5 eduTools that raised the bar in 2015

Koen Timmers
by Koen Timmers
Educator - Author - Keynote speaker - Global Teacher Prize 2017 finalist

Some tools simply change the lives of teachers' but probably more important, students' lives. Tell me how you'd manage to offer synchronous distance learning without the right tools. Or how to stimulate collaboration without the right app. Sure, you still need pedagogy, but these 5 tools raised the bar in 2015:

EduTools Sway OneNote Office Mix Office Lens Skype

1/ OneNote

This tools is simply made for education. It is the textbook, chalkboard, agenda, personal notebook and much much more. 
OneNote allows me to strive for a paperless classroom, while I create my digital textbook while I teach. It allows my students to participate. The search engine offers results in a blink (even searches in screenshots and handwriting!) and OneNote allows to insert audio and video very easily. Your notes can be shared very easy and are accessible anywhere, anytime thanks to the app, desktop and web version. 

2/ Skype and Skype for Business 

My school is in a blended learning project and attend my class for 50% at home. Skype 4 business is a webconferencing tool which allows live remote learning. Indeed, I teach while I'm enjoying a nice coffee in my own kitchen and my students are learning in a familiar environment. No traffic jam but students (especially the shy ones!) who are more involved in the learning process. 

3/ Sway

Is it a presentation? Is it a blog or a newsletter? Maybe a portfolio? Sway is it all! It is a super easy way to create mobile friendly results in a blink. The creator even re-invented the web by shifting from WYSYWIG to WYGIWYW: What You Get Is What You Want. 

4/ Office lens

This app is absolutely stunning. It allows you to create a picture from a paper document, chalkboard, flyer, etc and automatically transforms the result by skewing and digitalizing as PDF or inserting into a OneNote document. 

5/ Office Mix

Office Mix is a free add-in for PowerPoint and allows you easily create and share interactive online videos. I use this tool to create screencast which my students watch at home. My role from instructor shifts to a coach or guide. Indeed, you got that right. I'm flipping my classroom.


Oh, wait a minute, all five tools are for free. Life can be beautiful, 2015 rocked!

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