Educators were thrust into a technology-dominated world with the dawn of virtual learning. But many, like Stipes Elementary School second- and third-grade math and science teacher Joseph Montelongo were equipped to meet the challenge head-on.
The third-year teacher utilized a plethora of applications and technology tools in his classroom before students transitioned to remote learning last spring. But since then, he has discovered many more resources.
“I’ve always tried to incorporate technology in the classroom for student engagement,” he says. “But because of the pandemic, I have come across a variety of resources, many of which have been shown to me by my very own teammates.”
These include Classroom Screen, which he describes as “a hub of different tools.”
“There’s a timer, a red light traffic light to indicate noise level, dice – all of the tools a teacher would want to have in their toolbelt as a one-stop shop,” he says.
There’s also WhiteBoard.fi to push out assignments and activities, Google Jam Board to informally assess student progress, and Wheel of Names, to randomly call on students.
“Using the different applications has helped me appeal to the different learning styles of my students,” says Montelongo. “If I’m consistently using applications, I’m getting them in one way or another.”
With the use of technology, students are not only learning – they are having fun.
“You can see it in their facial expressions, and the noise level of the classroom elevates in a sense that they’re drawn, they’re hooked,” Montelongo says. “It gives them a sense of ownership knowing how much time they have left to complete an assignment, knowing if they’re being too loud. It makes them more independent.”
The students agree.
“They’re all so good,” says Stipes second grader Aceson Nickerson. “I can learn a lot of things.”