When we select technology resources, we look for tools that solve the particular challenges we face. Specifically, we choose those that support classroom learning, help manage time-consuming tasks, and promote collaboration and transparency.
With these goals in mind, here are 5 Digital Tools to promote collaboration between teachers and students.
We started using Chalk years ago to make lesson planning easier and it is only in English… Before, the school didn't use any online lesson planning tools; almost everything was still on paper and not easily accessible.
Chalk is one of the digital tools that allows us to create digital lesson plans that are aligned with the standards. Teachers can easily view lessons created by other members of their Professional Learning Communities (PLC) and collaborate with each other in real time.
Meanwhile, department heads and other administrators can move on to reviewing a lesson plan prior to any teacher observations to make sure it matches what's happening in the classroom.
Chalk also offers live support, which we used periodically for the first few years until we felt like we could train teachers on our own, and we continue to take advantage of the tech support chat feature when needed.
As a disadvantage, mention that for now it is only in English. However, it is worth tinkering with it.
We leverage Canvas , our learning management system ( LMS ), to streamline communication for both our classes and our extracurricular activities. Each grade level also has its own Canvas page for grade level business, calendars, and communications.
Canvas allows teachers, club moderators, and even club officers to post announcements, files, and assignments, as well as take surveys and quizzes. Work can be submitted and graded in the system, and online discussion forums play an important role in many classes.
Teachers can use the system to send emails to large groups, and the Canvas Calendar keeps everyone informed of what's coming up and even maintains a to-do list. Not surprisingly, a common saying we hear on campus is "It's on Canvas."
However, we like to use Moodle , we honestly prefer it as an LMS to Canvas.
Students often use Quiziz to write my paper for cheap. These digital tools allow self-paced review and help students focus on areas where they need the most support. They can review questions they don't normally answer and take multiple practice tests that lead to the official test in class.
Students enjoy the memes that accompany feedback on their responses. The Quizizz includes a bank of appropriate memes, and teachers can add their own as well.
One of the student favorites is Gimkit . Developed by a high school student, this app allows students to earn money in the game by correctly answering questions. They can use this “money” to buy power-ups, insurance, and other fun items that they can use in the game. Students can collaborate by contributing their own questions to the kit.
Periodically, there are special modes available that make Gimkit even more enjoyable. Students in my class played Humans vs. Zombies during Halloween, and later, we tried Thanos mode, inspired by Marvel Comics. By encouraging friendly competition, this tool facilitates a selective review of the material, increases participation, and creates a playful environment that motivates students.
In our world language classes, we are using Textivate, a tool that creates numerous games for students based on designated text excerpts. We use it to create a whole sequence of activities, including vocabulary review, to improve the study of the text.
Challenges are open for a designated time and students earn points by playing the games of their choice. The student with the most points at the end of the challenge is the champion.
Support digital tools in the classroom
Implementing technology in the classroom requires a lot of planning and communication, as well as ongoing support. We maximize success by making sure our monthly professional development days are designed to provide important context and teach new skills and include ample time for practice and sharing.
We begin with a 30-minute interactive presentation during which we model instructional strategies as well as select technology tools and resources. Teachers discuss the presentation and immediately put the lesson into practice within their PLCs. Our hands-on approach gives them time to discuss their specific goals, share the challenges they encounter, experiment directly with technology, and receive specific support.
We are proud of how far we have come with our integration and implementation of technology, and we plan to continue developing and enhancing our program each year in order to give our students the best preparation for life in the digital age.