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Five Innovative Ways to Use Technology This Year
posted by: Melissa | August 14, 2015, 08:46 PM   


Over the weekend, I was speaking with a friend who proudly told me of her plans to flip her classroom this year.  The idea of flipping is several years old but it’s still fairly innovative.  The conversation reminded me that this is the time of year when it’s perfect to try something new.  So, before the school year gets too far underway, here are our five tech suggestions for this upcoming school year.


  1. Try group work with online collaboration tools. Instead of using the typical group work procedures, try migrating one or two projects online.  Documents like GoogleDocs allows students to write collaboratively, while tools like Zoho and Trello can help students organize.
  2. Try producing a podcast.  Podcasts seem to finally be hitting critical mass with the success of last year’s Serial.  There are several low or no-cost tools for producing podcasts.  Younger students can record themselves as a twist on Readers’ Theater.  Older students can produce content-heavy episodes that explore a topic of choice.  You could also use this as a new and unconventional way to communicate with parents.
  3. Use student data. This may seem like a given, but there are more and more tools for getting hard data on your students online.  You can use old standbys like Accelerated Reader or up- and-coming new tools like Socrative. There are so many great ways to assess your students and dig into the numbers nowadays.
  4. Take a virtual field trip. New research is showing that exposing children to a wide variety of experiences is essential to their development.  Unfortunately, we’re not always able to fit field trips into the school schedule, and when we can, the money isn’t always there.  Visiting your favorite museum or historical site virtually can allow students to experience something new without the cost.
  5. Let students lead the way. It’s true that many students are born with technology in hand.  By the time they get to your classroom, they already have ideas about what they like to do on the computer and their preferred tools.  Instead of handing them a list of which apps to use or what to do with their technology, allow students some free time to explore the technology in their preferred manner.  They might find something new or show you a tool that you hadn’t been exposed to yet.


Last, but not least, Vicki Davis, A.K.A. CoolCatTeacher, has some great tips to think about when innovating with technology in the classroom, which you can read about on her blog.



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