I really dove into the importance of collecting meaningful data in new, creative ways as our department endeavored applying for RAMP this past year. This semester, I’ve been in my Class of 2018’s English classes 3 times (a feat! actually bit off more than I can chew with 14 classes each of those 3 times).
Check out my Teachers Pay Teachers professional development presentation on using “Technology for Classroom Lessons.”
Using technology to collect data in the classroom is a FUN way to engage students and stay ASCA standards driven. Let’s talk about the couple of very practical tools I used in this long post ahead:
Take a few minutes to play around on classroom.google.com. Set up your “virtual classroom,” and it will give you a class code. Any student you give the class code to can add this folder to their classroom. You can post announcements, assignments, surveys (Google Forms), links to important resources; this was key in my vision for post-secondary prep. Since I’m staying with this class through graduation, I want to prepare all of us (students AND myself) for a smooth senior year. By doing the work now during junior year, my students will be able to refer back to everything we did in their folders (college searches, financial aid info, essays, common web links, etc.).
I dropped a Pre and Post Survey into Google Classroom. I used a survey to start off our set of lessons. This gave me an awareness of their knowledge before our lessons (perception data), Once I have the results of the post survey (a separate survey with literally the exact same questions), I can compare the before and after for outcome data which I plan on sharing with the English teachers who let me borrow their instructional time. I want them to know that my data-driven lessons are worth the time they are giving up to me throughout the semester! More to come on this after my last lesson is complete.
Let’s be honest- some of the material we have to present is dry and straightforward. I knew when even I was bored presenting some of it last year that it HAD to change. Kahoot tracks everyone who plays (process data: number of students, number of classes/times played), and you can refer back to this outcome data to see the percentages of successful answers. Create an account at getkahoot.com. Create questions with answers marking on your side which is true. Publish your Kahoot and get a code to give to students. They can use phones, tablets, or computers and go to kahoot.it and punch in the game pin. (They get to choose their player name, and you can click on it and remove it if it’s inappropriate.) They get points for correct answers and the speed in which they ring in. Play it on your own before you go in to get a feel for how it works!
I found that a lot of teachers don’t even use Quizlet Live, so I do have to explain to students how it works… but it is SUCH a fun and interactive way to test for understanding after a lesson. Go to quizlet.com and create an account. Create your “flashcard set,” click “LIVE,” and click “Create Game.” Students will go to quizlet.live and type in the “Join Code.” They’ll want to use their real name on this one because Quizlet will then divide them into teams (this part is fun- it gives them animals names!). This program is probably used best in classrooms to test vocab, but I’ve gotten creative and made it work like Kahoot to check for understanding. Once the game starts, each student in the group has the same question pop up on their screen, but only one of them has the correct answer; they have to identify first what the correct answer is and then, second, who has said answer. A leader board goes up on the main screen and shows a moving progress of where teams are in relation to winning the game. If they get a question wrong, it sends them back to the beginning which makes for some rowdy and fun competition while really reinforcing the concepts and ideas we learned in the lesson and emphasizing teamwork and communication. There are lots of tutorials on Quizlet’s website if any of this is confusing!
What other ways do you incorporate fun, data collecting, tech tools into your classroom lessons? Do you use Chomebooks? Phones? Tablets? How to you use technology to engage your students? Share your comments below!
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