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Classroom_Structure_InfographicToo Often a Tale of a Digital Teacher:

Your digital transition all started when your administration handed you some iPads.

You felt comfortable with the websites your students used on the computers in the back of your room, so you added the links to the home screen of the iPad.

Next, you searched your content in the app store to find apps for your students. Although overwhelmed by the number, you selected a few (hundred).

In the end, you used the iPads for stations, content-specific game-based learning apps, and rewards. Maybe even added in a little whiteboard app for some excitement.

Am I right?

You survived a few months with mobile devices, and no one got hurt (not even a cracked screen), but the learning in your classroom wasn’t transformed quite like you had imagined.

So, now what?

  1. Stop the drill-and-kill apps.
  2. Don’t be overwhelmed with the App Store.
  3. Install these 11 apps.
  4. Commit to trying one app from each element every unit this school year.

Here are four elements to consider before presenting your next lesson.

Element One: Consume

Goal: Differentiate instruction, perform frequent formative assessment checks, provide 24/7 access to content, vary content delivery methods

You no longer have to be the sole presenter of information. Introduce your students to a world full of experts in your field. Find full-courses, podcasts, instructional videos, and articles on iTunesU. Being prepared with resources at your fingertips allows for on-the-spot differentiation and intervention.

Don’t delete your PowerPoints just yet. Convert them to interactive, multimedia presentations using Nearpod. Collect formative assessment data during your instruction as your students actively participate in polls, quizzes, drawings, and videos.

Send yourself home with every student (How lucky are they?) after recording a short screencast using ScreenChomp. Giving your students the ability to pause, rewind, and re-watch their teacher, empowers them to take responsibility for their own learning.

Element Two: Review

Goal: Students interacting with content, annotating, and curating the material in their own way, in their own words

Ask your students to map out the new content using Popplet Lite. Have them layout a process or sequence and describe each step in their own words. Popplet isn’t just for webs; go horizontal or vertical.

Illustrate the new concepts or vocabulary in a Paper53 journal. Provide a blank canvas for your students to capture their thoughts without others judging their work; not everything has to be published.

As your students absorb the new information, they can add a note here, a link there, and a picture wherever they choose, on their own virtual bulletin board using Padlet.

Element Three: Create

Goal: Extend the learning, apply to real-life, provide purpose and audience, and foster creativity

After absorbing new content, organizing it in their own way, it’s time to set their creativity free. Give your students choice with ThingLink, 30 Hands, or AudioBoo. You don’t have to be the master at the app; it’s in the students’ hands and they will figure it out!

Snap a pic or create your own, put it in ThingLink, and start tagging it with interactive features like photos, text, music, video, and links. Record your voice over a series of images in 30 Hands to tell a digital story. Save your digital story to your camera roll as a video and add it to your ThingLink to make your first #AppSmash! Like us teachers, our students have a lot to say! Give them a voice with Audioboo, by interviewing an interesting person, recording a conversation or debate, or sharing a story to enrich their learning. Ready for an epic #AppSmash? Have students add their Audioboo recording and 30 Hands movie to their ThingLink image. Students can easily grab the ThingLink URL to submit or create a QR code. Don’t stifle their creativity. Let them show you what they can do with their learning.

Element Four: Reflect

Goal: Promote responsibility for learning, facilitate a conversation between teacher and student, and provide opportunities for self-evaluation  

Google Forms are quick to create, and even easier to distribute to students and gather results. Collect prior knowledge, peer evaluations, formative assessment data, behavior reflections, anonymous survey prior to a debate, student presentation peer evaluations, exit tickets, book reviews, and reflections. Google Form responses are compiled neatly in a spreadsheet ready for your review.

Don’t just jump straight to the next lesson. Instead, allow your students time to process and make connections with the content; providing them an authentic audience for their thoughts. Let them grow from peer comments and reading each other’s posts. This is also a powerful way to archive content for later retrieval. Students can review content or see how their voice has changed. Blogging with WordPress not only benefits your students, but allows you to truly see what they’ve learned and the connections they’ve made.

Take our infographic and print it, save it, or make it readily available to you during your planning process. Don’t just add Safari every now and then, transform the teaching and learning in your classroom by fostering an environment of creativity and self-evaluation.

About The Author

Tiffaney Lavoie currently serves as the Director of Instructional Media and Design at Edvergent Learning. An educator with a business background, she has served over 60 school districts in Kentucky as an instructional technology consultant where she developed and delivered professional learning opportunities and partnered with school and district technology rollouts. A former middle school teacher, Tiffaney has a passion for effective technology integration and recognizes the importance of accessible digital tools to support teaching and learning. She has presented on a state, regional, and national level, and values immersive digital learning environments that better equip students to compete in a global society.