The challenges of classroom management has been widely recognized in the teaching community for some time. The tapestry of tasks, skills and strategies required to ensure lessons run smoothly can be tremendously difficult to juggle. Novice teachers feel the pressure most intensely as they step into their first classroom, and faced with students of diverse backgrounds and varying ability levels. Even the most experienced teachers have days when classroom disruptions and disorganization is the norm.
Over the years, educators have developed a reservoir of tips, tricks and procedures to manage their classrooms. As the Internet began connecting people far and wide, those methods were shared, improved and built upon in the online community. Now many teachers and experts in the field have developed practical technology-based tools to help fellow educators successfully manage their classrooms.
Below we offer a list of eight excellent tech tools for classroom management. You may have heard of some while others will be brand new. In any case, be sure to share this list with others in the teaching community to continue the positive cycle of teachers helping teachers! (*Note: the list is in no particular order)
- Class Dojo: A first-rate tool for managing student behavior. Class Dojo allows you to reinforce positive behavior by awarding students points for specific behaviors. Students love the fun avatars that are assigned to them and Class Dojo makes it easy for you to track and monitor student behavior. You can even generate reports to share with parents!
- Stick Pick: An app that allows you to randomly select a student by simply shaking your device. You are then given suggestions for question starters tailored to students at varying ability levels. You can also record students’ participation during discussions directly in the Stick Pick app.
- Socrative: An intuitive student response system that gives you the opportunity to collect student feedback and quiz answers instantly. You can set up questions as part of a quiz or poll student opinions. Students can use their device to respond in real time and the responses are delivered to you immediately.
- Bouncy Balls: A fun way to track the noise level in your class with the use of a microphone and virtual bouncing balls. Challenge students to keep the noise level down by keeping the balls from bouncing.
- Engrade: An all-in-one platform that can be used to manage gradebooks, attendance charts, seating charts, student behavior, calendars, and more. Using Engrade, you can also develop Common Core-aligned tests and track student progress. It is a great way to connect to educational resources as well as your students.
- Collaborize Classroom: A platform for creating online learning communities for teachers and students. In this learning community, students are encouraged to collaborate with one another while teachers are made accessible both in and out of the classroom.
- Schoolbinder: In a Schoolbinder class page, you have the power to add, edit and organize assignments. It provides an online “dropbox” where students can submit assignments, ask questions and receive instant feedback. Events and deadlines can also be viewed in the Schoolbinder calendar.
- Remind: A safe, secure and easy way to connect to students and parents via text message. It is a quick way to send out reminders instantly or set reminders to be sent out in advance.
While technology is never an adequate replacement for teachers who employ methods proven through years of teaching experience, technology can certainly support your efforts in managing a classroom. Your experience, knowledge and expertise are essential in constructing lessons that maximize on your specific classroom’s needs. The resources above simply equip you with the proper tools for streamlining success in the classroom.
Teachers, do you have any tips, tricks or tech tools you use for classroom management? We want to hear from you! Share your ideas with us and help us contribute to the teaching community.
Until next time..
The PDI Team
*screenshot from Class Dojo (https://www.classdojo.com/) iPad app