportunities to collaborate from a distance. As we return to in-school learning I will continue to evaluate my curriculum, and design lessons that provide students with choice and creative opportunities. 
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My Top Tool for: Creating and Replaying Lesson Exemplars

Sarah Gibbons, Old Bawn Community School   

My top tip is using OneNote and Digital Inking in place of the Whiteboard and Pen.  Students can see the board regardless of where they are sitting in school or out of school and have the massive advantage of being able to replay the sequence of events, pause and watch as much as they want. This is really beneficial when students are completing homework based on a worked example in class. The teacher's example is always with them for guidance and revision.

Want to know more about using OneNote to record and replay lessons?
Check out our Learning Pathway on OneNote in the Courses section of Wriggle Connect.
My Top Tool for: Getting Instant Feedback from Students  

Paul Cahillane, CBS Portlaoise  
One EdTech tool I found extremely beneficial in my classroom has been one I only learned of recently, Whiteboard.fi. This tool gives educators the opportunity to get instant feedback in real time throughout each lesson. Students can use any device they have to response to any question asked via a digital whiteboard. Educators can see all whiteboards at the same time updated by students as they construct their answers. A game-changer in terms of feedback! Students can also get creative with the whiteboard by responding with text or image based answers and it gives educators a feel for how well students understand the topic being discussed. I am very lucky to be in a school who offers 1:1 device through our education partner Wriggle so I will certainly continue to use this tool moving forward after the Easter break. A big shoutout to my Wriggle Connect colleague Evan Dunne who introduced me to Whiteboard.fi!  

Additional Options: If you happen to purchase a license for the website, you can also have your AOL items ready to go prior to your lesson or use them with multiple classes. 

Nora Blake, Galway Educate Together Secondary School
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My Top Tool for:: Live Lesson Demonstrations

Shane Green, Clooney NS   

I have found using the Apple Pencil with the Notes app on the iPad an excellent way of engaging pupils. This tool replicates the classroom whiteboard as pupils learning from home can view the teacher writing within the app.  This is particularly useful for the teaching of maths. Concepts can be easily explained and demonstrated. Moving to a new note automatically saves previous work that can be easily accessed. It is a feature I will absolutely be using going forward in the classroom.

Want to know more about using iPad tools and Apple Pencil for teaching and learning?
Check out our iPad Learning Pathway in the Courses section of Wriggle Connect.
My Top Tool for: Capturing and Assessing Student work at Home and in School

Julie Anne de Brún – Moycullen NS  

The most helpful app for my classroom setting has been Seesaw which has enabled me to transfer the learning from school to home, allowing the children to upload their work digitally and eliminate bringing copies and books back and forth to school.   We have used this app to upload our daily reading in English and as Gaeilge and as a tool to send videos and pictures of our artwork, music and drama to the children's parents and extended family. It has been very helpful and creative tool for all and has helped to consolidate the learning in both class and at home.    
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My Top Tool for: Blended and Flipped Learning

Eoghan O Neill, Clane BNS  

'EdPuzzle' is a fantastic educational app that has the potential to greatly assist teachers in the Post-Covid classroom. 'EdPuzzle' uses digital video from online sources such as YouTube, National Geographic, Khan Academy, but also allows you to upload videos you have created yourself. These videos can then be edited, with quiz-based questions and information notes inserted at various points. It is really easy for teachers to track engagement, as it shows exactly who has watched the videos and for how long - this is a tool that could be transformative for those who advocate for a 'flipped classroom' model, but is equally suited to other forms of blended and distance learning
My Top Tool for: Project Work and Student Assessment

Holly Murray, Finn Valley College  

Over the past year one of the TEL tools that I have used the most is Wakelet. Wakelet is a fantastic tool for digitally assessing my students' work. It is a free app and is very easy to use both on a phone or on a laptop. With the Wakelet App students can collaborate together in a group project from the comfort of their own home. I felt that it definitely helped with student engagement levels as they got a break from writing and enjoyed the projects we created.
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My Top Tool for: Collaboration and Face to Face Feedback

Geoff Brennan, CBS Portlaoise  
I would say the use of the breakout rooms feature on Microsoft Teams has been a massive game changer for me. As I am a practical teacher teaching Construction Studies and Design and Communication Graphics there is obviously a large portion of project work and course work. In normal circumstances it is always challenging to give detailed feedback to students as it takes up huge portions of classes. Using the breakout room feature and just adding an individual student to the room and then allowing them to share their screen and talk through their project has been a brilliant way of creating time to give real feedback and ensure the student is being pointed in the right direction. From a time management point of view I believe it is a no brainer. In conjunction with this, I have also used the Microsoft stream screen record feature to record myself giving feedback on project coursework and in this way students have the opportunity to pause the video and make changes as they go.

Want to learn more about how to use Breakout Rooms in Microsoft Teams?
Why not check out our Teams for Remote Learning learning Pathway in the Courses section of Wriggle Connect.
My Top Tool for: Time-Saving Student Assessment

Conor Maxwell, Sandymount Park ETSS  

“Forms has had a massive impact on my teaching over the past year. Trying to assess students while they were at home was made a whole lot easier using quizzes made through Forms. There are a variety of question types that can be used such as MCQs, text answer, drag and drop, and file upload questions.  

Better still, by putting in pre-designated answers, a lot of the questions will automatically correct themselves, not only allowing students to be assessed, but also reducing correcting time for the teacher. When they are all submitted, feedback can be given on individual questions and the overall breakdown will show exactly which questions students struggled with, and which material may need to be revisited.

Want to learn more about efficiently assessing students using Microsoft Forms?
Check out our Office 365 Learning Pathway in the Courses section of the Wriggle Connect platform.
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About the Authors

Our Wriggle Connect Ambassadors are experienced Irish teachers, Apple Professional learning Specialists, Apple Distinguished Educators and Microsoft Innovative Educators who have extensive experience and expertise in using technology to enhance teaching and learning.


As a Wriggle Connect Ambassadors, they have created the Learning Pathways on the new Wriggle Connect Platform and the new Wriggle Connect Family Platform for Student and Parents, coming soon!!!

To learn more about the courses available to teachers on the Wriggle Connect Platform, click on the courses section if you have a Wriggle Connect account, or sign up for a FREE 14 day sample training course on the Wriggle Connect platform today!