Podcasts, green screens, Google Classroom, and endless apps. The list seems to never end of new ways to incorporate technology into the classroom. Over the summer I poured over blogs, listened to educational podcasts, and scoured Instagram to catch up on the latest and greatest in technology to get inspired for the upcoming school year.
Now that we have two and a half months under our belts, there are a few pieces of technology that I can’t imagine living without!
1.Remind- This is an oldie but a goodie! I have been using Remind for about 5 years now and I can’t imagine life without it. A communication app/website, Remind allows me to connect with parents easily to get out reminders, send links for things or attach pictures of what we are doing. It’s like a traditional paper note, but this one can’t get lost in a backpack! And even better, parents can reply to the message in real time to connect with me too.
2. ClassDojo- While this website/app has a huge amount of capabilities, I have found the best features that work for my class. Students earn points throughout the day for participating, helping others, being Peacebuilders and more. While one of the selling features of the app is that you can award points in real time, I have adjusted it to go with a velcro chart in our class to combine points with a movement break. At the end of the day I add in points and students can see how many they have when I post them the next day. We use the points for a prize turn in and let me tell you, the prize bin has never been so popular!
3. SeeSaw- I feel like I was a little late to the party since SeeSaw has been around now for a few years now, but boy oh boy am I glad I looked into it this summer. SeeSaw is a student centered app that puts the power of sharing classwork in the hands of students. Once their account is set up, students can then, log in, record either by picture or video something they are working on, and share it with their families at home. Parents, friends and myself can then comment on their work to let them know they are rockin it! It is like getting a sneak peak into our room for parents. Activities that would have been a just at school one can now go home digitally for parents to see.
4. GoogleClassroom- Assignments all organized in one place. No chance to loose assignments in the classroom or the black hole sometimes called folders in student’s supply boxes, I am L-O-V-I-N-G GoogleClassroom. Not only do I have an easy way to collect and review student work, students are engaged and excited to work on assignments because they get to do it on Chromebooks. There is also the plus that the work they are doing is so much more than just a worksheet. With the help of GoogleSlides I have been able to assign more interactive, creative and fun assignments.
5. Chromebooks- I know many places have been 1-to-1 device classrooms for years but we have not. This year having access to a Chromebook cart for students to complete activities, do research, practice writing, play educational games, and enhance traditional lessons has transformed my teaching. There are so many amazing websites and lessons we can do, now that we have access to more technology.
These are just a few of my favorite tech tools in the classroom and I am always looking for more. In fact, I have a few other tech goodies I am looking forward to using later this year. But for now, I am loving what we have so far.