Ignite Center



Workshop resources

Technology for Teachers

Technology is continuously, and rapidly, evolving and requires ongoing learning.

At each Ignite Center New Teacher Workshop, our P-12 leaders often share and demonstrate technology tips and tools.

We also use technology to share resources with new teachers and St. Cloud State University graduates.

These are a few technology tools available to new teachers.

Pineapple Charts

pineapple chart

A Pineapple Chart allows teachers to invite one another into their classrooms for informal observation.

The chart is set up in a location where teachers go on a daily basis: the teacher’s lounge, the copy room or by teacher mailboxes.

pineapple example

On the chart, teachers “advertise” the interesting things they are doing in their classrooms, activities they think others might want to observe, etc.

Interested teachers visit that classroom at the designated time and watch from an out-of-the-way spot. That’s it.



Padlet is a flexible, easy to use virtual wall that allows teachers to communicate, assign work, and share helpful content with their students.

It also allows students to collaborate.

Teachers and students can:

  • Type.
  • Record their voices.
  • Add a hyperlink.
  • Add a photo.
  • Add a document.

​Padlet offers a free trial and teacher and school pricing.

Padlet page example.


go soap boxGoSoapBox is a web-based tool used by educators for social Q&As, discussions, polls, anonymous student-teacher interactions, and creating spreadsheet reports from class data.

GoSoapBox is free for K-12 students and teachers and university educators to use with small classes (fewer than 30 students).

It features the Confusion Barometer, a helpful in-class tool. It is unique for its compatibility for work on laptops/desktops, phones, tablets and even iPods.

GoSoapBox allows teachers to poll students on a question or topic. The results are displayed graphically and update in real time.


twitter iconTwitter is a social networking service for sharing news and thoughts and status updates with people who choose to follow you.  

It is free and accessible on phones, laptops and just about any new technological device.

  • If you're new to Twitter start by following people in your district such as superintendents, principals and the teachers that are movers and shakers.
  • Build your followers off of those leaders. ​
  • Follow us on Twitter @Ignite_Center.
  • Use this Guide to Hashtags.



Pinterest is similar to web-tool Padlet, but much more casual.

It is a social network to visually share ideas, tips, and news and works well as a teacher-to-teacher tool.

Pinterest requires a free account to access the website or app. You can create a page where you follow other teachers' pages and pin material about your interests.

You can follow Ignite Center's Pinterest page for ideas.



The Nearpod app lets teachers create and share lessons with students.

It acts as a PowerPoint presentation, but is much more interesting for children.

Using Nearpod, teachers can embed and share text, images, audio, videos and PDF documents.

NearPod is free but also offers priced packages to larger classrooms and additional helpful features.


facebookFacebook allows teachers to collaborate with each other and their students in the classroom.

Teachers might consider creating a private Facebook page for professional learning communities, sharing resources, etc.

Visit Using Facebook with Students page to learn about Facebook use in the classroom and follow Ingite Center on Facebook.


Flipgrid logoFlipgrid is a video discussion platform that can be used in your classroom. Simply create a grid, add topics to spark the discussion, and your students can build a dialogue by sharing short video responses.

Flipgrid can be used in multiple ways. Try some of these ideas: reviewing a book, answering a question of the day, sharing current events, or reflecting on a science project.

Watch an Example of Flipgrid

Want to get started for free? Check out the guides below on creating your very own Flipgrid account.

Teacher's Guide for Flipgrid

Student's Guide for Flipgrid

Flipgrid is free but also offers different packages for individuals and schools.

Top 10s for New Teacher Survival

Before open house

  1. Put up your bulletin boards
  2. Make sure you have an appropriate number of seats in your room for your largest class.
  3. Make a binder for your class lists and seating charts that is readily accessible.
  4. Prepare an introduction and prepare how you will share it with you families. Examples: Create a QR code that you post on your classroom door during open house, post your website information, send a letter home.
  5. Make sure you have enough books for all your students. If you don't, devise a plan for how books will be used. Examples: Only in class, alternating classes etc.
  6. Label student desks, mailboxes, cubbies, coat racks etc.
  7. Prepare a birthday board or provide a calendar for students to add their events. Examples: A small white board for students to add sporting competitions, academic events etc.
  8. Make copies of paperwork for open house folders or for the first day of school. Examples: Welcome letter, syllabus, forms.
  9. Check with the office to see what else you need to do to be prepared for open house.
  10. Develop a system and checklist for collecting supplies if they are brought in by families.

Before the first day of school

  1. Create seating charts and place copies in your binder for the substitute teacher.
  2. Prepare emergency substitute plans and place in binder.
  3. Develop classroom management procedures.
  4. Develop a folder with back-up activities for days when there is extra time.
  5. Create an IEP binder.
  6. Review emergency plans and building policies.
  7. Post schedules and phone extensions near your phone.
  8. Upload syllabus and important documents to your website/page or school management system.
  9. Create your daily schedule (elementary).
  10. Label your turn-in space and place for late work and absent work.

During the first week of school

  1. Learn all students names. Figure out how to make it a game for you and the kids.
  2. Check out books and other materials and record their quality on note cards that are filed and saved to be re-checked at the end of the school year.
  3. Prepare an engagement activity to build relationships.
  4. Revisit routines, classroom procedures and expectations frequently. If you want to be taken seriously, be consistent.
  5. Create a way to manage end-of-the-day routines for your students.
  6. Learn how to help students open their lockers.
  7. Know your students' data; classroom profiles include information related to reading levels, background information, family situations.
  8. Create a parent communication plan — phone, emails or postcards.
  9. Get to know your support staff, such as paraprofessionals with whom you'll share students.
  10. Introduce yourself to all of your fellow staff members and be present at staff gatherings. Take part in interdisciplinary work, co-teaching opportunities etc.

Keeping your feet on the ground

  1. Schedule time for you that does not involve schoolwork. Keep the appointment!
  2. Get active! Exercise is a proven stress reliever.
  3. Sleep makes a huge difference. Do your best to get it.
  4. Be aware of how your nutritional intake affects your daily energy and capitalize on it.
  5. Keep water with you to maintain your hydration.
  6. Make sure you have footwear for work that keeps you comfortable and energized.
  7. Find a trustworthy listener and try to get out of the "teacher talk" mode.
  8. Connect with people in your area and take part in activities.
  9. Take five minutes to watch something funny/entertaining on YouTube.
  10. Make a list of the top 10 memories from the first month of school, your social plans for the next couple of months and of your ideas for relaxing and staying centered.

Toolkit for New Teachers

Our toolkit is chock-full of ideas and help for open house, parent communication, first days and the first week of school, preparing for a substitute teacher, wellness and staying grounded throughout the school year.



Our monthly videos reflect the stages new teachers go through in their first year of teaching. Gregg Hermerding, former media specialist in the Monticello School District, with content assistance from Milissa Walz, a Social Studies teacher in the Holdingford School District, created these monthly videos.