Create assignments to flip your classroom: Use the "question sheets" in an assignment like the slides in a whiteboard app to include images, text, and audio to deliver your lesson. Have kids write, draw, upload photos, or record audio to respond to your lesson. Use the assignment to outline a step-by-step in-class activity, like a lab or a multi-station activity in your classroom or your school.
Encourage kids to "raise their hands" to let you know when they need help. Consider projecting your teacher dashboard on-screen from your own iPad and have kids work solo but also offer each other help; for example, tell kids who've finished their own work to turn to classmates with digitally raised hands and try to help. Use an assignment as an in-class race: Break kids into teams and monitor their progress live on-screen as they work through the assignment slide by slide.Continue reading Show less
Classkick is an app (also available on Chromebooks, desktops, and laptops) for sharing assignments with students, monitoring their progress, and offering feedback. When teachers first launch the app or log into the developer's website, they have the option to log in on an iPad to see a student's experience or they can watch an intro video that offers tips and tricks for creating assignments and using the app. There's also a pre-loaded sample assignment and class roster for experimentation. From the main teacher dashboard, teachers can create and manage class rosters (click the plus sign to reveal a code kids can use to join the class), create assignments, and view their students' work.
To create an assignment, teachers tap "Add Assignment" to add a new item they'll share with their students. Each assignment consists of a series of "questions," which appear on the dashboard like individual slides. Teachers can add images from the device's camera roll, key in text, draw, paste in a Web link, or record audio on each slide. Once they share the assignment with students (by selecting the appropriate rosters), students can add their own images, text, drawings, links, audio, and video. They can also digitally raise their hand to indicate that they need help. The teacher can see these gestures and monitor kids' actions in the assignments in real time from the teacher dashboard. Teachers can subsequently add feedback: They can write directly on the assignment, type, add content (like links, audio, or video), place a sticker, or award points. Additionally, students can offer each other feedback if teachers enable the "Allow Peer Helpers" feature on their own dashboard.Continue reading Show less
Classkick has a neat format and lots of little details that make it especially user-friendly. For example, you can color-code your rosters and each assignment displays a series of colored dots beneath its name so you get an at-a-glance overview of which classes have which assignments. Some teachers might balk at the limited assignment creation features: You can't actually build your assignment in the app, but you can upload and crop pre-made assignments via your device's camera roll or use an assignment created by another teacher you know or from the free Assignment Library. However, once you get used to this -- and use your iPad take a few strategic screenshots of the content you want to share -- you'll find that it's pretty easy to get used to. It's also nice that students and teachers have exactly the same capabilities for writing and importing images and recording audio; this could make for some cool collaboration opportunities, and it offers a nice way for teachers to differentiate instruction and allow students to respond in a variety of ways.
There are lots of apps out there that help teachers go paperless like this; Classkick's biggest strength is its super-simple, well-designed interface and its real-time progress monitoring. It doesn't offer instant feedback, which is okay: Instead, it offers instant help, making this a tool that truly empowers the teacher instead of promising to replace or automate her. While this would be a great tool for solo homework, that hand-raising feature makes this app an especially good fit for the classroom; for example, teachers can use the dashboard to keep track of how kids are doing on an in-class activity in real time and respond accordingly. Whether kids are working solo or in groups, this is a great way for kids to be able to get their teacher's attention and get more support when they need it most.Continue reading Show less