By Teachers, For Teachers
Meeting the needs of all students can be demanding. However, even with their different learning styles and diverse backgrounds, many teachers still give their students the same exact homework. Maybe it’s because that is the “Traditional” way to do it, or maybe it’s because the idea of having different homework for all students seems utterly impossible and time-consuming. Luckily, today’s technology in the classroom makes it fairly easy to be able to meet the needs of all students. Technology in the classroom enables teachers to be more creative about what their homework will be. When students get an opportunity to choose their homework method, or even have some kind of control over it, it can extend their learning. Imagine a world where students actually did their homework. How much more meaningful would it be for them if they had a voice and a choice? Here are 5 technology in the classroom tools that can actually help you conceptualize homework.
Online learning systems like Edmodo, Moodle, and Google Classroom are what many teachers are using today. If you are not using any of these, then you will want to be after you hear how easy it will make your life. All of these sites allow teachers the ability to post homework digitally, so if a student is absent they can access it and digitally return it from anywhere. If you are a teacher who has students with disabilities in your classroom, then these sites have options for you as well. If you are looking for an easy way to assign different homework to different students, then you have that option too. These online learning systems allow you to focus on teaching not the paperwork.
Google Read and Write is an amazing extension for Google Chrome that offers a range of tools to help students with their homework. Students will gain confidence with reading, writing, and studying by easily following along to a document as it is read to them. They even have the option to turn their words into text. This site also enables students who are having difficulties with their homework the ability to create and listen to voice notes, and see the meanings of words explained with text or pictures. The ability for students to be able to read along by listening can be a great benefit for students struggling with their homework.
Educreations is essentially a whiteboard that has been shrunken down in size. Now imagine if you can record your voice and give an amazing tutorial filled with documents, pictures, maps, and videos that your students can access from anywhere. This app can do that and more. Educreations allows you to narrate your lessons, which frankly, can make a lesson so much better than if your students were to just watch a boring video that you assigned for homework. If you are looking for an app that can replicate your whiteboard, then this app is the one to try.
Voki is a free, fun, powerful learning tool that allows students and teachers to transform themselves into talking cartoon characters. All you have to do to get started is choose an avator and give it a voice. Then students can make it say whatever they choose (what’s 1 +3?). Teachers can use Voki to create animated presentations and with the classroom tool can manage students’ Voki homework assignments. Teachers also have the ability to download already-made Voki lessons and assignments which are all fully customizable. In addition to that, students can work on their assignments from home or wherever they access the Internet. It’s a fun new tech tool to bring students into the 21st century.
Many students struggle to understand critical information, so teachers often have them create a mind map to help them physically see the information that they need to learn. Popplet is a tool that helps students organize their thinking. It helps them capture facts, thoughts, and images and learn the relationships between them. Students can access this free app on an iPad or the web. So if you are looking for a tech tool that can help our students organize their thoughts to help them study, then Popplet is a must-have.
Digital technology has the ability to offer students a slew of homework choices. If you are looking for a way to differentiate your homework assignments or just make them more enjoyable and doable, then any of the apps and sites listed above can do that.
What are your favorite technology in the classroom tools for homework assignments? Please share your favorites in the comment section below, we would love to hear about them.
Janelle Cox is an education writer who uses her experience and knowledge to provide creative and original writing in the field of education. Janelle holds master's of science in education from the State University of New York College at Buffalo. She is a contributing writer to TeachHUB.com, TeachHUB Magazine, and Skyword. She was also the Elementary Education Expert for About.com for five years. You can follow her on Twitter @Empoweringk6ed, on Facebook at Empowering K6 Educators, or contact her at Janellecox78@yahoo.com.