Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Fabulous Use Of Student Cell Phones in ANY Classroom:)

Well, after a fabulous vacation, we are back in the classroom fully energized and ready to continue to build an enthusiasm for learning within our students:)

Students love technology so what better place than that to start off the new year!  After all, the BYOD movement (Bring Your Own Device) is radically transforming the classroom to one where almost every student can access the internet through a wide variety of tools.  With this as the focus of this newsletter, we will explore a site that is building quite a strong following among educators and it is FREE!  That site is INFUSED LEARNING.

We will start off with a quick introduction through a video.   Immediate feedback to the teacher is crucial so that strugglers can be quickly identified and supported.  This site also allows different ways for students to demonstrate mastery.  Students may draw responses for example.  For English learners especially this choice opens up a chance to demonstrate grasp of a concept without being hampered by a language that they may not yet be very familiar with.  For classes not involving language development, being able to draw would allow these students to transfer knowledge from their home language to the teacher with ease (think math for example).  After all, a picture is worth 1,000 words they say.  For older students who are literate in their home languages, they may use a translation tool on the site.  For such students, this site permits them to earn the grades they deserve-grades based on actual content knowledge and not on full understanding of English. 

Here are some simple guidelines to get started:

1. Teachers need to set up a class.  Teachers can manually input all the names or use some tips from this site on using a Microsoft Excel template. 
2.  Types of assessments are varied.  We have the traditional such as True/False and Multiple Choice as well as short answer, sort and order, drawing, numeric, and likert scales.  Let us look at how to create a quiz for students first. 
3.  Interactive tools video lays out the process for using all of the interactives in any class setting.
4.  Quick assessments can now be easily interwoven throughout any lesson so teachers can keep a finger on the pulse with a snap.

I intend to kick the new year off with this since I believe that cell phones can serve a higher purpose.  After all, students will bring them so I might as well put them to good use:)

Happy New Year!

Denise, Marnie, and Cheryl
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