Friday, August 16, 2013

Free Tech Classroom Helpers for Teachers

Sites for use in the digital classroom!

Check out How to Get Started With InfuseLearning by Infuse Learning on Snapguide.

Turn Smartphones/pads/laptops into "clickers" and other goodies for the Common Core

As many of my fellow teachers and I head back to the classroom, we're often faced with how to battle/integrate technology into our classrooms to meet the Common Core requirements and 21st-Century learning expectations. However, for many us the biggest obstacle is a budget, or rather lack of one. Well, here are a couple of helpers that allow you to easily integrate technology into your courses, they're free, and they're easy to use.

Phones as "clickers"

Rather than nagging your students to put away their cell phones, have them use those fancy smartphones they live by as "clickers." 
I'm starting with infuse learning's site first since so many teachers have used "clickers" or SmartResponse systems with Smartboards. However, if your school is like most, you probably have to share your "clickers" with other teachers, and you can't guarantee when you'll have them. While my school is pretty good about our use of these, the Infuse learning provides an even easier way to deliver formative or summative assessments and allow students to use their smartphones for it. Now, you may want to have a paper backup if you have students who don't have a smartphone, but if most of yours do and your principal is open to using phones, then this is a great option. You go to and log in as a teacher. You'll create a free account, then create your own questions in the Quick Assessment mode. Here's the link to the Snapguide on how to get started.


Another great tech tool to integrate this year, especially since ALL subjects must meet the Common Core Writing Standards which include publication, is the LiveBinder. This link will take you straight to the tutorials page which will show you what to do, how to search public binders for ones made by others for your subjects, etc. This site has a wealth of knowledge and you can use it for everything from virtual notebooks for your own resources and share with your students to having students create their own writing portfolios/projects. I'm making my students create one for their process writings for each gradinng period, broken down by modes. 
Another great thing about LiveBinders is that they allow you to insert Prezis, videos, pictures, etc. It's a great interactive tool for your students and your classroom.

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