Tech Tools

Incorporating Technology in the Classroom

I truly believe that technology enhances my teaching ability. Technology however should not define your teaching. It should be utilized as a tool to reach your students. Technology is a support system to your classroom. It should be incorporated as a process with lots of planning. For me this year, learning about different technology tools has been both exciting and overwhelming. There are so many ways to incorporate technology in the classroom and an overwhelming amount of ways to do so. This page will continue to be a work in progress as I learn about more tools and add them to the growing list of tech tools to use in the classroom. 

Check out my symbaloo webmix for more tech tools:

Tech Tools

Utilize technology as a communication tool for parents and students.

1. Twitter: Twitter is a powerful tool to use as an educator. One way to utilize twitter is to use it as a communicate tool for students and parents. Post daily homework assignments, resources for students, and even post classroom pictures and samples of students’ work so that students, parents, and the community can be involved in what is happening in your classroom. How do I use it? Check out Mrs_CarterSS  TweetDeck is an app I use for professional development so I can participate in multiple chats at once. Check me out at tpizzie1 and share with me any tech tools you are learning about.

 

2. Remind: Remind 101, now Remind, is a free, safe way for teachers to send text messages students and parents. This can be used as a communication tool to let students and parents know about important events, reminders, and communicate daily homework assignments. There are also new features to remind 101 that enable you to attach photos, assignments, and even presentations. How cool!

3: Blogging: I recently started blogging and have enjoyed the ability to share my experiences with other educators. Not only does blogging allow the opportunity to connect with other educators, but also with students and parents. Students can blog in the classroom as a way to involve parents in their learning. Parents can follow what is happening in the classroom.  Blogging also gives students a voice and helps to develops their speaking and writing ability. I have not started blogging with my students yet, but I do plan to develop student blogging in my second year of teaching. I plan to use Gaggle since that is something our school district uses and monitors. My goal is to use blogging as a critical thinking and reflective tool for students, a communication tool for parents, and a perception data piece for me to learn what my students are thinking. When considering using blogging for students make sure to teach students safety first, how to blog, how to comment, give them freedom, challenge them, be patient, and give them an audience. Have them visit other classroom blogs. Using my twitter PLN and joining a chat one day at #ntchat (new teacher chat) when the topic was blogging, I learned about #comments4kids, which is a way that students can share their blog globally. How Awesome! Another way students can connect globally is #QuadBlogging.  This is where four classrooms rotate blogging and commenting each week and the students can connect with classrooms in the UK and NZ.

*Other blogging sites recommended through my twitter PLN include Weebly, blogpot, kidblog, and edublogs.

4. QR Codes: This was something I just learned a few months ago. Our district participated in digital learning day where students could bring their own devices to school. With limited technology, I was curious how to efficiently plan a good lesson. I asked a friend of mine what they would do and they recommended QR codes. So like a curious new teacher, I went to my assistant principal,who happens to be our resident tech guru, and asked about QR codes. I listened, I took notes, and I did what any other teacher does….. I went and played around with it, experimented, and took the risk of seeing how it worked for me in my classroom. By golly (yes I said that), I will never go back! I will always use QR codes now, (until the newest tech thing is cooler, anyway). I mainly use them as a communication tool. I am able to post lessons, vocabulary reviews, and links to anything I want my students to access using QR codes. QR codes can be used in a lesson by having students move around the room and scan the QR code. This also give students the chance to move, which is an added bonus to the technology. QR codes can be utilized outside the classroom as well, by posting a QR code on the door for students to scan and have the information they need available to them at home that night. How freaking cool! I plan to utilize QR codes more in my second year of teaching when I have better access to technology.

*For more on QR codes in the classroom, check out http://www.freetech4teachers.com/2014/03/by-request-five-ways-to-create-and-use.html

 Utilizing Tech Tools in the classroom for warm up, reflection, quick discussion and assessment.

I like to use the following tools as a quick way to engage my students, but also gather data for assessment. The thing about technology is that you just have to try something new and see what works best for you, your class, and your students. Take a risk! I guarantee you will be so happy you did. Also, remember this is just a part of learning. Some things might not work for your current situation and that is okay. There are many more tech tools to try and you can also try again the next year! Also, don’t try everything at once. Just pick one to try and then evaluate its effectiveness in your classroom. Try something new after you analyze its use in your classroom. Make using technology become a routine.

5. PollEverywhere: A great tool to engage the audience in real time. Not available on laptops. I use this mainly for warm up and reflection questions for BYOD. The kids love to see their answers on the screen, get them engaged first thing in class!

6. Socrative: This program is available for computers, mobile devices, and tablets. This student response system engages students through games and exercises on any device they have on hand. I highly recommend checking this out! You can even develop quizzes for assessment! 🙂

7. TodaysMeet: Tool to get students chatting. It is easy to use, but some school servers may block this site. You as the teacher must provide link/educational hashtag for student to join. This is a total winner and easy to monitor.

8. ActiveVotes- If your school has these, USE them! Don’t let them sit in a closet, utilize this quick response system that kids love! It will give you and them immediate feedback. I assign a number ActiveVote device to the students the first time we use them, that way it cuts down on transition time to hand out and take up. The more you use them, the more routine it is for students to get their number device.

*Other polling sites recommended by other educators: Flisti (No sign up required. Super easy polling system.) MicorPoll or Vorbeo (Good for creating a poll to embed in a blog or website.) InfuseLearning (good for use on iPads) The Answer Pad (Free cloud-based response system for students)

9. Padlet

10. Popplet

11. Twiddla

12. Kahoot

QR codes on steriods: Augmented Reality… Coming soon

13. Aurasma: I recently got into augmented reality and I really love it. I learned how to use Aurasma from an online tutorial, after I saw two colleagues use it (April Williamson and Rachel Sniff).  I taught myself within a few minutes and showed others immediately after. It is really neat and kind of my new obsession. The con to this app is that you do have to use a channel and others must follow your channel in order to view your auras.

14. Layar

15.  DAQRI

16.  All things Google: Google Drive, Google Play (google apps), Google Forms, Google Documents, Google Spreadsheets, Google Plus, Google Hangout, etc. 

17.  Edmodo

18.  Evernote

19. Dropbox

20.  LiveBinders

22. Puppet Pals

23. Sock Puppets

24. Show Me

25. Telagami

26. Book Creator

27. iBooks

28. iMovie

29. DoodleBuddy

30. Haiku Deck

31. Skitch

32. Toontastic

33. AudioBoo

34. Explain Everything

35. Neu.Annotate

36. Morfo

37. SASflashcards

38. SASgloss

39. NearPod

40. Stage

41. Write about this

42. Engage

43. Emaze

44. Penzu

45. Class Dojo

46.  Smore

47.  CamScanner

48. Comic Life

49. Blendspace

50. ThingLink

Here is the app smashing session from edcampnc! https://docs.google.com/spreadsheet/ccc?key=0AjS0QMnpJ-kndGZpajZpMF9RMVB4a3pBazhLbEVpWXc&usp=sharing#gid=2

 

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