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Technology-Based Classroom Management Resources

Instructor: Esther Bouchillon

Esther has taught middle school and has a master's degree in gifted education.

In this lesson, we'll look at several types of technology-based classroom management resources, such as digital gradebooks and classroom behavior trackers. We'll also explore tips for using these resources as well as reasons why they're helpful.

Why Should You Use Technology-Based Classroom Management Resources?

Your fellow teachers were talking after a faculty meeting about how the school was making an effort to use less paper.

Mrs. News complained that she didn't know how she could keep parents informed of class activities without her weekly class newspaper.

Mrs. Report stated that if she didn't send daily behavior reports home, her classroom management system would fall apart.

In another room a new teacher, Mr. Lowtech, was meeting with his mentor teacher. He shared that he was having trouble keeping all his students interested and engaged.

What do all of these teacher concerns have in common? All of these issues can be solved using some form of technology-based classroom management resource!

What is a Technology-Based Classroom Management Resource?

A technology-based classroom management resource is any digital tool that helps solve a classroom management problem. There are numerous kinds of resources available on many different digital platforms. Many are free, though some have a cost. Below are a few types of technology-based resources.

Gradebooks

There are many types of tech-based gradebooks available. While most schools have adopted some sort of district-wide digital gradebook, there are websites and apps that allow teachers to link grades to specific standards. This allows the teacher to quickly tell the areas in which students are most in need of remediation.

Learning Management Systems

A learning management system is a type of program that allows the teacher to communicate with students, distribute learning resources to students, and assess student understanding. A well-known learning management system is Blackboard. While this platform charges a subscription fee for use, many free learning management systems are available.

This type of resource can help teachers communicate with parents and students to keep them informed of what is going on in the classroom. It also provides a convenient location for teachers to upload course materials and for students to access learning content, such as documents, presentations, and links to websites. A learning management system would solve Mrs. News' problem of how to keep parents updated without wasting paper.

Classroom Behavior Tracker

The most common tech-based behavior tracker used in 2015 is Class Dojo. This program is available on any device and allows teachers, students, and parents to track behavior using a points-based system. Students customize their own avatar and earn or lose points for behaviors. Teachers can institute rewards for earning a certain number of points. The program also allows teachers to contact parents and send pictures through the program. This program would be great for people like Mrs. Report who like to give parents frequent behavior updates.

Student Response Systems

Mr. Lowtech struggled to keep all of his students engaged. Using a student response system is a great way to combat this issue. A student response system allows the students to use technology to answer questions and communicate productively in class. When a teacher asks a question and then calls on one student to answer, many times the other students stop paying attention since they know they aren't on the spot. Student response systems allow and expect all students to answer the questions asked.

There are many different kinds available that can work with laptops, tablets, smartphones, and iPods. Some only allow the student to respond to multiple-choice questions, while others allow for text-based answers as well. Most allow the teacher to view the results in a graph, which helps determine if more practice is needed in that particular area.

Other Examples

Students today are a part of the digital age. They love all things tech and tend to be more engaged when technology is used. Sometimes technology can be used to solve a classroom management problem even when a low-tech solution easily exists. For example, for decades teachers have written student names on popsicle sticks and drawn them at random to ask questions, assign groups, pick the order for walking to recess, and much more.

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