To which degree should technology be used in the classroom? This question is often the origin of heated debate amongst educators. Topics like privacy, usability and effectiveness are specially of importance in this context.
While our intuition that there is such thing as too much tech in education is backed up by evidence (1, 2), it is undeniable that a small amount of non-intrusive technology can be of great help. In this article we’ll take a look at three apps that don’t mean to change or disrupt the teaching process, but instead mean to be an auxiliary tool for teachers.
Kahoot is an app that is often used for making real time pools and quizzes. Teachers can create a series of questions to which students can answer using their own devices. When used in the classroom, Kahoot can be an extremely engaging activity, and a great way for teachers to refresh recently visited topics.
This seems like a canonical example of how technology can help, but it’s not the focus in itself. Kahoot works well because it doesn’t push itself into the spotlight. It’s not a goal per se, but simply a channel that can be a very effective and engaging way of teacher-students interaction.
Google classroom is an online forum where teachers and students can interact. Teachers can create assignments, homework, answer students questions, share material and collaborate via the platform.
Onboarding students into the platform is relatively hassle-free. When teachers create a classroom on the platform, Google classroom generates a “class code”, a short code that students can then use to enroll themselves with that specific class.
As with Kahoot, Google classroom doesn’t aim to disrupt teaching as much as it aims to be an online platform for teacher-student and student-student interaction.
SmartGrade is an app that instantly grades multiple choice tests (MCT) using teachers’ own smartphones. The app uses the device’s camera to scan and immediately grade answer sheets. It’s an alternative to the bubble sheet scanning scantron machines. It works on iOS and Android devices.
On top of quickly grading multiple choice papers, SmartGrade automatically generates beautiful, easy to read and actionable statistics about the exam, which teachers can use to understand which topics need revisiting with the students. We wrote previously about tips on how to use its automated data analysis.