I’m Emily and this is Digital Tools for the 2nd Grade Classroom. These are some ideas I’ve gathered from my classes in Instructional Media at Wilkes University. I say 2nd grade because that is my focus, but all these tools could be used at various grade levels. I hope this will be useful to you.
We are all using the COW, and ipads are coming next year. Students are really excited to use this technology. But how do we make sure they are used as tools, not toys? How can we use technology wisely in our classrooms? Here are some tools I’ve recently found out about that I think will help answer this question.
Smore is a great tool I’ve found for linking an assignment to pictures, video, or readings. It’s free, easy to use and makes those smarter balanced practice writing assignments much easier to organize. Though it could be used for any subject. Here’s an assignment I made about the water cycle.
This is Padlet. It’s a wiki, like Google docs, where multiple people can post at the same time. You can choose different backgrounds and post a question or topic. Then you post the URL to your website so your students can find it. Students type their name first so you can see who’s talking. You could use it like I have here as the “What do we Know” in a KWL chart. But there are many other possibilities – multiple ways to solve a math problem, a list of adjectives or vocabulary for a theme, a never ending story (you can choose a setting where each additional posting goes under the one before so it’s more organized).
Thinglink is fun and so easy to use, even 2nd graders could learn to use it. You put in tags (the icons on the picture) and when you hover over the tag, a speech bubble pops up with writing or a link. -- Show the actual thinglink in another window so they can see how it works. -- I created this one as an example for students. I’d like them to create their own thinglink about one of the influential people we learn about in January and February – George Washington, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Ruby Bridges, Susan B. Anthony.
This presentation software is also available online for free. -- Show the actual thinglink in another window so they can see how it works. -- I created this “Air & Weather” prezi as an overview for students after completing our FOSS kit on air and weather. There are arrows at the bottom so you can go through the pages in order, but its non-linear format allows you to zoom into any area of the presentation in any order. You can upload or link to pictures, videos, articles, games, or write your own text. Once students have logged in to their Discovery Education account, all the DE links work.
Big Huge Labs – another freebee - is a great website for making trading cards, posters, and more. Content from any subject could be showcased here. My example uses a picture from Discovery Education and information about piranhas my class learned during our rain forest unit. Magazine covers or posters could be adapted to use as book reports. Trading cards are a great size for 2nd graders to perfect their paragraph writing skills.
And for all your digital projects, there is Rubistar to help you create rubrics. You can check out thousands of other rubrics created by teachers. Or it’s just as easy to create your own. You select an area to grade and it gives you some sample text to use or edit. Rubistar uses a 4 point scale just like our report card and standards.
for the 2nd Grade
Presented by Emily Thoms Daprano
How can we use technology wisely in our classrooms?
Create a digital assignment
Free accounts at smore.com
Easy to use
Link URL to your website
Great for Smarter Balanced
Use an elementary level wiki …
Free accounts at padlet.com
Post a question or topic
Link the URL to your website
Students type their name and
add to the topic.
Create a showcase of what
students know about a topic with…
Free accounts at thinglink.com
Hover over tags to read or
connect to a link
Link pictures, articles, video
Create assignments for
Have students create one to
show what they know
Make a presentation in…
Free accounts at prezi.com
Upload pictures, documents
Link to pictures, movies,
Create one for students to use
Have students make their own
For motivating writing
Big Huge Labs
Free accounts at
Make posters, trading cards,
magazine covers, DVD covers,
badges, and more
Easy enough for 2nd graders to
Make rubrics for your
Free account at
Look through a library of other
Or make your own
And there’s much more…
Let’s keep sharing ideas
with each other.
BigHugeLabs: Do fun stuff with your photos. (n.d.). BigHugeLabs: Do fun stuff with your photos. Retrieved June 7,
2014, from http://bighugelabs.com/
Design flyers to spread the word online | Smore. (n.d.). Smore. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from
Discovery Education, . Over Shoulder View of Girls Working on iPad. [Image]. Available from
Discovery Education, . Students Gathered Around iPad Excitedly Working. [Image]. Available from
Discovery Education, . Wide Shot of Children Working on Computers. [Image]. Available from
Discovery Education, . Wide Shot of iPad on Desk. [Image]. Available from http://www.discoveryeducation.com/
Discovery Education, . Wide Shot of Laptop Computers with Students Working. [Image]. Available from
Padlet is the easiest way to create and collaborate in the world. (n.d.). Padlet. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from
Prezi - Presentation Software. (n.d.). prezi.com. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from http://prezi.com/
RubiStar Home. (n.d.). RubiStar Home. Retrieved June 5, 2014, from http://rubistar.4teachers.org/
ThingLink - Make Your Images Interactive. (n.d.). Thinglink. Retrieved June 7, 2014, from