Using Technology in the Classroom to Promote Student Success in the Classroom (Mar. 2017)

By: Kate Jacobs and Robin Lewis

Student engagement and our instructional practices go hand and hand. We look within our own tool box to support our lessons to help all students be able to access as well as be engaged and motivated to learn. In Cambridge we are very fortunate to have technology resources at our fingertips. Here is a list of useful tools to keep in mind when creating your lesson plans and supporting your child at home. Every student has their own individual style of learning. These technology tools support all different learning styles and are engaging for students.  

For example, if students are working on a writing assignment, and are to create their own graphic organizer or a model of the graphic organizer that was provided for them, you could have them use Lucid Charts or Google Slides. They can share this with other students which in turn facilitate peer collaboration. It allows students to be creative in the brainstorming portion of the writing process. This promotes independence, and self initiation.  

Voice-Typing is another amazing tool that allows students to orally generate their ideas. Students who have fine motor or spelling challenges may find this tool helpful. This tool can also assist learners who require support around idea generation or sentence structure. Even students who do not require additional assistance benefit from the use of this tool as it engages all learners.

A creative way to support students with proofreading, and editing you could use spell check and text-to-speech tools (The use of spell check and text-to-speech tools is an intentional and creative way to support students with proofreading and editing).

As teachers, we are always looking for creative ways to measure students' mastery of the content being taught without using a drab paper and pencil test. Google terms are a great tool to explore its use in allowing students to show what they know. In Google Forms, teachers can take a class poll, create exit tickets with multiple choice and open response questions.

This is just a snapshot of how powerful the use of technology can be to promote student learning and success in the classroom. There are many more tools including high and low tech tools that are available and can be used with any learner. Below is a list of tools we have briefly addressed in this article.  

iPad Available for Grades K-2 

Built in iOS features: 
Siri; Guided Access; Speech Selection (text-to-speech)

Chromebook Available Grades 3-12

Google: Docs; Slides; Forms 

Spell Check

Text-to-Speech through free read and write extension
Lucid Charts
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