Tuesday, September 12, 2017

Teaching: Ed-Tech in the Classroom

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For today's post, we thought we would come up with 10 quick tips that any teacher can do to add technology into your lessons. Sit back, relax and take a look at these really easy to use tips
1.    Have Students Complete a Writing Assignment Online
This one is really easy, instead of having students write multiple copies and edits on the regular sheets of paper or even in a notebook, have them write it in the OneDrive. This might be the simplest way to add tech use to a lesson. This would really fall under the S in the SAMR model, which is just a simple substitution.
2.    Have Students Create a Biography Sway
To begin the school year most classes have some sort of assignment which encourages students to get to know each other. Why not have them create a Sway and then present them to the class. Sways are easy to use, they focus on dragging and dropping and adding content that way. They can be creative in their presentation and a plus for you is that you can see what level of presentation skills that the student possess. A win A win in my book.
3.    Use OneNote to Record Students Reading
Students, especially in the younger ages, we are monitoring their reading fluency. For so, long we have listened to students one by one and take copious notes in the moment. What if I told you that you could make this process easier. If you have the students record themselves using Class Notebook, on their own page, and you as the teacher, could take them home and listen carefully and take more thoughtful notes. In the course of listening during class, you may not be as focused as you want to. If it's in the Class Notebook then you will have instant access.
4.    Reading Group Discussion Boards
In Brightspace you have the ability to set up group discussion boards that only the students in the group would have access to. We wish that in English class we had enough time to meet with every group, every day and have meaningful discussions with the group about the book they are reading. Well, now you can, by using the discussion board, you can set up conversations and questions that you would ask if you were meeting. Students can even send video responses to questions through the Video Note option.
5.    Use Freerice.com
This one is a simple, extra time activity. Free Rice is a vocabulary site that doubles as a game and fundraising site. The purpose of the site is that every time you get a right answer the site donates 10 grains of rice. While that doesn't sound like much the more you play and get answers right they donate rice. So, if I get 20 right answers, I give 200 grains of rice. Since the site has started they have donated over 96 billion grains of rice. For you, it's a vocabulary review website and for the students, they are playing a game and for the site, they are raising rice to serve someone else. A whole lot of winning all around. Plus, the more the answers that the students get right the hard it gets.
6.    Create a Kahoot
This is a great tool that turns a classroom exit ticket or class review into a competitive game. As the teacher, you would put your questions into the program and set the project up and the students sign in and then you're off. Kahoot has easy to follow directions for setting up a game, or you could use one that has already been created by searching the community.
7.    Padlet
Padlet is a great tool that you can use to integrate tech into your classroom. You can embed your Padlet into Brightspace and students don't need to go to Padlet to use it. I would set it up as a KWL chart or something like it.
8.    Video Intros to Lessons
One way that would be easy to integrate technology is to use a video to introduce a new topic, subject, book trailers, or anything you can think of. A video is a quick, engaging way to get students excited about your topic for the day.
9.    Differentiated Instruction
Students come to us at varying levels and struggles. There are many programs out their designed to help students catch up in their learning. Whether it is Khan AcademyTenMarksMobyMath, or a school-based program like i-Ready. Many of your colleagues already use sites like this to differentiated instruction and it will help students improve and catch up, with your responsibilities just checking in and making sure that they are doing the correct work and you can even assign practice for the students.
10. Collaborative Writing
One more exciting writing assignment could be working on a paper together. If the students are working on a history paper, creative writing paper or some other project that involves the students working together on the writing, they can use the OneDrive to create a new word document to write together. One of the great things about Office 365 is the collaborative tools that it offers.
Let us know what you think and if you have any other great ideas to help teachers get started using technology in the classroom in the comments below.

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