Giving students the right tools and opportunities to process their thinking, ask questions, brainstorm ideas, and present their work are all part of the learning process in an interactive classroom. Here are some tips and related tools to get you started.
1. Give students tools that help to build a classroom community.
Edmodo is a powerful learning platform. It provides features that allow teachers and students to create and participate in discussion, share resources, gather feedback through polling and quizzing and differentiate instruction through the use of small groups. Recent updates to Edmodo make it even easier to collaborate and communication within your groups. (Other tools you can use: Schoology or Haiku)
2. Give students tools for brainstorming collaboratively.
Padlet (previously called Wallwisher) is a great way to gather ideas with your students. A double click places a note on the wall where students can enter text, create a link to online sources, upload a file or take a photo with a webcam. These options provide the opportunity to not only share an idea but share a related source or document as well. (Other tools you can use: Popplet or TodaysMeet)
3. Give students tools that provide you with feedback about their opinions, goals, or learning.
Sharing a Google Form is a great way to gather information from students. We’ve seen teachers create them for surveys, quizzes, goal setting, and project management. Now that Google forms allows you to embed images, you may discover additional ways that you can use them effectively. (Other tools you can use: SMART Response, Socrative, InfuseLearning)
4. Give students tools that let them present their work and gather feedback.
With Edcanvas, students can bring together a variety of resources that can be presented to others. Teachers can either create a free account on the Edcanvas website or, if you have an Edmodo account, add this free app to your group from the Edmodo store. When creating a canvas, all the tools you’ll need are right there. You’ll be able to search using Google or Gooru, Flickr, or Educreations, and add files stored on your computer, or from a Dropbox or Google Drive account. As viewers interact with a canvas, they can also interact with each other through the comment box to provide feedback and begin a discussion. (Other tools you can use: Microsoft OneNote)
5. Give students a tool that lets them learn content at their own pace.
MentorMob is site for creating Learning Playlists. The site contains a number of playlists created by educators that you can browse to get an idea of the range of topics that can be addressed. Playlists link students to related web resources or you can add files from your computer and a pop quiz to test their knowledge as they interact with the content. (Other tools you can use: SAFARI Montage, LearnZillion, Kahn Academy)