Originally posted Tuesday, April 22, 2014
Hi, and welcome to another edition of ‘Teacher Tech Talk’. I love using technology in the classroom. I do not believe that technology is a substitute for the craft of teaching; however, I do believe it can make us more effective and productive. Also, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) is making its way into the classroom, and teachers need to be aware of the opportunities for learning that this initiative affords. There are a myriad of useful tools out there—I will review a couple apps I feel that teachers will love.
The first app to review is Remind 101. This free app allows teachers to communicate with students and parents in a safe and efficient environment. The teacher creates their own unique portal in which students or parents can subscribe via text or e-mail. The great thing about this app is that everyone’s contact information remains private—subscribers can’t reply to messages sent out, and students’/parents’ text or e-mail information is not accessible to the teacher. This allows for a private area in which reminders as such ‘Test on Tuesday’ or ‘Bring your permission slip’ can be quickly and efficiently communicated. Two new features that Remind 101 recently added is the ability to send reminders to individuals rather than one message to all, and the ability to send attachments via text message. I find this app to be great for coaches or advisors in charge of organizing practices, rehearsals, and more. To learn more about Remind 101, visit www.remind101.com.
The next free app that I find extremely useful is Socrative. This app allows you to create quick evaluation instruments that teachers can easily administer and collect meaningful data. This app, which is cross platform and can be used on computers, allows for a quick poll of the students, or can be used as a review of previously taught material. The exit ticket function also allows for a quick recap of student comprehension and questions. Data comes as an easy-to-view and understand spreadsheet, so teachers can see which student may need more assistance or what concepts need a little extra coverage—it’s a great app for AFL! To learn more about Socrative, visit www.socrative.com.
I hope you find these apps useful! I plan on doing more reviews in the future. I will be presenting iPads in the Classroom at the IT Summit in Saskatoon this May, and will be offering a couple Summer Short Courses. If you would like information on apps and using technology in the classroom, please check out http://teachertechtalkwithdean.blogspot.ca for this article and past posts. Feel free to e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or follow me on Twitter at @vendi55. Thank you for your time, and remember to innovate, inspire, and collaborate!
Dean Vendramin. Educator for over 19 years. Currently Education Leader for Math/Science at Archbishop M.C. O'Neill Catholic High School. Have a passion for all things in education with emphasis on technology integration, assessment, professional development, and 21 Century Education. Posts are articles he has written for the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation monthly newsletter The Bulletin, Saskatchewan Math Teachers' Society The Variable, blog requests from memberships he is a part of, and his own thoughts.