It’s just over 3 months into the school year and I’m finally finding my groove; it feels good. Now that my norms have been established (and reestablished), I’ve switched LMS’s, and my students have memorized all 70 of their passwords they are finally learning the awesomeness that lies within technology in education. Although they are now comfortable, we now enter a new challenge – not getting bored!
Using technology in your classroom is never an easy fete, but once you’ve got a firm foundation in your favorites it can become boring. It may seem impossible, but you can avoid boredom with just a few ideas. In just a few steps, you can learn 5 ways to shake up tech in your classroom…are you ready?
1. Don’t be afraid to try something new! I began this year with Edmodo as my main LMS and I love it. I have been using it for a LONG time and they are constantly refining and adding new features that make it a great platform for any grade. However, my district just went to GAFE and I have access to Google Classroom. I will admit I was nervous about making the switch, so I did it with 4 out of 6 of my classes. This will allow me to learn Google Classroom with my upper grades, learn tips and tricks, and keep me on my toes. I did decide to keep my lowest grade level on Edmodo ( They just integrated Microsoft Office aka AMAZING) and it’s more user-friendly for my littlest ones. Instead of completely abandoning what I’m familiar with, I added a twist and I’m shaking it up without making myself crazy.
2. Introduce App Smashing. If you’re not familiar with the term, App Smashing involves using two or more apps together for one end result. The Tech Turkey above was created by three teachers I met at a tech conference last year, The Tech Triplets. This is an example of groups of apps that you can combine to create an instant app smash! For example, if your students are familiar with pic collage, introduce Tellagami to add another layer. For every app your students are familiar with, introduce a complimentary tool to create a new experience for learners and yourself. 3. Go paperless. Interestingly enough I haven’t met too many teachers who enjoy taking papers home, I am one of them. If you are looking to join the “paperless teacher crew” there is no better time than now! Doing this will not only create an easier way to manage your classroom, but it will also leave you with a more clean desk & a more efficient way to keep parents abreast of your classroom. Don’t know where to start? Find a learning management system you find easy to use and introduce it in one class. Once you find your groove, invite other classes and eventually add them all!
4. Take an old project digital. With the increase of PBL and hands-on learning, we now have begun to create multiple projects throughout the school year. Being a former science and Social Studies teacher, I can remember walking in on project day and being swarmed by poster boards. In an effort to decrease paper and increase my sanity, I found a cool website that would allow my students to create a poster board but do it digitally! Thinglink allowed me to make a small tweak in an old tried and true assignment but shake it up just enough for students to enjoy and increase my sanity astronomically. In the picture above, Kim of iTeachSTEM switched up her about page and turned a normally mundane about me page into an interactive activity for blog visitors. Now, it’s your turn. Take an assignment you know you can’t remove, but want to try digitally. Find a tool to help you do it and voila. Need help? Tweet me and we’ll find a tool that fits your needs.
5. Create a tech expert job. Don’t know all about an app? Find a student to become an expert and introduce its educational uses. They’ll be excited to explore using technology and you can take one thing off your plate to do. This will also allow your student to work collaboratively and learn from each other. Even the most “fun” apps have ways to be used in your classroom, let them find it!
Now that you 5 ways to shake up tech in your classroom, it’s time to make it happen! Take one of the tips I shared and think of a way to keep your kiddos on their toes this year. The cool thing about students and technology is that they are both ever-changing. Be willing to loosen the reins and let students explore. You’ll thank me later.
Just in case you don’t know where to start, tweet me and let’s talk tech!!!
Now, which tip are you taking this week?