Just in time for back-to-school: New distance learning resources are available on Wide Open School.
Set up classes for weekly reminders of tasks, previews of class topics, and links to helpful website sources in order to raise student engagement and motivation. Make sure to include parents or even create a separate class for parents to survey for student learning suggestions and inform parents of assignments and upcoming class events. Design formative assessment prompts or questions to use as class openers or exit tickets. Let the students analyze the graph created by their responses to draw conclusions about point of view, opinion, or relevance of texts and topics. Use the tool to poll students to determine future texts, projects, or lessons. Use the poll feature to differentiate responses to prompts or questions for struggling learners. ELL students can use the speech-to-text feature of smartphones to respond to polls.Continue reading Show less
ClassPager is a communication tool that lets teachers communicate with students' phones via text from the teacher's Web-enabled device. There are two key functions: reminders and polls. Teachers can use cell phone reminders to alert their high school students about assignments, class tasks, and topics. Teachers can also send simple polls that can be used for formative assessment. Teachers can then analyze a graph of the students' results in real time.
Teachers can start using the service by viewing the site’s narrative tour and how-to sections, and they can also access printable PDF guides to student registration. To get started, teachers create classes on the site and have students text the class code to the site number in order to enroll in a class thread. Texts from teachers and students won't include the teacher's or students' actual cell phone numbers; instead, texts will only appear from the site phone number or teacher name. While the site does not have any included content, it's highly customizable, so teachers can personalize their polls to include simple queries or more meaty formative assessment questions.
Teachers can use ClassPager to gauge student learning through questioning and polling. With the option of graphing students’ responses, teachers can receive quick, real-time feedback to directly impact instruction within the same class meeting. Determining content is up to the teacher, though; the site doesn't offer embedded questions or content, and prompts and responses must fall within 140 characters. Teachers are also able to contact students (individually or by class) and parents with important reminders; this feature is great for including parents and keeping students on task while practicing good time-management strategies. There's not much else beyond this, and the simplicity means it's easy for teachers and students to use, but for those interested in more, there are competitors that offer more dynamic communication.
Also, it must be said that any tool that relies on students' own devices and a phone number runs the danger of dividing classrooms and leaving some students out. Teachers should be mindful of issues of differing access in their classrooms.
Key Standards Supported
Speaking & Listening
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.
Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that probe reasoning and evidence; ensure a hearing for a full range of positions on a topic or issue; clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions; and promote divergent and creative perspectives.
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