Guest post: Digital Tools For The Timid

Are you still traumatized by your first experience using an interactive whiteboard in the classroom or attempt to share a screen in an online class?  Don’t let  small tech glitches prevent you from stepping into the 21st century classroom. With these 2 simple apps, you will look like a pro even if it is your first time using digital tools.  And the best part, they are free to use!

Do I have to?

What would you say to a student retreating from an activity because of anxiety or lack of motivation? Now give yourself the same pep talk.  As  professionals teaching in the information age, it is our responsibility to learn to use tools and apps to promote communication, collaboration and critical thinking in the classroom. Student engagement and motivation will improve when you bring something other than a worksheet or textbook into the learning arena.

Time Saver

Believe it or not, using tools to create your own materials will save you time. The time it takes you to try and find the perfect audio clip for a low-level student, or an authentic-sounding dialogue for your advanced students, you could have made one yourself!

The same goes for quizzes and assessments. Stop trying  to locate the ideal quiz that doesn’t include exceptions to the rule that could confuse your class. When you are in control of the content, you can save time and yes, even prevent scary grammar questions you are not ready to answer!

Vocaroo is a simple-to-use online recording app that allows you to download your recording in one easy step. Vocaroo also provides a link to the recording which you can add to a powerpoint slide.

Record yourself reading a piece of text or a story at various speeds to accommodate the different levels of students in your class.

Tired of awkward textbook dialogues? Write one using authentic-sounding language and record you and your friend speaking the dialogue.

Instead of assigning written sentences for homework, have students record themselves speaking.  Students can incorporate newly learned vocabulary into the recording and listen to their pronunciation.

Quizizz is an alternative to the outdated handout to review or quiz your students.

Quizizz can be used in real time by the teacher to create an interactive quiz to review material taught in the lesson. Want to make cellphones a friendly addition to the classroom? Students can compete with each other in the class. Quizizz will provide you with a link to join the quiz and a game code to get started.

Take homework to the next level by creating a series of questions or a quiz and assigning it to the students. Students will receive a link to access the quiz and view the deadline you assigned.

Here’s a twist, have students themselves create a quiz based on what they learned to demonstrate understanding of the concepts you taught.

Like any learner, you may experience initial hesitation or anxiety. But once you see how easy it is to become a 21st-century teacher, you’ll explore more tools. Get started with Vocaroo and Quizizz to create an engaging, interactive and fun-learning environment.



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