Question Detail

Get Students Using Their Technology Academically!

Mar 10, 2013 9:35am

I want to start a discussion about how we teachers can leverage students' technology and encourage them to use it academically. I would love to hear your thoughts!

  • Arts / English Language Arts / Foreign Language / Math / Science / Social Studies / Technology / Other
  • Pre K-12
  • Assessment / Common Core / Differentiation / Engagement / New Teachers


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    • Mar 10, 2013 9:35am

      Here are a few of mine:

      1. Improve Oral Reading Skills
      I have a few students that love to participate in class and read aloud but their skills in reading need much improvement! It, at times, is painful to have them read because it is choppy and lacks inflection.

      Students could very easily record themselves reading simple passages to more complex passages aloud, listen to it, and find ways to improve. For some, it might be the first time they really "hear" themselves.

      2. Improving Composition / Essays
      I often tell my students to read their essays back to themselves to catch mistakes such as when their pencils are moving faster than their brains thus resulting in forgotten letters or words. I think students do not fully "appreciate" this process.

      Having students read their essays aloud - and record it - as a part of the revision process would be a great way for students to be able to really "read (hear) their work back to them."

      • Mar 19, 2013 5:42am

        One really fun way to use technology is to have students create mock facebook profile pages for literary or historical characters. Since they are so familiar with how people present themselves online, they really want to get to "know" the character under study to make the page funny and realistic. There's nothing like a Facebook profile page for the inventor of the microscope. You get ridiculous comments like, "OMG, this typing looks HUGE. LOL." It really increases engagement.

        • Mar 14, 2013 12:42pm

          Here's a video where texting is being used in ELA classes:

          • Feb 22, 2014 1:32pm

            1. Start small with one-way texts using
            2. as mentioned Google drive/docs has loads of possibilities. Im not an ELA teacher but i think a whole collaborating on writing a short story, poem or other using goodle docs would be fun.
            3. Look into flipping and place video lectures online and remove lecture from the class. embed google forms into your lessons online and have the students complete a short series of questions to prove they watched the video.
            4. Have students make videos of something in class...perhaps teaching a concept using a paper slide video and then you can publish it to youtube. Then ask students to watch at home and score them using a student and teacher made rubric, or have then self reflect on their own video.
            4. If supported and allowed in your school use for formative assessment at the end of the lesson. the students text their responses and they appear on your screen. Also Pollanywhere is good for this.

            • Mar 11, 2013 1:33pm

              There are so many great educational apps out there now. For math, I really like "doodle buddy" (allows you to write out equations to share with others, rather than typing all the pesky math symbols) and "quick graphs" (for graphing various equations).

              • Mar 18, 2013 8:06am

                We use Google calendar on smart phones to record when assignments are due and one can schedule reminders for long projects to keep one on target instead of procrastinating.

       is the best!!! You can place vocabulary or definitions for flashcards, set up practice tests, search for other ideas on your subject...

       has all kinds of neat learning videos...I learned how to do statistics problems from a video that helped me ace my college statistics class!

                Using video to record skits for extra credit...or taking pictures of bugs for biology instead of collecting them and bringing them into class!

                There is not enough time to search all the neat possiblities available to enourage fun, both in class and at home learning. I wish I had more time.

                • Mar 18, 2013 4:29pm

                  I have been using a lot lately. You can add pictures, videos, maps, text, and draw on your images. I have used this for:

                  1. Students to summarize knowledge after it was taught. Both whole group, and small group. They are creating, collaborating, and synthesizing.

                  2. As a teaching tool- it is very visually appealing, and allows you to connect popples so that students see relationships.

                  3. As a categorizing tool. It is very easy to drag popples around the screen. So you could teach a lesson on quadrilaterals and have students classify photos or definitions of different quadrilaterals by dragging the popples around into groups.

                  • Apr 6, 2013 12:44pm

                    I like the idea of having students record their first version and then their final version so they can see how their speaking improved.

                    • Jun 2, 2013 7:07pm

                      Socrative is an easy tool for quick assessments. Students use their smart phones to anonymously answer questions. You see the results immediately.

                      I use Twitter with my honors students. When they have a reading assignment, I'll tweet links to websites, images, or videos about certain things that come up that they may not understand. (For instance, in 1984 by Orwell, they didn't know the geography of London, so I directed them to various sources that would help them visualize.) I also tweet links to articles that relate to a discussion we had in class or a theme from a novel we're reading. And if they don't care about looking uncool, they'll sometimes tweet back with a response or another link. :)

                      Photostory is an easy tool for making video slideshows. It's a free download from Microsoft, and most kids already know how to use it. I've had students create videos for poems they write.

                      • Jun 11, 2013 11:17am

                        recording vocab for tests has really helped in memorization for students.

                        • Jun 14, 2013 6:43pm

                          Two suggestions:
                          Check out:
                          1) where they can create an avatar and record their audio!
                          Youtube has videos where students are using voki in the classroom

                          2) evernote app in itunes or Google Play. Students can create audio/video recordings and send it to your email.

                          Tell me what you think.

                          • Aug 17, 2013 8:50am

                            I use technology almost everyday in my math and engineering classes. Here is a sampling of the ways students use technology for academics in my classroom:

                            1. Students never have the excuse that they forgot their calculator; they are free to use the calculator on their cell phones. There are some good graphing calculator apps that are free that many download as well.
                            2. I use popplet with my Engineering 1 students to introduce them to project management. They create a timeline of their project, noting which tasks are dependent on the completion of other tasks and which are not. As the project progresses, they can easily move the popples around to change the order or update progress.
                            3. Even though I have netbooks in my room, students often prefer to use their phones or tablet for research and writing. Google docs provides an easy way for students to collaborate on a project document or input data into a spreadsheet. Google sites allow my engineering project teams to have their own website for their projects.
                            4. Students use the cameras on their phones to photograph important information on the board, such as directions for a lab, so that they don't necessarily have to write it all down. This saves time and they don't have to keep looking back at the board as they work. They also use cameras to document progress or create a video of math labs or projects which we upload to my youtube channel.
                            5. I often use PollEverywhere in my math classes for quick formative assessment. I can gauge the level of understanding at a glance, using it as a variation of the stoplight technique.
                            6. CK-12 has an iPad app, StudyNow! which students can use outside of class for reference and extra practice with math, science, and other subjects.

                            I have found that once ground rules are set and I teach students how to use their devices to enhance their learning, engagement increases and inappropriate use of the devices is never a problem.

                            • Aug 17, 2013 10:05am

                              Make use of Edmodo, a free website that teacher can use for students to complete assignments online.

                              • Jul 28, 2014 9:07am

                                There are so many apps and websites available to help students use their devices academically! I have learned several just in my first two graduate classes. Students can use prezi to build presentations for class as an alternative summative assessment. Google docs can be used to collaborate on assignments and allow peer editing. My son even used his phone to video his science experiment and present it to his class. There are lots of options. The key to using technology in the classroom is making sure that the students know when it is appropriate and when to put devices away.