Useful tools for the classroom

While there are many different tools available for teachers to use in the classroom. Below are three tools that I think would be very useful in my personal classroom setting.

Schoology Homepage


Schoology is a learning management system, and like most learning management systems, they all have a standard set of features, such as online quizzes, virtual classrooms, and assignment management. One of the great things about Schoology is that it is a very high quality website, with quality mobile apps as well. Students will learn how to use Schoology quickly because it is similar to Facebook, which many students may already use.

Having a virtual classroom allows students to keep track of, and manage their school work. It also allows around-the-clock collaboration, and helps to enhance the way students and teachers interact. I personally feel as if Schoology is a safe place for students and teachers to interact and learn together.

When looking at Schoology with the SAMR model in mind, it is apparent that Schoology can be placed in each of the steps in the SAMR model, depending on how it is being used. For example, Schoology could be a substitution if all you do is use it to collect homework assignments. On the other hand, Schoology could be Augmentation, or Modification if some of the features for taken advantage of. For example, students could post an assignment, collaborate with other students on editing the assignment, and then create a digital portfolio showcasing their work. The more features you use, the more helpful it can get.

Screen-O-Matic Homepage


One of the things that I do a lot is share videos of my desktop with people. It can be students or other teachers, and for me Screen-O-Matic looks like a great tool to complete this job.

A lot of students are visual learners, and the best way for them to follow along may be to see an actual example of something being done. I know that when providing support for something, it is a lot easier to demonstrate it, then it is to explain it. With the tools that Screen-O-Matic provides, it makes it so sharing something from your computer and be quick and easy.

Using the TPACK model, Screen-O-Matic can be an important tool because while you may know the content, and you may have the right technology, it's important to consider just how you are delivering that content. For me, I've realized that it's important to provide multiple ways for a student to learn content, and while some may prefer reading about something, other students may prefer to visually follow along. Whichever they prefer, Screen-O-Matic can help to provide another option for students learning in a quick and easy way.

Socrative Homepage


Lastly, Socrative is a great tool for in class assessment. This allows you to properly gauge how your students are doing in real time by seeing live updates on their answers, as well as giving you information about how the entire class is doing.

One feature that stood out to me was the fact that you can display group results in real time to the students, so for example, you could do class polls and in real time the students could see what their peers answered. This looks like a great tool for in class studying and topic review.

While this isn't the only way to review and assess students, this tool looks like a fun and interactive way for students to enjoy reviewing the content that you are going over in class.

While examining the 4C's model, this tool can help to cover some of the areas that the 4C's focus on. For example, doing in class polls and assessments allows the students to work together and collaborate to help find the correct answer. It also provides the students the opportunity for some critical thinking if they need to come up with a solution for the problem presented to them. By using this tool, you could encourage students to work together and interact with one another, or you could also have them work individually. Ether way, Socrative, provides a great way to get real insights to how the class is doing, and it would allow me as the teacher to quickly gather and assess on where we need to go next as a class to better improve the students knowledge on our current topic.

Chris Jones

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Boston, Massachusetts