20% Project: Second Post

This week I will look at ways to engage students in a Social Studies classroom with technology even when they leave school. In my experiences once the school day stops a large portion of the learning stops. Keeping in mind how much time is spent away from school I think it is important to find ways to engage students away from school so that they might keep learning.

It has been really fun to build our tool-kits for this class the last two weeks. While meeting the requirements for those particular tasks I have found plenty of ideas that I hope to one day implement as a teacher in a Social Studies classroom. However, just like last week I am going to try to stay away from those ideas because they are already done and I am hoping to find addition information that could help me one day.

Once again I turned to Google for ideas on how to engage students away from school. My searches included: Ways to Engage Students at Home; Ways to Communicate with Students After Class; Ways to Keep Learning Going at Home; Tools for Learning at Home; and several others.

To be honest I was a little disappointed with a lot of my results this week. There were only a couple of searches that yielded anything useful for what I was looking for. With that said I did find a few good sites and got some good ideas from things I saw and read.

These are two of the sources that I found most beneficial for what I was looking for:

10 Great Tools for Student-Teacher Communication and
12 Online Tools For Effective Teacher to Student and Parent Communication

Between these two pages I found several tools that I think could be really helpful. Some of the more obvious tools such as Twitter, Facebook, Google Drive, Edmodo and Dropbox were mentioned, but it was good to see them again. There were also numerous new tools that I had not heard of or thought of before. Here are the top four that I feel like have the most potential for what I was looking for.

1) Remind 101: This tool is imperative to reaching students once they go home. Students may leave school but they never leave their phone. Remind 101 is a great way to send out reminders about projects, tests, or even send facts and information from class. This is a simple but incredibly effective way to engage students once they leave school!

2) Quizlet: This tool is great to let the learning continue after the school day ends. This site allows teachers to create flashcards and practices quizzes for their students that they can access from any device with internet. If any tool stands to increase test scores and continue learning at home this one might just be it!

3) QuizSnack: With this tool student feedback is always available. This site allows you to create polls and surveys that students can fill out while they are at home. This is a great way to tailor the learning process to the needs of every student and to make sure that everyone in class is staying on track and on the same page!

4) Astrid: This site is really neat and super useful for multiple reasons. Astrid allows for the creation of reminders, task lists, and provides notifications along the way. Perfect for teachers to monitor their student’s progress. Perfect for students to make sure they are doing the right things at the right time. Perfect for group projects where classmates need to divide up tasks and achieve their goals. This is a well rounded and very useful tool!

Looking back at all the things I read and found this week I think what it’s really going to take to continue the learning process at home is to engage parents as well and get them on board with being a major part of their kids learning as much as possible!

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