There are a host of ways to use the technology you already have at your fingertips to create a Classroom 2.0. In the September issue of Edudemic Magazine, Kris Tetzlaff was kind enough to share some of his tips and tricks but we wanted to offer a few more things that might help you get your classroom upgraded on the cheap. Below are our 5 favorite ways to turn your current classroom into, well, a classroom of the future. If you have already done this kind of stuff, let us know about it! Shoot me an email at [email protected] anytime.
That Dusty Desktop Is A Gateway To Free Web Tools
Your clunky desktop is more than just a place to update your Excel sheets or Word documents. There are countless free web 2.0 tools that are just aching for you to try them out in your classroom. From Skype to Twitter to Learnist to Glogster to Prezi to Voki to Bitstrips, the list goes on and on. Check out this page for the 100 best tools chosen by Edudemic readers.
Can’t Afford an iPhone? Grab A Used iPod Touch
You don’t need 24-7 4G access to bring apps into your classroom. For less than a hundred dollars, you can get a used iPod Touch on eBay, Apple’s refurbished center (this may vary), and other resellers. You’ll be able to leverage the power of most cutting-edge apps like Apple’s Remote app, Learnist, and Skype. What better way to expose your students to high quality apps at a budget price?
That Overhead Projector Is Ready And Waiting
Most classrooms have a projector and screen. If you don’t use it every day, you’re missing out. You could have a BYOD environment where students can each take turns attaching their devices (via a cheap dongle) to the projector and show what they did / are doing with their device. Better still, you could use the projector to attach to a desktop you already have and mirror the monitor. Then you can have digital field trips via the Smithsonian, video calls with other schools via Skype, and display presentations and videos with ease.
Music Lessons From The World
Thanks to your trusty desktop or laptop computer that already lives in your classroom, why not try the free version of Spotify or Pandora? You could run quizzes of classical music and have your students try to guess who composed the music, who performed it, and perhaps how the song makes them feel. With Spotify, you could have your students compile their own playlists to help tell a story or use as a background to any presentation. It’s like having the entire world of music at your fingertips for free 24-7.
Manage Behavior And Attendance
Got an iPhone, iPod Touch, or iPad in your classroom? Class Dojo just released apps for iOS that lets you (for free) manage just about everything in your classroom. From rewarding good behavior to managing attendance and interaction, you can do all kinds of great things. We got a first-hand look at the new apps from the founders of Class Dojo and were blown away by the ease of use. You can even shake your iPhone to have the app automatically pick a student to call on. Talk about a nerve-wracking app!