Whether you’re looking to sharpen tech skills, streamline workloads or increase accessibility in the classroom, these teacher-tested tips will get you started.
The most important thing to remember when integrating technology into your classroom is to start with learning outcomes. This doesn’t mean that you have to stop using a certain tool, but it does mean that you have to be able to explain to your students why they are using the technology.
1. Use Google Classroom
Google Classroom is a free blended learning platform that helps teachers collect, organize, and grade student work. It also offers a variety of ways to communicate with students and track student progress.
Teachers can use Google Classroom to manage assignments, schedules, and syllabuses. It’s easy to use and works across many devices.
The software also allows students to submit their work from any computer with an internet connection. This makes it easier for students to turn in their assignments while they’re at home or away from school.
It can also be used as a way to send announcements, such as homework reminders or classroom rules. These announcements can be posted on the home page of the class or sent out by email.
A great feature is the ability to post questions in the discussion stream. These are a quick and easy way to get a feel for student opinion and start a conversation in the classroom.
For science classes, it can be useful to connect with a class from another city or country to gather weather and environment data. The data can then be logged in a spreadsheet, and teachers can compare the weather and environment between locations.
2. Have a Quiet Day
One of the most important things you can do as a teacher is to have quiet moments. This isn’t always possible in an active classroom, but sometimes it’s the only way to avoid a power struggle or even a meltdown.
For a teacher to have a successful quiet moment, they should make sure that they model appropriate behaviour and treat their students with respect and kindness. They should also have some strategies in place to deal with rowdy pupils or when the class gets a bit too noisy for comfort.
The best way to show your students that you are trying to create a more peaceful environment is to utilise technology. Using a digital timer to remind your pupils that they have two minutes to keep their voices down is a good way to get them to do the right thing.
The biggest challenge with this tech tip is to find the right technology that can help you achieve this goal. This might require some trial and error, but it can be worth it in the long run. For example, you might try a wireless doorbell that will alert students when it’s time to be silent.
3. Keep Your Google Drive Organized
When you have a cluttered Google Drive, it can be difficult to find files. That is why it is important to organize your files so that they are easy to find and share with others.
One way to keep your Google Drive organized is to create folders that match how you work and what you need to find. For example, you might want a folder for client work, one for financial reports, and so on.
Once you have created the folders, make it a habit to go through them once a week and check that everything is where it should be. This will prevent your Google Drive from becoming too cluttered and it will save you time in the future.
Another great way to keep your Drive organized is to color-code your folders. This will make it easier to navigate through your files and it will also help to liven up your Drive.
Keeping your Google Drive organized can be difficult, but it is an essential part of being a successful online business owner. Over time, a cluttered Google Drive can become a stress-inducing mess that can hinder your productivity and cause you to waste valuable time and energy.
4. Take a Look at the July/August Issue of Tech & Learning
Teachers need to be able to make the most of technology to keep students engaged in learning and improve student performance. Fortunately, there are many resources out there that can help teachers do just that.
The tech industry is booming, with new products coming out every day that can benefit your students and school district. This is an excellent time to learn about the latest and greatest in edtech, which may even help you improve your own teaching.
A great example is XR, or extended reality, which creates a more immersive learning experience for students. It also enables teachers to teach subjects in more interesting ways, by using videos, images, and other nifty tools that will enhance their teaching.
It’s important to note that while XR can be helpful, it is not always necessary. Some subjects, such as statistics, require more traditional approaches to learning.
The best edtech solutions are those that can be used to support all aspects of classroom management and education, from instructional design to technology integration. This is what makes the Teachers’ Guide to Tech so useful, and it is our goal to ensure that all educators can use a little bit of the best that the tech world has to offer.
6. Have a Jigsaw Puzzle Activity
Jigsaw activities are a great way to encourage communication with students as they develop language skills such as rewording, asking questions, giving and following simple clear instructions (explaining), clarifying and describing. They can also support the development of communication strategies such as listening and pointing.
A Jigsaw activity can be adapted to fit any topic. For example, in a literacy lesson students reading a historical fiction about the American Revolution could be split into different groups to study different aspects of the book.
Once they have become experts in their area of interest, the class is re-organised into ‘jigsaw’ groups where learners from each group share the information they were given and the group then complete a task together. This could be anything from a grid or table to a diagram, a poster or even a role play.
EAL learners can benefit from these activities as they are often paired with a more advanced learner who has the necessary English level to provide them with support in rewording, asking questions and requesting clarification. This also allows the beginner learner to speak only as much as they are able to understand or comfortably say, while the more advanced learner can teach them all that they know about the text.
7. Create an Exit Ticket
Exit tickets are a fast and effective formative assessment tool that teachers can use to measure student understanding of the day’s lesson. The goal is to gather data that teachers can use to evaluate the effectiveness of instruction and adjust lessons based on students’ needs.
Several types of exit ticket prompts are available to teachers, and some can be tailored to students’ specific learning needs. Some are easy to create, while others require a little more work to prepare.
One of the most popular ways to use exit tickets is to ask students about their understanding of a particular concept, skill or content. This could be in the form of an open response question, or a yes/no question with multiple possible answers.
Another variation of this prompt is to ask students to share tips or shortcuts that they have learned about the day’s lesson. This is a great way to encourage students to see themselves as the experts in the class.
You can also create exit tickets in Google Slides or PowerPoint, as a quick way to check students’ mastery of a standard or learning objective. This simple and focused format provides meaningful data for all students.