My Favorite Tech Tools

For those of you who are just getting–or already have–Chromebooks, I wanted to share some of my favorite tech tools that I regularly use in class, as well as some tools that I just started using this year.

kahootKahoot This is a great tool that I use for reviews before tests. I haven’t played around with all the new features that they’ve added recently, but my students generally beg me to play. This morning, after we were done with their first Kahoot reviewing for their test tomorrow, some students asked me if we could play again. Yes. It’s just that good.

 

Nearpod This is a tool that I just started using this year after hearing about a colleague using it. It has options to either teach a live lesson or allow students to go through it on their own pace. I have onlnearpody used the live lesson function, but what it does is it broadcasts the presentation that I want to their individual devices (in my guys’ case, their Chromebooks, but it could also be used on an iPad, I imagine) so that they have easy sight to what they should be taking notes. I tend to use it to introduce new grammar points with both levels 1 and 2. One of my students said that they pay attention more when they use Nearpod in class.

memriseMemrise This website/app is based on brain research that converts information to short term memory, and then eventually to long-term memory. It gamifies the material, similar to Kahoot, and there is a class leaderboard, which ups the competition factor among students.

This is in addition to Google Platform for Education. See my previous post here about the different applications and uses.

Students Using Chromebooks

September 21, 2016

chromebooksSo my students have had their Chromebooks for about a week and a half. About 6 of them have left their Chromebooks in my room. Once they finally realize that they’re missing, how do they get them back? Well, for one, I don’t let them sit around the room. As soon as another student finds them, I put them in a nook underneath my desk. And then I wait. Generally by the end of the day they realized they’ve misplaced this precious technology.

Our school participates in PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). We have a school-wide currency called Discovery Dollars. Students receive Discovery Dollars when they are caught being good. So as we are about 3 weeks into the school year, hopefully they should be accumulating these Discovery Dollars, which can be used for various items throughout the school with their various teachers.

When students realize they have left items (including Chromebooks) in my room, they have to ask me for them. I generally ask them, “How much is it worth to you, dear?” [insert big cheezy grin here]. They usually stammer and think out loud, “You mean in Discovery Dollars?” Um, yes. The first time they leave their Chromebooks in my room, I will give it back to them for free. On one condition: That if they leave it in my room again, they will need to “pay a ransom” in Discovery Dollars to get it back. They humbly agree.

This seems to be working for me. It is something you may want to consider if your students have or are about to get Chromebooks or some other kind of precious technology. Keep in mind I work with 8th graders, so if you have younger students, you may want to modify some of these ideas. This has worked for me ever since I started implementing it a couple of years ago.