As stated on Rowan University’s website, “Rowan University’s teacher education program, (is) one of the largest and most comprehensive in New Jersey and in the nation.” The program aims to prepare and support future professionals that will use education to “transform our global society,”. Educators shape and teach upcoming generations, and the future of our global society is in their hands. With progressing technology, educators are able to utilize tools in their everyday classrooms to enhance students’ academic experience. ClassDojo, ABCya!, and Kahoot! are just a few of the great and easy to use online resources for education majors and existing educators. Below I will explain why these technologies are so great, and how they can be used in classrooms to enhance students’ learning.
Creating a safe and functioning classroom requires well-behaved students. Behavior management is one of the most important skills educators must practice to ensure productive and respectful students. Classroom management is easier said than done; however, ClassDojo is the perfect online tool for educators to monitor and enhance their students’ behavior. ClassDojo is an online communication app that connects educators, students, and teachers in the classroom. Not only is this service free, but it is extremely easy to use and keep track of. ClassDojo works as a behavior management site for teachers to add, or take away “Dojo Points” when students are exhibiting, or not exhibiting good classroom behavior. Each student has their own profile which collects individual “Dojo Points”. As students collect “Dojo Points”, teachers may reward students with incentives such as homework passes, extra recess, lunch with the teacher, and so on. Not only do students become responsible for their actions, but they become self-motivated to work toward rewards.
ClassDojo works as a classroom community for behavior management, but there are other tools teachers can use on this site as well. The teacher toolkit includes a timer, a group maker, a noise meter, a direction creator, and a “think-pair-share” creator.
These everyday classroom tools, and activities are easily at your fingertips while using ClassDojo. Since the site works online, ClassDojo may be downloaded as an app and connected to the classroom information for even easier access. Along with classroom management, ClassDojo also allows teachers to connect with students’ parents by sending individual behavior reports. I have seen and used ClassDojo in the classroom and know how well this resource works. Students take “Dojo Points” very seriously, and love receiving incentives for good behavior. For an easy to use behavior management tool ClassDojo is the perfect free technology.
Time management is another skill that educators must juggle throughout the day and there are many times that students finish work faster than teachers have anticipated. It is difficult to cater to 20+ students asking, “What should I do now?” after finishing an assignment early. ABCya! is a free website that offers education based games from grades Pre-K to Five. “ABCya is the leader in free educational computer games and mobile apps for kids,” (ABCya.com). The website includes a selection of games centered around the common core standards.
The game categories include letters (word games), numbers (math games), holiday, strategy, and skill. With many options to choose from students can easily continue learning while waiting for the next in-class activity. I have also seen this website in use and notice that students have so much fun playing the games they don’t even recognize they’re learning. ABCya! is a quick outlet for differentiated instruction because students can pick and choose games based on the difficulty they can handle. There is a lot of planning involved as a teacher and it can be hard to make sure students are using their time wisely after completing assignments early. ABCya! is the perfect option for teachers to turn to when students have unanticipated downtime.
Content review is extremely important to ensure students have understood and retained information. Kahoot! is another great online resource for education majors because the website allows teachers to create quick and fun review games for students. Kahoot! lets teachers create subject based, multiple choice reviews that can be used in and outside of the classroom. Teachers may create their own “Kahoots” or browse from millions of pre-existing games. Once teachers have created a Kahoot student can log in on their own devices to answer the questions.
I have personally participated in a Kahoot at Rowan, and have also seen educators use this during my observation at Gloucester Township Elementary school. I loved the review at Rowan, and the students at Gloucester Township Elementary school loved the activity as well. Although Kahoot! is mostly used for in-class review, it can also be used as homework assignments for students. This is a great technology to break up the boring paper and pencil homework that students are tired of. For a free, and fun alternative to paper reviews, Kahoot! is a great option to implement technology in the classroom.
As an elementary education major I am aware that technology has become a forefront in education and other careers in general. Rowan University is known for its great education program, and the way it shapes future educators. These technologies discussed above are great resources that education majors, and existing educators can use in their classroom to enhance students’ learning experiences.