Technology Tools for Elementary Grades

The state of education technology is vast. How do you know which products are best for your students? Which ones have been tried and tested in the classroom? Do they have research behind them?
While there are no shortage of lists, they can be time consuming to parse and analyze. Organizations like Common Sense Media are critical (you can see their review of Woot Math here). Tracy Johnston Zager’s just posted her list, A Totally Not Exhaustive Look at the Current State of Elementary EdTech. We think her crtieria is a pretty good lens for analysis. It includes:
1. No time pressure. Some of the recommended apps have the option of timing or the option of disabling the timer. I recommend disabling the timer in all cases. If you can’t disable or mellow out the timer, don’t use the app.
2. Conceptual modeling. There are plenty of apps that have flashcards embedded in sushi restaurants, caves, junkyards, etc. But I’m looking for programs that relate the concepts of the number and operations to the fact. This usually means some form of visual modeling (arrays, dots, etc.).
3. Productive handling of mistakes. They’re opportunities to learn and should be framed as such. Also, competition is to be avoided for most students.
As she mentions, the list is not comprehensive. But it definitely includes some of our favorites, as well as some that are new to us. Thanks Tracy for the thoughtful list! And we are proud that Woot Math was included. You can read her full review here: