This week I was able to test out some awesome online teacher tools to create an interactive classroom! In this there was a variety of different kinds of tools, from quizzes to texting to games, there are so many amazing resources online! In order to help you discover some awesome tools, I’ve decided to review them. So sit back, have a gander, and be prepared to add some bows to your teaching quiver!
One of the tools I found to be very teacher friendly was Google Forms. Google forms is a resource that lets you create online quizzes that students can fill out. I have been an avid Google user as far back as I can remember, but it wasn’t until this past month that I found out about Google Forms. I love how easily accessible it is for all student to use, and how it is accessible outside of the classroom and can be accessed on both a handheld device and a desktop! This platform also allows for students to remain anonymous hen answering questions, making it a safe space for students to give honest feedback on the questions they’ve been asked. Overall, I love this questionnaire resource, and will defiantly keep it in mind during my future teaching career.
Another resource I absolutely fell in love with was Padlet. Padlet is a website online that allows for users to write a paragraph or so, and post it on a community board. This website is super easy to use, and is very user-friendly for all ages! I enjoy how it lets a classroom combine a vast amount of information, in a very short time. One of my favourite features of this program is how it allows for students to remain anonyms because there is no requirement for them to put in their name. That means students can post their true thoughts and feelings about a subject, without fear of judgment! How awesome is that? I defiantly recommend trying out Padlet in your classroom, as it is a great tool for brainstorming ideas!
My final teacher-friendly tool I loved was Kahoot! Kahoot is a super fun online game, where teachers enter in questions that then become a game, where students compete! This game is an awesome tool to get children really engaged in the activity, and have them have fun while they are learning! One of the best things about Cahoots is … it is free! It’s so amazing to find tools that don’t cost any money, and are very helpful inside of the classroom! I defiantly recommend testing this resource out inside of our classroom. If you do, let me know how you liked it!
When experimenting with all of these resources, I was able to best see what the student perspective is. One of my favourite resources from a student point of view was PollEverywhere. PollEverywhere is an amazing tool where students are able to answer questions projected on the screen, by texting! What a great way for students to become engaged in the classroom! Students are able to text in their answers anonymously, so there is no need for them to fear their answers being judged! One of the troubles I can see occurring with this assignment is how students could easily be distracted by being on their phones, and they could possibly lose focus on the task. Aside from this, I think PollEverywhere would be fantastic to us inside of the classroom, as it is super accessible!
My next resource that I loved is called Plickers. Plickers are QR-type codes that when held a specific way, let students answer a question by holding up a sheet of paper. One of the things I love about this app is how one is able to hide the student’s names, and review the answers in live action on the board. I think this would be an excellent way to check on students understanding before they head out the door, as it is super quickly to scan the codes and gain the information.
My final student use resource is Spiral, specifically the questions on Spiral that let you draw your answer. It is so amazing that students are able to draw their feelings about a question that has been asked. I think this is such a great way to allow for the students to get their ‘sillies’ out, while still being productive in class. I would also recommend trying this resource out in your class, as its drawing feature is one that is completely unique!
Flexibility / Variety of Questions
One of the main problems I encountered when using these apps was the lack of accessibility for students who have missed class. Websites like Spiral, Plickers, and PollEverywehre are only useful to students who are in class to participate during the time of the activity. It is for this reason that I have chosen my top 2 flexible websites+ as, Google Forms and Padlet. Both of these websites are easily accessible outside of the classroom and still, allow for the students to participate in the activity.
The website I found to be the least flexible was Cahoots. While Kahoot is an amazing website to use inside of the classroom, it is not one that can be utilized outside of the class.
Diagnostic / Feedback
The three websites I found to be the most useful for providing feedback were Google Forms, Padlet, and PollEverywhere. I enjoyed these resources the most as they provide instant feedback, and you can see the answers right away. I love how the teacher is also able to keep these activities private from the rest of the class, so the students are able to keep their answer anonymous and let their true thoughts be known! Not only is this amazing to get true feedback, it is also awesome for the students, as they can share what they feel, without fear of classmates judging them.
Overall, after going through various websites made for teachers, I am feeling very motivated and excited for my upcoming teaching career.
In my future classroom, I can see myself most likely to use Plickers, and Kahhot. I loved how interactive both of these resources were, and how they made learning fun! By utilizing a variety of different sources, you can keep your students on their toes, and have them always be excited to walk into your classroom for they know they are going to have fun! I hope you were able to learn about a new tool, and I hope you use it inside of your classroom!
-Miss Krystin c