21 Things – Classroom Tools

“It can be difficult to keep up with the new digital opportunities, and it can be hard to assess which digital tools students should be presented with and for which educational contexts they are appropriate.” E. Sheninger,  Digital Leadership. (2014).

Many different apps have been created for use as tools for engaging students, tracking student behavior, and organizing workflow. Many more are being created every day. The deluge of apps can be overwhelming to a teacher that wants to transform student learning opportunities and help students develop digital literacy.

I have discussed many apps previous blog posts. In this post, I am going to look at a few that I have found effective in the classroom.

Tool #1 – Pick Me!

Pick Me! – Screenshot

Pick Me! allows the teacher to create classes and input students for the purpose of randomly choosing students for different tasks or questioning. I used Pick Me! when I was teaching physical education, at a private school, to track student leaders of exercises. This way I was able to choose different students each week. I could add their pictures, so I could learn names, too. This app could be used to track formative assessment during a class by pushing the up or down button to track which students understood the subject matter and which needed more work. A screenshot could be taken of the class page to document student learning. The app is free. I do not think students could assst in the utiliization of this app unless it is simply being used to pick student groups or leaders.

Too Noisy Lite

Too Noisy Lite – Screenshot

I have used Too Noisy Lite in an elementary classroom for helping students to understand an appropriate noise level for different activities. We showed the app on the white board, via a projector, during different activities, like  silent reading, to help students monitor their noise level. As the noise level meter increases the smiley face changes and the sky changes. These chhanges help students to monitor the class noise level and adjust their own volume to contribute to a better classroom level. The levels acceptable can be adjusted for different activities, so students could gain an understanding of the idea that different environments have different levels of acceptable noise.

This app could be used by students to track noise levels in different environments, like a sporting event, a barn, a car, or a playground. While the acceptable noise levels can be adjusted, I think some of these environments would still exceed the acceptable noise level for the app, so a decibel measurement app like Decibel 10th may be more appropriate for measuring noise levels in different environments.

If students conducted experiments based on the same sound settings, what would they observe? Does Johnny’s house have a higher acceptable level of noise at his family dinner table than Josh does? Or if they tracked the noise level outside their house at different tiimes of day, what would they notice? Is it louder at different times throughout the day? For younger students, Too Noisy Lite might provide the information they can track, whereas, third grade students and above could use Decibel 10th to track thhe same information.

Other Apps

What other apps have you found effective with your students? What apps would you suggest for your grade level and subject matter? Please share your feedback in the comments or email me at marc@marcdaly.com. I look forward to continuing to discover and investigate different apps to further student learning.