Technology is great but it’s hard sometimes to know where to start. How do you use it in your classroom without bringing along all the negative aspects of it like students doing things they shouldn’t, getting distracted, bullying, wasting time, etc. Here are 8 ways you could be using technology in your classroom.
1. Create A Simple Class Website:
You can use technology in your classroom by creating a class website using simple and ready-to-use hosts like Google Classroom. If you are feeling up the challenge, create your own website using these free providers.
- Google Classroom – Click here to read my step-by-step process for creating a Google Classroom without any tech knowledge.
- Wix – http://www.wix.com/
- WordPress – http://www.wordpress.com
- Weebly – http://www.weebly.com
2. Online Quizzes and Exit Cards:
They’re quick to create and faster to mark. Easily create free online quizzes and exit tickets using the following sites:
- Kahoot – https://getkahoot.com/
- Socrative – http://www.socrative.com/
- Plickers – http://www.plickers.com
Note: Plickers is my absolute favourite; it’s an amazingly effective and easy to use program that my kids love. If you want to learn more about them please read my post (Plickers – A FUN, EASY, and EFFECTIVE way to assess student understanding) by clicking here: http://wp.me/p3pnwJ-1FI
3. Online Field Trips:
Something that is relatively new to the field of education is the online field trip where you can visit anything from the International Space Station to the White House and even the Hershey’s Chocolate Factory for free. The trip comes to your classroom through a program like Skype Education – https://education.skype.com/ or Google’s Connected Classrooms – https://connectedclassrooms.withgoogle.com/. All you need is an Internet connection.
For more information on online field trips please check out:
4. Flip Your Classroom:
Try out the flipped classroom. Record your lessons using your computer, lesson (PowerPoint, Word, PDF, etc.) and some free software. Once it’s ready to go, upload it to YouTube (unlisted if you only want your students seeing it). This is a great way to free-up learning time in the classroom. If you don’t want to create your own videos there are plenty of people online who have already created them and these can be accessed for free via http://www.youtube.com. Click here to learn more about flipping your classroom – http://www.teachwithfergy.com/the-flipped-classroom-how-to-flip-your-class-and-increase-student-success/
5. Genius Hour:
Have you heard of Genius Hour? It’s so easy to understand and use. I use it every year and the kids love it. Worried that it’s too technical? Trust me when I say it’s really easy to implement and it gets your kids to do something they are passionate about it, which is something that is sorely lacking at times. Click here to read about how I use Genius Hour in my classroom every year with huge success.
How can your STUDENTS get involved right away?
Create virtual masterpieces:
Get your students to show their creative side and technological skills by producing a virtual masterpiece such as a Prezi, a website, an app or an infographic. Genius Hour works very well here as well (see point #5).
- Prezi – https://prezi.com/
- For more information on infographics visit – http://www.creativebloq.com/infographic/tools-2131971
Let your kids interact and become more engaged using a variety of free online simulations and applications. Don’t have iPads in your classroom? No problem. Simulations and videos can be accessed free of charge and provide a learning experience that students wouldn’t be able to tap into during a normal school day. This can be due to monetary or safety issues (some demonstrations can be very expensive and/or dangerous). Check out https://phet.colorado.edu/ (100% free) and http://www.explorelearning.com (requires a paid subscription). These two sites allow students to get hands-on with the content and bring learning to life. The simulations also offer full walkthroughs and guided activities, which can be accessed for free and come with an answer key.
Have your kids make a podcast as their project submission or make it an ongoing, semester-long assignment. It’s a lot easier than you may think and opens up a lot of unique and useful possibilities. Check out http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech252.shtml to get started.