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QR Codes Used in the Classroom To Help Young Students Access Technology Faster

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Edtech company Clever has revolutionized the time it takes young students to log into online educational platforms and applications. Instead of fumbling with keys to type a lengthy password, they simply scan the QR code on their Clever Badge for instant access.

QR Codes Used in the Classroom To Help Young Students Access Technology Faster

At an age when kids are just learning to tie their shoes, time is essential in every K–2 classroom. This innovation saves teachers up to 20 minutes— the time it can take to get all their students on the home page—which means more time spent on engaging activities and personalized learning.

According to a recent USA Today article, Clever Badges are used in 4,585 schools in the United States. Clever, Inc. streamlines the process of finding effective edtech apps for classrooms. Their database connects school districts with over 200 compatible apps for their teachers to choose from.

posted Feb 26 by Chanmony

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Technology distracts students, right? Keeps them from focusing?

One solution is to ban phones and computers from the classroom. Another solution is to harness their tech-savvy and engage students with online tools that will help them complete assignments while still engaging them electronically. Whether they’re working on a research essay, a presentation, a science project, or a math report, there are ample tools available to make the process more engaging for students.

Think about it–if students are growing up in a world that requires them to be tech-savvy, then shouldn’t tech play a big role in their classroom experience? Here are 9 of my top picks for a tool to engage students in the classroom.

9 Technology Tools To Engage Students In The Classroom

1. White Noise

Depending on what you want the students to engage in–you, one another, content, an assignment, etc.–they need to be able to focus, and the classroom isn’t always the easiest places to do that. Background noise cannot only drown out excess noise but more helpfully as students concentrate, there is less noise because they’re concentrating. Neat trick, huh?

2. Cold Turkey

Students probably won’t love this one but it’s a useful tool you can use to mitigate the number of multitasking students can do on their computers. Cold Turkey is a tool that allows you to block certain websites or the internet in general so that students can focus on their tasks. Even having students turn it on for half of a period for some focuses in-class writing

time will make a difference in terms of their productivity.

3. Kahoot!

Kahoot! is a handy tool that students can use to create in-class questionnaires and quizzes. This is handy for obtaining data for graphing assignments, data for research essays, and feedback from their classmates. Kahoot! is compatible with multiple devices and has a game-like feel that will help keep students interested.

4. Venngage

With so much focus being given to data analytics these days, data literacy is a useful skill for students to learn. Whether your students have collected their own data or they’ve collected it from other sources, being able to visualize their data in an infographic is a highly useful skill. Infographics appeal to both visual learners and textual learners. Venngage offers a selection of infographic templates that students can customize.

5. Trello

Because so many students are in the habit of multitasking, a good skill to teach them is how to organize and streamline their assignments. Trello is a free and super easy-to-use tool students can use to create workflow charts. Multiple students can be added to the same board; great for collaboration on projects. 

6. Plickers

This is a tool for teachers, to help assess students’ understanding of concepts and their engagement with the material. Teachers can project questions onto their screen using while students answer them in real time. Students’ answers show up on the teacher’s phone screen, and teachers can see which students got answers right and which didn’t. This gives teachers an accurate picture of how students are following the information, and adjust their lessons accordingly.

7. Nearpod

Create interactive lessons, assess students on the fly, and see data and student response in real-time. Students that can ask questions and receive feedback at any time are more likely to be engaged.

8. Prezi

Presentations are a core part of the curriculum but let’s face it, PowerPoint isn’t terribly engaging. Prezi allows students to create presentations that are more creative and exciting than was PP has to offer. Not only will this make the presentation creation process more interesting for students, but it will also make watching presentations more interesting as well. Plus, Prezi presentations are published publicly on students’ accounts, so their classmates can access them later to check their notes.

9. Class Dojo

This is a fun tool to gamify the classroom. Students make their own avatars, gain and lose points based on classroom behaviour, discussion approaches, and other soft skills agreed upon by the teacher and the class. Teachers can also use Class Dojo to take attendance and create graphs that breakdown the information for teachers. Not only will this tool encourage students to uphold class values, but it will also provide key metrics to help teachers adjust their teaching tactics accordingly.

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The promise of technology in the classroom earns high grades with students, teachers and administrators surveyed. But that digital education revolution is not an easy battle to win.

It's spring break, and high school students are eager to put away their books, binders, pencils and... iPads?

High school classrooms, teaching techniques and the very way students learn may receive a tech infusion in the near future. Already some schools across the country, most notably the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD), are bringing in tablets and other technology.

"Technology is becoming pervasive in the classroom and playing a strategic role," says Carolyn April, senior director of industry analysis at CompTIA.

CompTIA surveyed teachers, admins and students late last year and found that the idea of technology in the classroom is exciting for everyone. All tallied, 58 percent of schools with 1,000 or more students use some education technology, compared to 45 percent of smaller schools.

Putting Tech to the Test

Three out of four teachers believe technology positively impacts the education process. Many teachers are under duress from the pressure of raising test scores, April says, and so they see the use of technology helping them hit their goals and improve student achievement.

Three out of four principals and vice principals believe technology plays an important role in recruitment, particularly among millennials holding newly minted teaching credentials. April says young teachers who grew up with technology simply expect to work with tools such as tablets, not so many chalkboards.

Most importantly, nine out of 10 students believe the use of technology in the classroom will be crucial in helping them get jobs down the road. It'll also change the way they learn. Technology can remake the classroom experience from listening to lectures to learning interactively.

When most people think about technology in the classroom, they think about the tablet or, more narrowly, the iPad. Indeed, Comptia's survey found that the tablet is the number one technology that schools plan to invest in within the next few years.

Educational Technology Is More Than Tablets

But it's important to note that the tablet is only the tip of the iceberg, especially when considering the many cloud services in the education market. There are classroom management software and online curriculum for teachers, game-based learning software for students, and wireless network infrastructure and backend software, such as mobile device management, tying everything together.

Technology in the classroom isn't easy to do, and early adopters have had a rough learning curve. Educators across the country who dream of iPads are surely cringing as they watch missteps in the massive iPad rollout at LAUSD.

In the summer of 2013, LAUSD began a $1.3 billion effort to put an iPad in the hand of every student, teacher and admin. Since then, there have been rumours of stacks of iPads collecting dust, students using iPads inappropriately, L.A. schools Supt. John Deasy resigning under pressure over his close ties with Apple and Pearson, (which provided the online curriculum) and, most recently, the FBI seizing documents related to the contract bidding process, Los Angeles Times reported.

Then there's this alarming stat from an outside firm hired by LAUSD to assess the project's progress last fall: Only one teacher out of 245 classrooms visited was using Pearson's online curriculum, Los Angeles Times reported. Four out of five high schools reported that they rarely used the iPads.

Apparently, the rush to get iPads in people's hands outpaced what teachers and students should do with them. Development and training lagged behind a common problem in large scale technology deployments. In fact, CIOs say change management and user training are often the biggest hurdles in a project.

You Can’t Stop the March of Tech

Nevertheless, the troubled LAUSD iPad project hasn't dampened enthusiasm to bring technology to the classroom.

"I don't think this one case is going to stop the march of time when it comes to different types of devices in the classroom," April says, adding, "If you're seeing pushback, it's because [teachers] are being handed a bunch of tools but not taught how to use them... that's not a technology problem."

This story, "Can tech help teachers teach and students learn?" was originally published by CIO.

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