Tablet / Smart phone technology go hand in hand with
the Internet and the World Wide Web (WWW) and youtube. If you have not
established a domain then you need to do that. I have been very
pleased with 1and1 when I established my domain several years ago. The
main reason was to control over my lessons. Before I established my
site, I had to rely on the technology department in my district. After
I had to recreate my site for the 3rd time and then was told that I
would no longer be able to edit my own work, I had had enough. Now, I
use my own laptop to create my lessons at home, upload them using my
By having your own domain you are able to:
- Organize your material any way you want
- Update that information when you need to without relying on others
- It prevents you from losing your creation.
- Establishes control over who looks at your material
a web page is very easy these days, the editors allow you to do things
now that would have required hours of painful work in the past. I use
a little free editor called NVU, they have a little tutorial as well.
may sound like a commercial but I am for anything that allows time
saving when it comes to grading or taking care of housekeeping
business. Enter the company Quia.
Quia is a company out of
California, which is tailored for educators on the cutting edge of
technology. You can create weekly schedules, assign students
own name and password allowing them to take tests. You have
control over the time, date and how long students are allowed to take a
given test or quiz.
I highly recommend
checking them out. The company will give teachers 30 days to use their
product to see if you like it. If you do find it helpful, it will cost
you or the district $45 a year. Hands down, it will be the best $45
money you or the district can spend as it will pay for itself in the
I know some teachers who really enjoy using clickers in the class
room. Unfortunately, they are expensive. There is an online
tool that does the same thing that you can use with any device that
will connect to the internet. It is called Socrative.
Socrative, is a student response system (free) that will have the
students engaged. They can use a tablet, smart phone, laptop and
you will be able to see their response immediately. It’s a
pretty cool program and it will send you the totals in an email to
you. What I like about the program is that:
Socrative is web based so that laptop, desktop, tablet, smart phone is compatible with either
- Apples iseries
- It is easy to use, not a steep learning tool
- There are helper tutorials though out the program
- There are plenty of YouTube examples for teachers by teachers
The teachers using the program beleave in it and that’s the best endorsement you can have as far as I’m concerned.
Check it out.
of QR codes.
I am a firm believer in using these little stamps
because they are so flexible. Students can take a ‘picture’ of the QR
and have the information associated with that QR to use at school or
There are several sites to go to in order to prepare a QR. The site I like most is Google Shortner.
will have to establish an account before you are allowed to make a QR.
What I particularly like is the fact it will make a shortened qr for
you. By making a shorter QR, qr readers have less of a problem reading
it quickly. Google Shortner also keeps track of the QR hits, that way
you are able to tell if / when students are accessing the information.
Most of the time it will be web page locations or video strips.
teachers that are not familiar with these little guys I’ve put together a lesson
that will get you up to speed on them. It will give you some
background and show you how easy it is to create them. So what do I
use my QR for? Glad you asked..
1. Curriculum – my school
requires a published curriculum each semester. I have the hand outs in
my classroom for open house, on the bottom of each page, there is the
QR for parents (read anyone) to scan.
2. Pacing Guide—I prepare
my pacing guide and publish on my web site, and of course, it has a QR
since the QR does not change, if I need to update the pacing guide, I
can do it anytime with parents can visit the guide and see the latest
3. Weekly Schedules- I update the weekly
schedule for my classes on Friday. Since I use Quia, it is uploaded on
their servers, I’ve QR the class schedule so that students when
students come in if they have the QR on their tablets, they can look at
the updated schedule for the immediately. If they don’t have the QR,
then they can scan it from the bulletin board. So it is just a matter
of creating it once and it’s good for the class.
4. Assignments /
as assignments are established, I post them on my assignment page. I
have a big monthly calendar hanging up so student know if they have
missed a day, the assignments as well as the due dates are listed. No
excuse on not knowing what is expected, and when it is to be turned in.
Back up lab. If I have hardware items laid out, next to the item,
example: a old hard drive, I will have a QR taped to it, so students
will scan the QR, then go to the site (usually on youtube) watch the
material, then write a summary about the item. Not only do they have a
chance to see and feel the device, they can see the video showing it in
6. Tests or quizzes. On a calendar place a QR that
matches the quiz or test. Part of your curriculum sheet should have a
schedule to indicate that if students know when they are not going to
be in class, they can take the test or quiz during the time frame you
establish. Since almost all your examinations are web based, all
you need is on QR pointing to that test, regardless of how many times
you change it.
Now that you have an idea, I’m sure that you will be able to come up with additional uses.
CLASSROOM TECHNOLOGY CONFIGURATION:
Lets discuss the number of tablets a teacher has to work with.
Not every teacher is going to be lucky enough to have all students
issued a machine for their use. However, if you have:
Students can work in groups & individually, have them broken down
into technology groups. They should be given time work together
to learn the apps you or your school authorizes them to
Assign a certain number to be in the:
By having them become specialized, you are building to their
strengths. Giving them approx 10 minutes a day, or as little as 3
times a week, builds upon team work as they show each other tricks or
shortcuts that the class will benefit from. This does not mean
they work to the exclusion to the other area, but are your and student
‘go to’ team, when there are questions.
- Video group
- Editor group
- Resource group
- Writing group
Students work on your individual assignments as you would normally.
Half Set / smart phones.
Since out of 15 students with smart phones, chances are none of them
will be the same. That’s why it is important that there be a
common language for the ipod, windows, android phones to talk to each
other. You can break them down into groups just like full set
above, just make sure that students are a mix between tablets/laptops
and smart phones.
Limited number Tablets / laptops some smart phones.
What normally happens, to the classroom teacher is limited number of
tablets. You will have to establish either a station or
selection. Where students can rotate to the tablets / laptops as
Station is limited by the number of machines that you control.
Students are rotated to the machines as you see fit. They can
take their tests, quizzes or other limited assignments, while you
lecture. Remember the technology is simply a tool to help you get
your learning concepts into the minds of our students.
A certain number of students are assigned one tablet, they rotate that
machine between them as they work in a group, or move from one person
to another as required, such as taking exams or looking up
information. Do make sure that one student is responsible for
overseeing the machine so that it is picked up and returned daily to
your charging area.