Technology (Reflective Teaching Day 2)

For Day 2 of the #reflectiveteacher 30 Day Blogger Challenge, I have been asked to share about some technology I’ll be using this year. I currently have a cart of Chromebooks in my classroom, and I think they’ll get to stay there for most of first semester, which is going to be AMAZING.

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However, I’ve quickly learned that it takes a LOT of training to get my students to keep the cart looking this neat and organized.  (This picture was taken today, after probably the 5th time we’d talked through and practiced the process.  I wish I’d taken a picture of the tangled “spider web” they created on the first day, but I think it would make my blood pressure spike every time I looked at it.)

With this additional hardware at my students’ fingertips, I’m excited to have the freedom to try out new tech tools with my students, and to transform the types of learning experiences and assessments they have!  Here are a few tools I’ve used already this year and plan to continue using all year long:

1. Google Forms.  I want to develop a quick 2-3 question “quiz” for my students to complete after watching screencasts, so that both they and I have some immediate and formative feedback.  This will help me gauge where to start in class the next day, and give my students some additional accountability for their learning.  And, to make it even more awesome, Google just released some amazing new templates and customization options, so they can look pretty too!  I’d like to eventually have students make forms to collect information for peer reviews or data for labs.  

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2. Google Classroom.  I am currently using this as a daily announcement site. I’m hoping to eventually use it as an assignment creation & submission hub, and/or for class discussions.  I’m also hopeful that Google will continue to expand its functionality.  

3. Socrative.  I used Socrative today for the first time in a couple years, and I was impressed with the improvements in the interface.  It’s much prettier, and it handles superscripts and subscripts well, which makes science and math teachers happy! I used it today for a teacher-paced nomenclature “quiz”, where students saw one question at a time.  When a large percentage of students missed a question, I had them discuss with a neighbor or I explained it in greater detail.  A great way to review!  

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