How can we utilise technology to support classroom management?
As much as you want to give your students engaging and exciting lessons, do you ever just feel exhausted by all the admin you have to do? There must be an easier way to manage your time? Here are a few apps that can help improve your organisation and efficiency, enhance your lessons and most importantly save you precious time in the long run!
Prolio is a great free tool for setting individual targets for students in a quick, fun and interactive way. You can customise specific targets and issue them to selected students. When students achieve a goal, they earn prolio bucks that can be redeemed for in-class rewards. Collaboration with other teachers is simple and it has a nice clean interface that’s user-friendly and with simple set up instructions for students and parents too.
Planbook is a superb one-stop shop for storing your grades, lesson plans, calendar, attendance lists, to-do-lists, timetable and lesson notes (along with 101 other things!) Lots of schools have systems that can do similar things but their interface is often clunky, slow and frustrating.
Planbook won’t win any awards for most beautiful education app, but it is fast, responsive and very intuitive to use. It’s a great day-to-day or back-up tool where you can quickly rustle up everything you need to plan for the day ahead. It’s not free but it comes with a free one month trial.
Remind is a handy website to send messages and reminders to students and parents without all the phaffing of printed forms and papers. It can also send quick files synced to your OneDrive or Google accounts. Sign up is free and messages are sent via email and by text message without sharing your personal details.
If your desk is anything like mine, you have a pile of paperwork that will soon need hiking boots to ascend. Evernote Scannable is a way to quickly take a photo and scan the myriad of papers that come your way during a frenetic school day. If you have an iPad or iPhone it’s a must-have tool that will save you precious minutes of time searching for that stray receipt or consent form!
A relatively simple but effective iOS app that monitors the noise level in the classroom and sets the limit according to the type of task you want. It saves you having to give constant reminders during class time and works surprisingly well!
If you’re a Primary or English Teacher or even have a tutor group, Newsela is a great website to gather reading material at an appropriate level for your students. Articles are from sources such as The Guardian, Time Magazine and the BBC. It has a huge range of topics to choose from so there’s something for even the most reluctant of readers.
A great feature is the ability to adjust the lexile level of each text, which means you can give a class the same text to read but can simplify the language in the text for struggling readers and increase the complexity for more confident ones. Assignments can be set with a range of automatically marked multiple choice questions and an open-ended question helps you differentiate further.
Let’s face it, most of us at some point have spent a weekend staring into a stack of papers waiting to be marked while brewing another cup of strong coffee. What if I told you there was an app that would quite literally mark your assignments by taking a photo on your phone?!
Online tools are great but sometimes our internet connection fails and not all students prefer (or perform as well) using digital screens. QuickKey can help you make paper-based tests that it can grade automatically with its clever smart phone app.
Most days you’re a regular wordsmith but the evening before your student reports are due, your brain turns to mush. If you need some creative inspiration, the TES report comment bank is a huge help and saves you precious time when you’re figuring out how to say the same thing in ten different ways.
It comes with a range of pre-set comments that can be customised for each individual child but are also editable if you wanted to give specific feedback and for any time in the future.
A huge hit with students, Kahoot is a great free way to assess students using gamification. Thousands of question sets already exist and it’s quick and easy to make your own. Students can use a smart phone or any tablet device with an internet connection to take part.
The quizzes can also be completed by students outside of class time in ghost mode and results can be downloaded to an excel file where you can target specific areas where students need to improve. It’s a great tool for assessment by stealth!
This is a lesser-known but a brilliant multimedia tool for assessment conceived in Finland. Seppo offers students an opportunity to record video, audio, long form, short form and multiple choice questions around a customised map.
Students can work individually or in teams and it turns assessments into a treasure hunt that students will love and provide you with valuable data on your student’s progress. It comes with a free one month trial, why not give it a go?!
These are just ten examples and there are so many more tools out there. A little time spent getting to know these tools will save you lots of time in the long run. Have you used any of the tools on this list or are there any others that you would recommend?