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New Teacher Starter Kit

new teacher starter kit
(Image credit: Unsplash: Dayne Topkin)

Congratulations and welcome to teaching! As you start your professional journey, Tech & Learning is here to support you with experience and expertise from our team and advisors, who have substantial time in front of a class doing what you’re about to do. We know it can be daunting, and a little scary, but we’re here to help you succeed.

To help build your teaching toolbox, here is a new teacher starter kit -- a regularly updated assortment of resources, tips, and advice from education professionals such as yourself for using edtech, implementing digital tools, navigating technology in the classroom, and just approaching teaching altogether. Good luck!

Professional Development 

5 Pieces of Advice for New Teachers (opens in new tab) - Asking questions and making sure to give yourself time off are among the advice veteran and award-winning educators offer for new teachers.

11 Edtech Tips for New Teachers (opens in new tab) - Advice to help new teachers implement digital tools into their classrooms and instruction.

5 Edtech Books Every New and Seasoned Teacher Should Read (opens in new tab) - These edtech books support professional learning for teachers in all academic areas and grade levels.

10 Effective Online Learning Practices (opens in new tab) - How to prepare for effective remote and distance learning.

5 Summer Professional Development Ideas (opens in new tab) - Summer is the perfect time to take advantage of great learnings and have enough time to put those learnings into practice in your planning for next school year. 

Top Sites for Educator Professional Development (opens in new tab) - Professional development is an ongoing process for any educator. Looking for the best ways to impart knowledge to students and staying current with the latest learning trends is critical.   

How To Become a Google Certified Educator (opens in new tab) - The Google Certified Educator program offers the chance for teachers to gain practical PD while earning a badge to demonstrate their edtech expertise.

Providing New Teachers with Remote PD and Modeling (opens in new tab) - Strategies to support new teachers with technology as they navigate these trying times and remote learning. 

4 Lessons From Remote Learning (opens in new tab) - Despite its challenges, remote learning has changed in-person learning for the better, says one Kansas City educator.

How to Write in Plain Language for Teaching (opens in new tab) - Using plain language for school websites and family communication is an effective way to assure understanding, especially when translation is involved.

7 Things to Know About Being an Online Teacher (opens in new tab) - Online teachers should be open to learning new technology and be excited to provide individualized feedback to students.

Teacher Burnout: Recognizing and Reducing It (opens in new tab) - Signs of teacher burnout include emotional exhaustion, depersonalization, and a feeling of no longer being effective at your job. It’s important to listen to these feelings and make changes.

Class & Classroom Management

5 Tips for Talking to Social Media-Addicted Teens (opens in new tab) - Talking to social-media addicted teens requires meeting them where they communicate, according to Nicole Rice, author of Does Your Teen Talk? No, But They Text, Snap, and TikTok (opens in new tab)

Classroom Engagement: 4 Tips From Students for Teachers (opens in new tab) - Four students share their advice for teachers looking to create more engaging and impactful classes.

5 Tips for Implementing Active Learning (opens in new tab) - Active learning provides ways to get your students engaged without needing to revamp how you teach.

Growth Mindset: 4 Ways to Implement it In Class (opens in new tab) - Growth mindset works for specific students in specific instances but educators should be careful when implementing it.

Busting the Myth of Learning Styles (opens in new tab) - The idea that different students have different learning styles pervades education, but cognitive scientists say there is no evidence learning styles exist.

3 Ways You & Your Students Can Use Microproductivity (opens in new tab) - Breaking down large tasks into smaller, easier-to-complete ones can save time and help educators and students tackle daunting projects.

Implementing Authentic Exploratory Research into Teaching (opens in new tab) - Authentic exploratory research provides an opportunity for reality-based learning.

How to Address School Shootings With Your Class (opens in new tab) - Listening to students and providing a safe space for sharing their concerns is key when discussing school shootings.

Best Practices for Trauma-Informed Teaching (opens in new tab) - While trauma-informed care is part of many therapeutic plans of school counselors, teachers see students on a daily basis so it is often necessary to embrace and employ trauma-informed approaches to teaching. 

5 Lessons for Teachers from Ted Lasso (opens in new tab) - How the optimistic soccer coach models some good behavior for teachers.

5 Teaching Tips from The Coach and Educator Who Inspired Ted Lasso (opens in new tab) - Basketball coach and math teacher Donnie Campbell, one of the inspirations for Jason Sudeikis’ Ted Lasso, shares his strategies for inspiring young people in the classroom and on the court.

Websites, Apps & Digital Tools 

Best Tools for Teachers (opens in new tab) - If you’re new to teaching or looking to learn more about digital tools for teachers such as Zoom, TikTok, Minecraft, Microsoft Teams, or Flipgrid -- and all the related apps and resources -- here’s where to get started. We cover the basic features for each one, plus provide tips and advice to get the most out of your experience.

Google Education Tools & Apps (opens in new tab) - Google Classroom is the most popular digital tool in education, due to its cost (free!) and the multitude of easy-to-use apps and resources related to it. Many school systems rely on it because of its accessibility, ease of use, and flexibility. 

Best YouTube Sites and Channels for Education (opens in new tab) - Safe-viewing tips and education-focused channels to help take advantage of the fantastic free educational videos YouTube provides.

Top Flipped Classroom Tech Tools (opens in new tab) - Flipped educators shared their favorite resources for their flipped classrooms.

Fact-Checking Sites for Students (opens in new tab) - Student research sites and apps that are safe and unbiased, and specialize in debunking claims and providing objective, researched analysis.

First Day of Class: 5 Edtech Tools That Can Make it More Engaging (opens in new tab) - These interactive apps will help keep your students active and engaged as they get to know you, each other, and what to expect this year.

Top Sites and Resources to Support LGTBQ+ Students (opens in new tab) - It’s estimated that nearly two million American youth aged 13-17 identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. These students are at relatively high risk for becoming the targets of bullies, violence—and even committing suicide. 

Best Digital Icebreakers (opens in new tab) - Ease into the new school year is with fun and engaging digital icebreakers.

Tech & Learning Reader Favorites (opens in new tab) - These top Tech & Learning articles explore the latest ideas, resources, and tools for teachers and students.

Lesson Plans for Digital Tools

These edtech lesson plans (opens in new tab) are designed to provide a template for implementing specific popular digital tools into your instruction and classroom.

Flipgrid Lesson Plan for Upper Elementary and Middle School Classes (opens in new tab)

Kahoot! Lesson Plan for Elementary Grades (opens in new tab)

Wakelet Lesson Plan for Middle and High School (opens in new tab)

Padlet Lesson Plan for Middle and High School (opens in new tab)

Google Earth Lesson Plan for Elementary and Middle School (opens in new tab)

Google Slides Lesson Plan (opens in new tab)

WeVideo Lesson Plan (opens in new tab)

Quizlet Lesson Plan for Middle and High School (opens in new tab)

TikTok Lesson Plan for High School (opens in new tab)

Screencastify Lesson Plan for Middle and High School (opens in new tab)

VoiceThread Lesson Plan for Middle and High School (opens in new tab)

Storybird Lesson Plan for Elementary School (opens in new tab)

Slido Lesson Plan for Middle School (opens in new tab)

Minecraft: Education Edition Lesson Plan (opens in new tab)

Teacher Tech & Devices 

Best Desktop Computers For Teachers (opens in new tab) - Get the ultimate education-focused desktop computer that's ideal for teachers.

Best Laptops for Teachers (opens in new tab) - Get the best laptop for teachers both in class and for remote learning.

Best Tablets for Teachers (opens in new tab) - The ultimate tablets for use by teachers in class and for remote learning.

Best Laptop Docking Stations For Teachers (opens in new tab) - Get the ideal laptop dock for teachers working between remote and classroom lessons.

Best Webcams for Teachers (opens in new tab) - The best webcams for education, be it for teachers or students, can make all the difference.

Best Ring Lights For Remote Teaching (opens in new tab) - Create the perfect lighting for video teaching to give the best remote learning experience.

Best Headphones for Teachers (opens in new tab) - The best headphones for teachers in remote learning situations can make a huge difference to the quality of a lesson.  

Edtech Tips & Troubleshooting

How Do I Livestream a Class? (opens in new tab) - To livestream a class it's easier than ever before and here's what you need to know to get started right now.

How Do I Screencast a Lesson? (opens in new tab) - A screencast is, essentially, a recording of your computer screen -- and you -- with audio narration over the top.

How Do I Create a YouTube Channel? (opens in new tab) - If you want to create a YouTube channel for your class, this is everything you need to know.

How To Teach Like An Influencer (opens in new tab) - Students spend more and more time online, so using digital tools to successfully engage and educate can be useful.

Why Do My Webcam and Microphone Not Work? (opens in new tab) - Webcam and microphone not work? This is how you can get up and running.

Why Can't I Print from My Computer? (opens in new tab) - If you've asked why can’t I print from my computer, it's time to take a breath of relief as we reveal all you need to know.

How Can I Extend My Laptop Battery Charge for a Full School Day? (opens in new tab) - If you've asked 'How can I extend my laptop battery charge?', you've come to the right place.

Using Virtual Reality (VR) to Enhance Existing Lessons (opens in new tab) - Virtual reality can enhance educational experiences and is a powerful way to foster student engagement.

How to Set Up Virtual or Augmented Reality in Schools for Free (opens in new tab) - While the relatively new technologies may seem expensive and complex initially, either can be very accessible.

Showing Movies & Videos in Class (opens in new tab) - Using films, documentaries, and video clips can be a good way to deepen lessons and build engagement, but there are pitfalls to avoid.

Video Lectures: 4 Tips for Teachers (opens in new tab) - Creating short and engaging video lectures for students is a growing trend at education institutions.

4 Tips for Hosting School Webinars (opens in new tab) - Webinars should be as interactive as possible and allow for hands-on practice.

Zoom/Video Conferencing Best Practices (opens in new tab) - Researchers at Stanford University and the University of Gothenburg find those who look at the camera are viewed more favorably by other Zoom/video conference participants.

5 COVID Classroom Mistakes to Avoid (opens in new tab) - It's human nature to let down our guard in certain situations. However, with new variants appearing, here are some Covid-related risks to monitor.

What Type of Mask Should Educators Wear? (opens in new tab) - Educators should be wearing better masks, says Dr. Joseph G. Allen, director of the Healthy Buildings Program at Harvard University’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

Ray Bendici is the Managing Editor of Tech & Learning and Tech & Learning University. He is an award-winning journalist/editor, with more than 20 years of experience, including a specific focus on education.