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Classroom Tools for Teachers
There are so many ways that technology can improve teaching - especially with technological tools. There are many different apps that teachers can use along with online resources that can enhance the traditional way that classes are taught in order to keep students engaged in this increasingly digital age. Classroom tools for teachers including virtual lesson plans, grading software, and online assessments can save teachers a lot of time and energy.
What are digital tools, you may ask? They include a variety of different tools that can support a classroom and the act of student learning - ranging from clicker technology to a full screen countdown timer. Tons of teachers all over the nation are becoming more and more creative with these digital tools while they discover how helpful they can be in the classroom.
Getting used to these classroom tools takes a bit of effort, but the payout is definitely worth it. Check out these useful digital tools that can improve the teaching experience for teachers and the learning experience for students.
Google Calendar can help teachers and students alike manage their deadlines and stay on track for assignments and due dates. It can be easy to fall behind, but Google Calendar prevents that from happening by syncing with other applications to send reminders for you to complete tasks.
Tomato Timer is something that can help both teachers and students that suffer from procrastination. It helps to structure work times for you to keep you on a strict schedule, giving you a certain number of minutes to work hard and then telling you when you should take a break.
Google Classroom is a website and an app that can help manage classroom workflow and communication between students and teachers. Teachers have a section for each of their classes and both students and teachers have a dashboard with recent assignments, announcements, and discussions, setting up the interface in a sort of classroom screen.
And don’t forget! Six In Schools is another tool for teachers that provides ready-made activity sheets that can help unlock students' creativity and storytelling ability.
Common Classroom Tools
One of the most common classroom tools - among many - is the stopwatch. These online timers are a valuable tool that can help keep students on track, and you can use them during any time of the day in the classroom. Whether that means during work time, transition time, or simply so students know how long their breaks are. There are many different online stopwatches to choose from, including options that have customizable time segments. This timer tool helps students manage their time effectively while taking away the guesswork of wondering how many minutes are left in a certain segment or wondering when their work or break time will be over.
Another great classroom tool is the spinner wheel. As teachers are constantly being asked to make decisions, it can sometimes be a relief to hand it over to a digital picker once in a while. All that decision-making can get tiring, and it can also be the source for spats and disagreements in the classroom - which is why handing it over to a spinner wheel is sometimes the best bet. Gone are the days of micromanaging.
Activities that require picking students’ names can be delegated to a wheel of names or a random name picker. These are online tools that are easy to use - all you have to do is plug your students’ names into the online generator and the wheel will spin, and easy as that, the decision will be made for you. Plus, it’s a fun thing for your students to watch as well.
The tools are very easy to use and straightforward in their execution. They’re ideal for both in-person instruction and online classes - all it takes is inputting your information, hitting the button to spin the wheel, and receiving your random results.
Classroom Apps for Teachers
There are plenty of great classroom apps for teachers out there that can make your classroom experience much smoother. One of these apps is another visual timer online called Google Timer, and the goal of this app is to act as a classroom timer online. It lets students manage their own time and budget it the way they want to, and it helps to divide the day up into digestible chunks.
There are more online teaching apps than just the timer, though. Another great choice is called ClassDojo, and this is one of the best classroom management apps out there. It creates a consistent and structured classroom that helps teachers improve students’ behavior and communicate effectively with parents. For positive behaviors, students receive points and for negative behaviors, they get points taken away, then reports are calculated and shared with students and parents.
Another great classroom app is Schoology. It’s a web-based learning management tool that allows you to create courses, a calendar, an online gradebook, and an attendance record. You can create tasks and assignments, assessments, and discussions for students or other teachers.
Socrative Teacher is another great classroom management app. With this app, you can assess students in your classroom and get data by simply pressing a button. You can create quizzes and run them, get general feedback, and even play games.
Kahoot! is an app that’s well-loved by students and teachers alike. You can use it for polling purposes to see how well students understood a lesson, or you can use it as a fun quiz in the style of a game show. Kahoot! is a great way to understand where each student is at with the material when you’re preparing quizzes and exams. It also gives students the opportunity to interact with their teacher in a fun and engaging way on a fun platform that creates a positive experience for the whole classroom.
Assessment Tools in Education
In order to make sure every student is on the same page, it’s essential for teachers to use online formative assessment tools. It’s also necessary to assess every student at the end of the quarter, term, or semester, and give them a final grade that represents their understanding and level of effort in your class - and that’s where digital assessment tools for teachers come in. Once you get a handle on the learning gaps present in your classroom, you’ll get a better picture on how you can target them for repair.
Here is a list of assessment tools used in the classroom:
Google Forms is one of the best assessment tools in education. It’s seen as a go-to for many teachers because it’s quick and easy to use. You can automatically grade quizzes, even if it’s your first time using the tool! Creating multiple choice quizzes or short answer quizzes is a breeze. It also makes it easy for students to answer by clicking a drop-down menu, typing a quick answer, or posting a short video. You can also share grades easily with the click of your mouse.
Mentimeter is another one of the best examples of assessment tools. It comes with pre-built education templates like one for listening skills, a selection of icebreakers, formative assessments, post-lecture surveys, and polls. You can also create quizzes and tests on Mentimeter along with managing student expectations and engaging your students. You can even run teacher training workshops on this assessment tool! Something that teachers love about Mentimeter is the fact that it gives every student a voice - but if there are a few students that seem to be overtaking the classroom, there is a feature you can use to mute those with extra-loud voices so everyone gets an equal chance to participate.
Interactive Classroom Technology Tools
Keeping students engaged in this technological world is no easy feat, and it takes more than an online spinner tool or a fun random name picker. Instead of rejecting the digital age, though, we recommend that teachers embrace it and try to find ways to incorporate fun online teaching tools into their everyday lessons.
Here are some free interactive classroom technology tools that will turn your classroom into a fun and engaging place to learn:
Prezi is one of the best interactive classroom technology tools because it makes presentations fun again. It allows for visually engaging, animated presentations that are perfect for students of all ages - teachers can use it to teach lessons or students can use it to complete projects and demonstrate their understanding of a lesson.
TED-ed is another educational platform that can be used to create engaging lessons. It’s loaded with tons of educational animations, TED talks, and other content that you can customize to create lessons tailored specifically for your class. It helps to spice up the act of learning for students and it makes teaching interesting for teachers, too. All you have to do is share your screen with the class and present the topic using the platform and their professionally animated videos.
Storybird is a tool that helps K-12 students become inspired with reading and writing. On Storybird, there are hundreds of reading and writing challenges that students can participate in, and teachers and students can even create their own interactive digital books. Then, you can present these books to the class by simply sharing your screen.
Thinglink is a tool that allows teachers to create their own interactive images including virtual walkthroughs, augmented images, and more. For visual learners, Thinglink is perfect. It can turn text-based information into a visual lesson so students who absorb lessons through sight can understand on a deeper level.