Tech Tuesday

Finds and Thoughts about Tech Integration

Classtools.net

March30

I always want to put the tools into the hands of the students. I want them to be the creators. I believe they will make more meaning and definitely get more out of it if they are able to take the reins.

At the elementary level that often can be challenging with a project. To make a project more manageable, I often find I have to be a bit of a micro-manager, controlling many aspects. I find that my job is to come up with the best approaches on how to integrate technology. It should be doable, logical and, hopefully, seamless. I also find from my work with adults and children that presenting mini-lessons or concepts in small, digestible chunks make people feel more successful. And success breeds success, right?¬†However, realistically, when I work with a teacher, one of the main concerns that we discuss is how long the class can spend on the topic. Unfortunately, the curriculum is packed, and students can’t linger on one subject/topic… I’m sure we could digress here and have a month’s worth of blog posts and comments around the curriculum coverage issue… Let’s just say- time is a factor.

So when the opportunity arises to give the students a little more wiggle room and independence for the output of their work, I’m excited.

Recently, I was brainstorming with a teacher about enhancing her students social studies knowledge about the American Revolution and Constitution. She wanted her students to research information from a web site that we have on our curriculum links and design their own questions that could be typed up as quizzes that they could print out and administer to each other. This email conversation coincided with me reading Suzanne’s Blog (a member of my PLN and blogging alliance). I can’t seem to find the exact post, but it mentioned using Classltools.net. This site created by Russel Tarr has templates that allow you to make interactive organizers and games that can be embedded or linked to a blog or wiki. Perusing this site gave me the idea of having the students go paperless and make their quizzes with this online tool.

We started the project last week, and the hook of creating arcade-like games certainly has motivated the students to research and create questions. Classtools.net is very simple to use. It doesn’t require a username or password to access the templates. When you create something, you are given a link and embed code. According to the site, it stores your work indefinitely. I have set up a private Wiki/Blog where I am going to have the students post their quizzes, so they can take them.

Classtools.net also can be used by teachers to design interactives for their students. There are tons of templates and samples.¬†The dustbin template looks great for categorizing/sorting. There’s also a traditional memory game. All great for reviewing concepts. Not to mention- there are interactive graphic organizers and even management tools such as a timer or class picker that could facilitate a whole class activity.

Explore it and see the possibilities for teachers and students alike! It may be the perfect fit for a project that you envision students researching, designing and sharing their knowledge all on their own.

4 Comments to

“Classtools.net”

  1. March 30th, 2010 at 10:57 am       ktenkely Says:

    Jam packed curriculum does make it difficult to really dig into a subject doesn’t it? I love you solution for this teacher, my students love the opportunity to create games and play other students games as well. Great idea!


  2. March 31st, 2010 at 7:19 am       Suzanne Whitlow Says:

    Thanks for the shout out from Suzanne’s Blog. This PLN of ours is amazing. Not a day goes by that I don’t hurry home after work to see what other educators are doing. Great post….thanks so much.


  3. April 3rd, 2010 at 6:01 am       Pam Thompson Says:

    Thanks for the reminder about classtools. I use it regularly for random seating and for randomly generating names, but I really should explore the other tools on there.


  4. April 6th, 2010 at 4:21 pm       Melissa Says:

    I used a collection of tools from ClassTools to create a novel study projects students could complete online. They loved it!


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