Technology can help teachers “Ignite Learning” in the classroom by promoting literacy development and critical thinking. The ability to communicate and create is what sparks learning.
Kids these days are just wired to operate in a digital environment, which enables them to take control of their education. This technology captivates students and makes them desire to learn more about the content.
Elite and innovative educators are flipping the Classroom in order to meet the diverse needs of students. The numerous FREE online resources available can create a classroom that extends beyond normal school hours and walls.
This provides students with more flexible opportunities for peer interaction, learning the content, and developing technology skills. “Flipping the Classroom” and in-person environments is really the best of both worlds because students receive the benefit of face-to-face interaction with more opportunities to learn outside of the classroom.
Flipping the Classroom consists of a combination of online learning using simulations, videos, and forums in addition to small group differentiated instruction facilitated by the teacher. These instructional methods are appealing to digital natives.
1. In the classroom, I use video clips from Discovery Education and Safari Montage to “Ignite Learning”. Our school district pays for an annual subscription to these websites.
Unfortunately, students do NOT have access to these videos at home. Therefore, I post videos on my classroom website from Khan Academy, TeacherTube, and Vimeo, which engages students at home for FREE.
Khan Academy (khanacademy.org) is a non-profit educational organization providing video tutorials and interactive exercises for a variety of subjects and grade levels. Their Virtual Teacher Workshop demonstrates how to create classes, manage students, collect data, and provide feedback and much more.
TeacherTube (teachertube.com) is a video sharing website similar to, and based on, YouTube. Teachers can also view audio, documents, photos, and blogs. Teachers can register and upload files for students or parents. Teachers can also upload students’ videos in order celebrate their work.
Vimeo (vimeo.com) is another popular video sharing and social networking site. A community of professionals knows it for high-qualilty videos. It has a cleaner layout with no advertisements.
2. I facilitate the use of the Internet in order to have students conduct research, collaborate with classmates, and establish an online classroom presence. Students enjoy their time posting comments to a blog or on a social media site.
For my classroom blog, I use Google Blogger (blogger.com). Students can also create their own blog in order to show and present their work.
Blogger allows users to choose from different artistic templates. It also has widgets that users can use anytime to insert HTML codes, pictures, slideshows, links, videos, and much more.
Edmodo (edmodo.com) is a secure social media site accessible through a code you generate in order to invite students. Teachers of all grade levels are using Edmodo to post assignments and allow student discussion.
Students can also upload assignments, take quizzes, and receive alerts. This is an excellent resource for sharing content with students while keeping them socially engaged.
3. Graphic organizers, diagrams, and other tools can help focus student learning depending on the topic. This allows the teacher to have more time to assist students with work during class time and provides more opportunities for review at home.
Quizlet (quizlet.com) allows teachers to create flashcards to help students’ remember and study vocabulary. There are also study tools and educational games for students to use.
Teachers can choose from the library of flashcards already made by others. There are six study modes, 18 languages, and it is very easy to share on a classroom website.
InstaGrok (instaGrok.com) is a great tool because it allows students to visually research a topic. Students use a graphical map that shows how concepts connect using key facts, links, images, and videos.
InstaGrok allows teachers to monitor students’ research and note-taking activity. Up to 200 students can be linked to your teacher dashboard.
4. There are many ways to create a flipped classroom. Teachers need a “Face of the Classroom” in order to provide a location to share these online learning resources with students and parents.
Weebly (education.weebly.com) is perfect for creating classroom websites and student e-portfolios. This resource allows teachers and students to express themselves using a variety of multimedia tools.
Weebly consists of an easy to use drag and drop website editor. Teachers can protect all student websites with a password in just one click.
Remind (remind.com) is a communication tool that helps teachers connect instantly with students and parents. They receive it as a text message or e-mail.
Teachers can also send photos, documents, and links. This is an excellent way to effectively communicate the resources available on your flipped classroom website.