Technology as an instructional tool can create a world of difference in academics for both teachers and students. The use of technology in the classroom creates a learner-centered environment versus a direct instruction environment. Students become curious and value the process of inquiry for information. At least this is my experience in the matter!
Other teachers frequently ask me what I use in my classroom to drive instruction, assess my students, and keep things interesting. Three of the tools I utilize most are TurnItIn, Kahoot, and Socrative. From my practice, I know all of these tools have an impact on student learning and engagement.
TurnItIn is a way for me to check plagiarism and use the rubric attached to grade students’ work. I can also insert comments and explain how to resolve a mistake and make corrections without handwriting everything. Students get their feedback immediately. The less time between completion and feedback, the better. Students also have the opportunity to resubmit their work with their corrections for a higher grade. Allowing this helps me teach kids that it’s okay to make mistakes, as long as we learn from them.
Kahoot is an interactive formative assessment tool that allows teachers to create quizzes and assess students by playing a game. Teachers activate the quiz, students login with their mobile devices or computers, and questions are displayed through the projector. The faster a student answers the questions, the more points they rack up. Students are not “punished” by having points removed when they answer wrong, they just don’t receive any points. We use this frequently as a review tool in my classroom. Kids love it and always remember what they feel they don’t know. They challenge each other and myself to “academic battles” to see who improves the most, and who gets the highest scores.
Socrative is another excellent interactive formative assessment tool. It is a lot like a classroom quiz (like Kahoot), but I use Socrative for more abstract concepts that do not have a single correct answer. Students are able to write responses, as well as vote on responses. I also use this tool for students to anonymously vote on classroom decisions and to solve disputes.
Technology plays a massive role in my classroom. Students need to have access and learn netiquette, as well as basic skills for the real world and workforce. Students acquire information in a variety of ways and often times, technology is a great way to keep it interesting and keep them engaged. This is only true if properly planned and implemented. If a classroom is in chaos-mode when technology is brought in, nothing is going to be accomplished. Start small and work learners into a comfort zone
If you would like to learn more about any of the mentioned applications, click on the image to go directly to their website!
How do you use technology in your classroom? What are some of your favorite apps?