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Thursday, October 23, 2014

4 Classroom Management Techniques with Technology

If you are a teacher, then you are familiar with the term classroom management or how you manage classroom behavior. Many of us have routines and familiar ways of doing things; however, some of us find it difficult to manage classroom behavior when students have devices in their hands. This is a huge barrier in technology integration and causes many teachers to put away the technology all together. Here are some helpful tips: 

1. The Power of Proximity 

This one is pretty obvious, but proximity is still very important in managing student technology use - regardless of the device you use. Like the expression states, "when the cat is away, the mice will play." Make sure that you are in a position where you are near students and possibly can see student screens. If you see screens minimizing when you are walking around, there is probably a great chance there may be something questionable hidden on the task bar. 

2. Edit versus Read Only

A few weeks ago, I did a collaborative Google Presentation activity with my students. To make things work quickly, I created a presentation that allowed anyone with the link to make edits. As I was explaining the instructions, students were writing on the slides. If you are using collaborative  websites like Google Docs, Google Presentation, or even Padlet, you should get familiar with your permissions. This will restrict student access to view only, when necessary.

3. Screens Down

Many teachers struggle to get students to pay attention when they have a device in their hands. They give important instructions and students are often checking their email. Why not ask students with laptops to put their screens down? Why not ask students on PC's to turn their monitors off or "lock" their computers with Control, Alt and Delete. If students are on iPads, why not have them press the power button to "lock" their screens? You have important things to say, why not use these techniques? 

4. Guided Access (on the iPad)

Guided Access is an Accessibility Feature on the iPad (located in the General Settings in Accessibility), which keeps the iPad in a single App and locks students out of other apps.  First you will need to turn Guided Access on (in the Accessibility section of the General Settings). You will also need to set a passcode, which will allow you to exit Guided Access. 

 If you want to enable Guided Access, press the Home button three times. You will notice the Guided Access screen pops up on your iPad. Choose Start and you will no longer be able to exit your App without a passcode. To get out of Guided Access, simply press the Home button three times and enter your passcode. 

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