If you are a person who thinks they are "technically challenged" or want to use tech in the classroom but aren't sure how to start, I think I have your first solution.
Nearpod is a website that allows you to find or create interactive lessons that will engage your students. Here's a quick "how-it-works":
A veteran teacher I have used it today with her students. She told me she edited a lesson that was free and was able to add PDFs and questions with no problem. Her response to how it went, "It was one of the most engaging lessons I have ever taught." How could you NOT want to use this??
Students love being a part of the lesson with the tools available. I like that you can push a question out in the middle of a lesson if you feel students need something new. It is SO easy to insert something into the presentation, maybe a website link or a question to assess their learning.
I feel this is one of the easiest ways to infuse your teaching if you are uncomfortable at all with technology. This is a tool that would be very useful to you!
And their 360 cities lessons are amazing virtual tour lessons. I did these with some kids, and it was amazing! Students were squealing over the fact that they were able to go to Mars. Yes, Mars!
*They also send out a lot of coupons and specials for their lessons. Some of the packs are pretty pricey, but you do get a lot of content. Oh, and you sign up with your Google account, even better!
After being in and out of classrooms over the past couple of weeks, one thing I have really noticed is how much our students lack skills in using search terms. Many students are unsure of what to put into that infamous Google search bar. It is our job as educators to help. Back in the times of encyclopedias, we learned how to look up keywords to find information on presidents, animals, countries, etc. Now we must teach students how to use search terms and best practices to find reliable sources.
No fear! Google to the rescue! Located in the lesson plan section of Google are 5 sections of lesson plans divided into Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced. You can do lessons on search terms, getting better search results, reliable sources, and more!
There are also daily Google challenges to see how well you can use search terms!
Click for lesson plans page!
Fifth grade teacher in a 1:1 iPad classroom, sharing my journey with technology in the classroom