Socrative is a student response system that pretty allows you to use any device with internet access, instead of having to purchase expensive separate hand-helds. Once registered (and it is free), the teacher can create quizzes, exercises, and quick exit tickets. It could be used in “real time” by students who each have an iPod Touch/iPad or laptop, teams of students who share an internet enabled device, or even by students at home or rotating through one computer in a classroom center. I used this on a regular basis with my students last year, and they loved it. I appreciated getting instant feedback on what they knew or how they felt about a topic. They enjoyed making it into a game with the “Space Race” feature that showed their team rockets moving forward on our classroom screen as they answered questions correctly. The teacher can have a spreadsheet with the results sent by an e-mail when the quizzes are completed, and graphs can be viewed by the entire class of the results. Many of these things can be done using Google Forms, but Socrative makes it easier and more fun for the students.
UPDATE 9/23/12: Class Dojo now has an app that allows you to easily access your classes to add and subtract points from your iOS mobile device. Click here for more info!
Class Dojo is a website that also has a mobile platform, meaning that you can access it from a classroom computer, laptop, smartphone, or any other device with Internet access. The purpose of this site is behavior management, and there are several features that would make this a great teacher tool. Once you receive the link (you need to enter your email in order to obtain a free account), you can then enter the names of your students. If you have multiple classes, you can enter each one separately. To increase the appeal to the students, you can even choose an avatar for each individual name. Then, you can type in the names of the targeted behaviors you would like to reward. There is also a column for negative behaviors.
Once you have everything set up, it is a simple matter to click the mouse or tap a screen every time a behavior is observed. The site keeps track of each student’s tally, and you can even print out a report of the class behavior or each student’s performance.
This is a great site for classroom management, making it easy to differentiate and to motivate a variety of students.
I have been using Thinking Blocks for several years with students who are working ahead of their peers in class. It allows students to use blocks to model word problems. Because the site includes all four operations, I think that it would be a great resource for reinforcement as well as for enrichment. It easily allows for independent learning as it has videos that introduce each topic and an easy way to track progress. There is even a printable certificate once a level is completed.
Thinkfinity has been one of my “go-to” sites for many years, ever since its infant stage as Marco Polo. It is a wonderful resource for teachers use for finding interesting lesson ideas based on national standards. It has several content partners, including “Read, Write, Think” and “Illuminations“. You can choose certain partners to search, the grade level, the standards, etc…Whenever you are looking for a new idea to add a spark to your lesson, this is definitely one place you should visit.
In case you haven’t seen it, this Tech Pyramid has great ideas for technology tools that you can use at each level of Bloom’s Taxonomy. When you go to the site, each of the icons are linked. It’s a great visual to help teachers in planning lessons that integrate technology based on the levels you want to address.
I am not a huge fan of spelling tests, particularly when everyone in the class is responsible for the same words. However, this site has some amazing tools that will allow you to customize lists for your students. There are also fun games that they can play to practice those specialized lists. The site is free, although you need to register. There are some perks for purchasing a premium membership, but it can still be a valuable tool without all of the bells and whistles.
“Pictorial” is a free app. I envision using it with an iPad in a center. The app is a great way to practice spatial skills. However, the user can choose even harder puzzles if or she finds these too easy.
The puzzles show a series of dots. By sliding your fingers around the screen, you can manipulate the dots until you see lines connecting them. The darker the lines become, the closer you are to creating a picture. Once you slide the dots into the correct place, an image will appear, such as the ice cream cone in the picture to the left, and a prompt appears for the next puzzle.
A student could be asked to solve a puzzle, then identify the picture. To increase difficulty, a student could be directed to write a sentence with the picture, or even a story. A high level user could have the additional challenge of connecting several pictures together within a story.
A screen pic and Screen Chomp (another free app) could be used by students who have difficulty writing. Or each student could be directed to add the title of their picture to a class brainstorming map to use for writing or creative thinking. Another possibility would be to have students add the pictures to a class mind map to be used for vocabulary and/or spelling practice. Creative students could try to find as many ways to connect the pictures as possible or use the pictures artistically in drawing a scene.
I think this app would be appealing to students in K-5.
For more ideas on how to use apps in the classroom, please visit www.techchef4u.com, another great resource for teachers!
Stick Pick is an iPhone/iPad app with great potential as a teacher tool. The teacher can add one or more classes within the app. To each class, the teacher adds individual student names, determining the type and level of questioning to use for each student from the following categories: Bloom’s Taxonomy, Bloom’s Revised Taxonomy, or ESL. Once all students are entered, their sticks appear in a cup from which the teacher can randomly or purposefully choose names. As each student is chosen, a list of question stems from their particular assigned level appears on the screen. This is a wonderful way for teachers to customize impromptu questions based on ability.
Created by Kim Ball, a teacher of Gifted and Talented students in San Antonio’s North East Independent School District, The Producer’s Toolbox is a great resource for anyone, teacher or student, who is interested in creating multimedia presentations. It has links to video, audio, and research sites, as well as other fun extras.