Technology has become an integral part of today’s classroom, but it’s good for more than centers and stations. In fact, technology in the last decade has introduced new ways to interact with families, plan lessons, organize reports, and more. Check out these five ways to make this school year easier by integrating technology into your everyday lessons, planning, and classroom management.
Technology Makes Teaching Easier
Collaboration becomes easy with Google Apps for Education (GAFE). With everything from email to file sharing to document editing, GAFE allows teachers and students to experience real-time collaboration on projects, writing assignments, and more. Teachers can also sign up for local Google Educator Groups to discuss how and when to use GAFE in the classroom. You can also become a Google Certified Educator or Certified Trainer if you find that you’re passionate about using GAFE.
2. Behavior Management
Take behavior management to a new level with a technology twist. Apps like Class Dojo allow you to reward and monitor classroom behavior through the use of fun characters and points. Parents can then access their student’s account to see what behavior was like throughout the day. Class123 also allows you to give instant behavior recognition to students through the use of their iPad app. It also includes a seating chart, timer, and a way to communicate quickly with parents.
3. Parent Communication
Establish a strong relationship with your students’ families from the very start by incorporating apps and technology that gives them insight into what’s going on in the classroom. Apps like FreshGrade give families direct access to photos, notes, and reports that the teacher uploads. It’s great for giving parents a look inside the classroom while still protecting the privacy of others. Remind is another great app that allows teachers to send reminders of upcoming events and even assignments to parents and students.
4. Assessment and Documentation
It can be difficult to accurately assess and document students’ progress when you have a classroom of 25 students. Thankfully, technology has given teachers the capability to quickly document things like reading fluency, speech patterns, and even students’ performance through the use of video and audio recordings. These are especially helpful for teachers with multiple students on IEPs.
5. Resources for Lessons and Centers
What would technology in the classroom be if you couldn’t use it for center resources and lesson material? Thankfully, there are many free and low-cost reading websites, science websites, and math websites that can be used in and out of the classroom. For large group instruction, things like Google Lit Trips allows students to get a glimpse into the actual locations where their favorite children’s literature is based. Digital downloads of teaching resources and posters are also available online to make planning and lesson implementation easier for teachers.
How do you use technology in the classroom? What are some of your favorite apps and websites for effectively managing your class? Share with us below or on the Really Good Teachers forums!