Tech Tips #2.03

Week of September 8, 2014

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Classrooms with mobile devices for students have very different classroom management issues than those without.

Whether you have access to a classroom set of laptops, all of your students have iPads, or you have checked out an iPad or laptop cart, here are some tips to help you not to lose control.

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Establish Ground Rules

  • Discuss appropriate use with students
    This includes when and how they are to use mobile devices.
    Screens down when not in use (works well for both iPads and laptops)

  • Visuals Help
    Use a stoplight visual for students so they know how mobile devices are to be used at any given time.
    Download and Print the Mobile Device Use poster.


Make sure students know the consequences if they are using mobile devices inappropriately. Discuss with your campus administration the specific plans for your campus.

Here are some suggested consequences:

  • Verbal warning
  • Parent contact
  • Loss of technology privilege for the period, day, week, etc.
  • Confiscation of the device
  • Referral to Administration

Class Dojo

Class Dojo is a easy way to track appropriate/inappropriate mobile device usage. ClassDojo allows teachers to improve behavior in their classroom quickly and easily. Teachers can customize behaviors (both positive and negative) and provide feedback for students and parents.

Suggestions for use

  • Setup groups for each class, either log points as a class OR by individual students.
  • Use the entire class' score in a class competition with meaningful incentives.
    Example: The class with the most points at the end of the week will receive the incentive.


Teacher iOS App

Using ClassDojo to Reinforce Positive Behavior
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Get the Giggles Out

Let students experiment with apps and websites and get their laughs out before starting to use the app for a lesson or assignment. Three to five minutes should be sufficient "play" time before getting down to business. This should help them stay focused on instructions and the task at hand.
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Engagement is the Key

Use technology and mobile devices to engage students at the beginning (bell ringers), middle (pulse checks), and end (exit tickets) of class. There are a number of free options to help you accomplish all of these tasks. Here are just a few:

  • Socrative

    Socrative is a free student response system that allows teachers to engage their classes through a series of games and exercises via internet enabled devices. Watch How-To Videos by Socrative or Read Tech Tips #14: Socrative.

    Suggestions for use

    • Students can submit their response to a warm-up problem at the beginning of class.
    • Have students submit a open ended response to a question in class.
    • Ask questions to students "on the fly" to check for understanding.
    • Have students compete in a Space Race review game based on a pre-made quiz prior to a test or exam.
    • Students can submit an exit ticket before leaving class.

  • InfuseLearning

    InfuseLearning is a free student response system for assessments and questioning in the classroom. Students and teachers can use any web-enabled device with this web-based service. Watch InfuseLearning by Infuse Guru or Read Tech Tips #13: InfuseLearning.

    Suggestions for use

    • Use the Draw feature (InfuseDraw) to have students graph problems and points.
    • Push links (InfuseLink) to students and have discussions about current events and articles found online.
    • Create weekly vocabulary quizzes for students to take through InfuseLearning. InfuseLearning will grade the quizzes automatically.
    • Use the Draw feature to have students draw scientific diagrams or sketches for problems.
    • Create questions on the spot (Quick Assessment) to check for understanding or use as an Exit Ticket at the end of class.
    • Have InfuseLearning read the questions and/or answers to the student.

  • ClassFlow

    ClassFlow by Promethean is a free cloud-based teaching and learning platform that makes lesson planning easier and lesson delivery more dynamic. Watch How-To Videos by ClassFlow.

    Suggestions for use

    • Teachers create interactive lessons anytime, anywhere on an internet enabled device.
    • Use mobile devices to put information in student hands.
    • Send questions to student devices to receive immediate feedback on comprehension. Questions include creative (drawing and/or image), word seed, true/false, yes/no, multiple choice, scale, text, and number.
    • Import PowerPoint Slides or Promethean ActivInspire Flipcharts to ClassFlow.

  • Kahoot!

    Kahoot! is a free game-based student response system. There is no app to install, students and teachers can use any web-enabled device with this service. Watch Kahoot Tutorial by Jeremy Johnston or Read Tech Tips #15: Kahoot!

    Suggestions for use

    • Quiz as a review activity prior to a test, exam, or Marzano vocabulary.
    • Determine prior knowledge in a pre-quiz.
    • Survey students as an Exit Ticket at the end of class.
    • Use a quiz as Teacher-paced to reinforce learning or reteaching.
    • Have students create a Kahoot! quiz as a review activity for the class.

  • Nearpod

    Nearpod allows you to bring your classroom to life with interactive mobile presentations that you create and customize. Free accounts allow for up to 50MB of storage and up to 30 students per live session.

    Suggestions for use

    • Teachers can change traditional presentations into interactive presentations adding open ended questions, polls, quizzes, and drawing activities.
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Two Eyes, Two Feet

Instead of relying on an app or a website to help deter your students from being off task when using mobile devices, use your two eyes and two feet to be mobile in the classroom. Proximity to students will help deter most students from visiting websites or apps that do not have to do with the lesson.

Will this prevent all students from off task behavior? No, but that's where your classroom rules, expectations, and consequences will help.

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Know When to Put the Tech Away

Remember technology and mobile devices may not be the best means to complete a task. Sometimes pencil and paper is the best tool. If technology interferes or hinders the learning outcome, then find the method that works best. Student engagement and success are the ultimate goal.
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GCCISD Educational Technology

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