Important Technology Tools
(all teachers should know about!)
LearnBoost is a tool that helps a teacher lesson plan, keep track of grades, and complete administrative tasks all in the same place. While exploring this tool in class, I was very pleased by all this tool had to offer. Teachers can add classes, take attendance, create seating arrangements, create lesson plans and search for the Standards that match up with it, keep track of grades in a grade book, and see class averages. Because of all these different features offered by LearnBoost, I think this tool could be a huge help to teachers in many different ways. Teachers should use this tool to take attendance, record grades, and keep notes on lesson planning in an organized way. By seeing class averages and individual scores on homeworks or assessments, the teacher can adjust and plan his or her instruction based on these numbers. LearnBoost calculates the grade percentage for you so you do not have to do it manually! It is important to keep information such as lesson plan notes, grades, class rosters, and more in a communal place, and LearnBoost provides that for teachers. It is a great tool to keep your plans and class data organized, which is a huge benefit for teachers of all grades.
Class Dojo is a classroom management tool that a lot of teachers use daily and rave about. Before taking this class, I had only heard briefly about what this tool was and did not realize how effective it really can be in elementary classrooms. Class Dojo allows teachers to take attendance, upload pictures, reinforce positive behavior, communicate with parents, and more. It benefits teachers in a way that they can complete administrative tasks and communicate with his or her student’s parents all from one location and it also benefits students by providing only positive behavior reinforcements. When a student does something well such as independent work or helping out friend, the teacher can click on that student’s name in Class Dojo and the student will be able to see what they did well that day. Teachers should incorporate Class Dojo into their every day routines by using it every morning to take attendance, using it regularly to positively reinforce students, and also communicate and keep parents posted about weekly activities and their child’s behavior in the classroom. This tool is really important because of all of its capabilities; teacher’s can assess student’s behavior, keep their parents updated, and complete administrative tasks all in one place, which is really helpful for teachers. Class Dojo is very easy to use and would be a great tool for a teacher who wants to incorporate technology into his or her classroom to start using day to day.
GoNoodle is another classroom management tool I have heard about that works wonders in an elementary classroom, and in homes too! GoNoodle can improve student behavior and attention, increase academic performance, and create an active learning environment by having students get their “wiggles” out through dancing, singing, and playing games. When students have the opportunity to let some energy out during their day, they will be able to focus and attend to learning better, which is why every elementary teacher should use GoNoodle. On a rainy day, during indoor recess, after lunch, at the end of the day, or when the classroom as a whole is distracted and wound up, the teacher should log into GoNoodle and have his or her class do some of the activities provided. There are many different categories of activities this tool provides such as guided dancing, sports and exercise, kinesthetic learning, calming, and more. Because of the many options, teachers can use it in almost any situation to let his or her student’s move around or calm down in an educational setting. It is really important to allow kids to be kids and let them burn off some steam during the school day, and GoNoodle allows them to do so in a school appropriate, fun, and engaging way. Using this tool will create a much more focused and engaged classroom in the long run which is why all elementary teachers should use it at least once a day in their classroom.
Prodigy is math gaming software for active engagement purposes targeted for elementary aged students. Some of the features of this game are the Common Core Standards for math included directly into the game, the student creation of an avatar to serve as their character throughout the game, earning coins and badges through “battles” where they must solve math problems to defeat their enemies, a student progress page for teachers to check, and also a planner for individual students so the teacher can choose what type of math he or she will be practicing while playing this game on certain days or weeks. I have seen this tool used in my CSL for EDU 260 (I am in a special education room for students with emotional behavior disorders) and the students love it because they do not even realize they are practicing their math skills because of the fun gaming aspect of Prodigy. This tool would also work well in a regular education room because all students love to play games on their iPads or on the computers. I feel like this tool is an important tool teachers should incorporate into their daily schedules because students thoroughly enjoy it. Students get the benefit of practicing their math skills while feeling like they are not even doing math because they are playing a game. This tool is a really great way to get students actively engaged in learning. The teacher should start using this tool by letting students play Prodigy for 5-10 minutes after lunch or recess to cool down, as a way to get their math brains working, or as a reward. My CSL teacher used it as a way to warm students up for math by allowing them to play for 5 minutes after lunch and she used it as a way to reward students when they finished their work or did something good. This tool can be really effective for building and practicing basic math skills for elementary aged students in a fun and engaging way!
ForAllRubrics is an online rubric-making tool that is very easy to use. The format of the rubric is already created and laid out for the teacher; all he or she has to do is input the categories, point value, and comments for a specific task that needs to be graded. Teachers can export the rubric, print it, or download it as a PDF to give to his or her students. I would recommend using this online rubric-making tool whenever students are doing a project or assignment that needs to be graded based of different categories of criteria. It is very simple to use and teachers can easily add or delete rows and columns to fit their grading criteria. This tool is important for teachers of all grades because of how easy it is to use and how it saves time because it is already formatted and set up for the teacher to immediately start inputting their criteria. It is very important to have a consistent, organized grading system, and using ForAllRubrics provides this for the teacher and student for any type of assignment. It is easy to comprehend and navigate for both teachers and students and is a great way tool to create an online rubric.