If teachers are to maintain the interest of students from the digital age, they need to rethink how to deliver content in new ways. Some of these tools may take some planning since often times teachers are not as proficient in the use of technology as their students:) That being said this can become a learning opportunity for teachers since they have much to learn from their charges. I am in that scenario often, but no matter what app I use, I always have at least 2 or 3 students who come to my rescue when I ask for assistance. No matter how well I plan the use of technology within the lesson, there is always a glitch which surfaces. Such glitches show students working as a team to solve problems also includes the teacher. Here are some great FREE tools to make your job a bit easier.
DOJO (classroom management app)-This is a fun app to deal with classroom management. Students are represented by various avatars. Their behavior is recognized by a series of checks and minuses, but presented in a format that motivates students to stay on task. Teachers can monitor behavior with iPads, iPhones, smart phones, laptops, tablets, etc. It is also free. Elementary through high school students like it as well.
Remind 101-If you do not wish to risk calling a student's home using your own cell phone, you need to use REMIND101. With this tool, you create your classes first. Students will be instructed to call a phone number created by the system. This number can also be given to parents as well as students. You may send out reminder notices to the entire class or to just one student or two who missed an assignment. Your private number is never used. Here is a short video on it (it is also free).
Teacher kit-This is a free electronic grading system. Though it will not replace your district mandated one, it does make it easy to keep track of points or grades throughout the class period without running to your laptop or desktop. I have used it for 3 years in keeping track of grades in my university adjunct position as well as during my regular ELD classes in my high school. Once I record a week or two of grades, I email them to myself in an EXCEL format.
Groovy grader-Tired of pulling out a calculator to figure out grades? Worry no longer. This app will convert ANY amount of points into letter grades for you with ease. I use it regularly when administering test with odd configurations (ex. 73 is a perfect score--student has 59.5--What is the percentage? Groovy Grader has the answer instantly.)
I hope these tools make you day a little easier for you--they did for me:)
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