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Teachers: Start September off with a Technology Boost!

Phil Roeder
Written by Jesse

As the new school year approaches, both educators and students will be back to business soon. I have compiled some tools to get the post-vacation learning off on the right foot. Fusing technology with teaching can be done in many different ways. If done effectively, not only can student learning become more effective and engaging, but the teacher’s life can become much easier.

Below, I introduce two free tech-based ways to help student learning become more engaging, and also make the teacher’s life better.

A new school year is a good time to make an organizational change to classroom workings. If such a change could be beneficial, why not start fresh when kids come in from Summer break? Edmodo is a free website accessed via computer or mobile device. Think Facebook designed for schools. It’s safe (I don’t recommend sharing Facebook info with your students) and it is made to be used as part of a school classroom. That means you have the options that a teacher would want. Once your students join your “class group” you can do it all: ask questions, create polls, request and receive work as digital file, schedule and notify students of important events such as tests or due dates, and more. There may be a learning curve for some students to overcome (depending on the age level) but it’s quite similar to Facebook so it should not be too challenging. Any classroom time spent learning how to use Edmodo could easily be made up within the coming months of effective and exciting classroom engagement. Visit http://www.edmodo.com/ to find out more and sign up.

Another noteworthy resource is called TeacherPal. With this free app, you can enter each student (with their picture) into your class on an iPad, iPhone, or iPod. The app allows you to give grades, track attendance, and keep notes on each student such as allergies or behavior comments. You can even drag the pictures of your students to arrange your seating chart. Though the kids themselves may not benefit directly from a teacher using this app, think of all the extra time you will have to plan engaging and exciting lessons! Check out http://www.teacherpal.net/ or just search for “TeacherPal” in the App Store.

These are two very good examples of free resources that are out there just waiting to be used. It does not take much to become familiar with programs like these. We live in a technological age and teachers should take advantage of this! It can make you more effective and your students more motivated and engaged. Also, I believe I mentioned that they’re free!


Creative commons-licensed photo provided by  Phil Roeder.




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About the author


Jesse has taught in various elementary and high school settings. He writes for Plaza Famila and also designs educational online resources. Jesse is a musician and is passionate about providing instruction in a way that sparks student interest.

  • Jeremy

    I love it. These are great digital resources in our digital age. I think it’s a great idea to help kids grow and learn and still protect them from a lot of the harshness available online.

  • Kristie

    It looks like classrooms are really going digital. A lot can be learned using online classrooms. There are a lot of benefits, but if you are not careful, there can be some negative affects as well. The resources listed above can really help teachers make online classrooms educational and avoid negative distractions.