The semester recently ended for my EDUC 448 course at University of La Verne. Looking at my gradebook, I had one student with one assignment missing–the “signature assignment”. The assignment you had to submit to pass the course. I emailed this student several times, and never received a response. It looked like an F was in her future.
Enter Remind 101. This is a free way to text an entire class. Text students or parents about upcoming assignments and classroom adventures. I used this with my EDUC 448 students during a geometry lesson and to remind them about asynchronous meetings. So far, Remind 101 was simply an eduawesome service, but not yet the superhero in our story.
Since this was the end of course, I didn’t need my roster in Remind 101. I deleted everyone, except that one student. Suddenly, I had a way to send a reminder to just her. She responded immediately via text and was able to submit her assignment… and not fail the class. Thanks Remind 101!
I remember my first day of school as a teacher. I took photos of my students in my classroom, uploaded them to one-hour photo, picked up the photos during lunch, and created a picture frame with students. It was pretty low tech, but it was an #eduawesome way to kick off the new school year. Years later, I’m still looking for creative ways to begin another year. Here’s three new things I’m trying.
Remind 101 is “a safe way for teachers to text message students and stay in touch with parents.” And it’s free. I just started using this with my EDUC 448 undergrad students. So far, they love it. I can quickly send them messages and I’m hoping I will get less of the “I forgot about it and need an extension” emails. Remind 101 is super easy to set up–when you sign up, they even email you a PDF that you can share with students for how to join. Best of all, you can schedule texts, allowing you to set up reminders at the beginning of the quarter.
I also intend to use Remind 101 with my elementary band students. I will ask parents to sign up to receive announcements. I plan on creating three classes since I teach band at three elementary schools. Remind 101 makes it easy to text one class (in this case, school) or all classes. I’m looking forward to significantly better home-school communication this year with Remind 101.
I’ve heard enough teachers, like Steve Anderson & Nick Provenzano, talk about how Evernote has revolutionized their classrooms that I had to implement it this year. I’m only going to use this with my EDUC 448 students. I created 13 notes/templates and put them into a Notebook. I created 25 Notebooks for my 25 students, and copied the 13 notes into each Notebook. I shared each Notebook with one student. All 25 Notebooks are in one Stack, so they don’t clutter up my Evernote account too much. Throughout the course, they will write papers, lesson plans, and take notes in these notes. They will never hand me a paper copy or email me a file again.
My 448 students have to use BlackBoard, so I’ve decided to use BlackBoard as my gradebook. All rubrics and grades will be stored on BlackBoard. Then, when the course is over, students will still have their notes, resources, and assignments, but won’t have old copies of rubrics in Evernote.
Quick tip: if you share a Notebook with a student, be sure they accept the invite on a desktop. I learned the hard way that mobile devices do allow the creation of shared Notebooks.
At first glance, Class Dojo seems like a glorified behaviour chart. (That’s right, I spelled behavior with a u.) My goal, however, is to use it with my elementary band students. Last year, I had a super simple 10×10 table that I filled in when my band students practiced. I used it only to reward extra practice after attending Alice Keeler‘s session at EdCampOCLA on gamification. Students that had never practice before were suddenly practicing every day. So, I’m taking up a notch this year and gamifying my band class with Class Dojo. There will be no penalties, and no negatives. If a student learns an extra tune or an extra note, they get +1. That’s it. Hopefully, it will motivate students to practice a bit more.
I’d love to hear about new #EduAwesome resources you’re implementing this year. Tell me on Twitter, or below in the comments. And have a great year!