Tag Archives: classroom management

Read Aloud for PDF Files

If you have students who have difficulty reading or students who are not proficient in written English, you can covert the text to speech in a PDF file.

You have two options to have the PDF read aloud.

google apps

Use Adobe Reader TEXT TO SPEECH

  1. Open the PDF file in Adobe Reader DC.
  2. Go to the page you want read.
  3. From the View menu select READ OUT LOUD. Click ACTIVATE READ OUT LOUD.
  4. From the View menu select READ OUT LOUD. Click READ THIS PAGE ONLY (SHIFT + CTRL+ C is used to Pause/Resume).

TIP: Once you activate READ THIS PAGE ONLY you can select any paragraph to have it read aloud. Be sure to download the latest version – Adobe Reader DC – to ensure that the feature will work.

Use the Chrome Extension Speak It

  1. Get the Speak It Extension here.
  2. To have TechnoKids PDF file read aloud, post it to your Google Drive.
  3. Have students open the file using Kami. (To find out more about the Kami extension, watch this video.)
  4. Select the text.
  5. Click the SPEAK IT symbol in the TOP RIGHT corner of the browser window.

TIP: This is a great extension that will read any web-based text.

Classroom Rules for BYOD

The BYOD policy will provide strict guidelines on the appropriate use of student owned devices, as well as the consequences for abuse. Parents and students must the policy and sign the BYOD agreement form.

BYOD Rules

Students need to remember that bringing a device to school is a privilege that can be revoked. It is a good idea to post BYOD rules in the classroom to act as a reminder.

Here are a few suggestions:

  1. Be a good digital citizen.
  2. Work with your device in approved locations.
  3. Use for assigned tasks only.
  4. Take photos/videos for assignments only.
  5. Use of the device is restricted to its owner.
  6. Bring device fully charged to school.
  7. Charge it safely at approved stations.
  8. Use the school’s WIFI network only.
  9. Remove ear buds/turn down screen when asked.
  10. Turn off device or put to sleep when not in use.

BYOD for schools

10 More Classroom Management Tips for BYOD

BYOD creates new challenges for classroom management. Here are even more helpful tips! Read them and find the ones that are right for you.

classroom management

Use these tips to manage BYOD in your classroom.

1. Generalize Assessment Tools

With BYOD, often students are given the choice upon the product they create to demonstrate their learning. For example, one student may write a report, another create a video, and still another produce a Prezi presentation. Design assessment tools that focus on the performance criteria and then include general aspects such as quality, organization, style, originality, timeliness, work habits, or sources. This will allow you to use the same tool for different products.

2. Student Designed Assessment Tools

The type of digital products students can produce vary depending on the device. To aid in evaluation, challenge your students to design their own assessment tool. Many online tools can help them generate rubrics and checklists. Not only will this save you time, but also it is an excellent critical thinking activity.

3. Device Class List

Record the device type for each student (laptop, tablet, smartphone, nothing) in a class list. Use this information to organize groups, design activities, and create an equitable environment.

4. Classroom Experts

Produce a bulletin board that identifies classroom experts. Students can refer to the board to find help with using apps. Please note, peers should not install software on another students’ device nor alter device settings.

5. Back Up Plan

There are power outages, WIFI connectivity issues, and server failures. Plan for them. Design alternative lessons that can achieve the same goals without using technology. Just like how you have activities in a folder for a supply teacher, similarly keep a list of paper and pencil tasks handy as a back up plan.

6. Timely Troubleshooting

Technical issues will happen and you can’t have them derail a lesson. If a student is having a problem, encourage them to follow along with the student beside them until there is an opportune time to examine the issue in more detail. Much like sharpening a pencil, there is an appropriate time to do this task. Troubleshooting needs to be done at a suitable moment and students need to recognize that in some cases an immediate fix may not be possible. In this case, they will need to find an alternative way to complete the assignment.

BYOD for schools

7. Power Up

Establish rules and routines for charging devices. Students are responsible for bringing their device fully charged to school in the morning. Should they need to recharge it throughout the day a charging station may be set up within the classroom. In this case, students need to bring their own connectors. Let students know that they cannot charge their device from any outlet in the school as this may overload circuits or create a safety risk. If a charging station is not available and a battery fails, students will need to find an alternative way to complete the assignment.

8. Diversity in Products

Design assignments that have a range of product options to demonstrate learning. Always include a traditional paper and pencil task or project for students who do not have a device.

9. Equal Access

Provide equal access to technology. For students who do not have a device create a lending library, use a bank of computers in the back of the classroom, book a mobile cart, or schedule computer lab time.

10. Role Play

Have students perform skits showing how to resolve problems with BYOD to demonstrate an understanding of the rules. Skit ideas include Power Up (How do you charge device?), In the Zone (Where can you use device?), or Coaches Corner (How do I get help?).

10 Classroom Management Tips for BYOD

BYOD creates new challenges for classroom management. Here are some helpful tips! Read them and find the ones that are right for you.

1. BYOD Signs

byod strategies

10 Tips for Managing BYOD in the Classroom

Get In the Zone Signs: Post signs around the school to let students know if they can use their device in that space. For areas such as bathrooms and locker rooms, post clearly visible NO DEVICE ZONE signs.

BYOD Reminders Signs: Perhaps you are only using the devices from time to time. Let students know when you have planned an activity that requires a device. Post a sign on the door to make sure they bring it to class the next day.

BYOD Permitted Signs: Post a visual cue that informs students when you want devices off, for example during a test. Create a clearly visible way for students to see when device use is permitted at different times during the class period.

2. Desktop Ready

As students enter the room, have them place their devices on their desk with their screens down. This will let you know which devices are available and who has their device. It will also save time in students having to get their device later from their desk, pocket, backpack, or locker, which can be disruptive and waste instructional time.

3. Spot Check

Enforce the BYOD policy. Verify that students are on-task by periodically checking their screens. Train your students to hold or turn their devices so that their screens face you whenever you say Spot Check.

4. Walk Around

Get up and stroll around the room. This will let you monitor student activities to confirm they are on-task and not engaging in inappropriate behaviour.

5. Screens Down

When you need students’ attention have them turn over the device so that the screen is down or close their laptop lid. Train your students to do this instantly whenever you say Screens Down.

6. Observe Body Language

Get to know the difference between what students look like when they are engaged in social versus educational use of their device. For example, texting friends happens in short bursts, involves only a few finger strokes, and is often followed by smiles or snickers. Whereas, writing a report tends to involve continuous typing accompanied by a focused expression.

BYOD for schools

7. Get Involved

Don’t just assign an activity – do it alongside your students. If you have access to your own laptop that is connected to a projector, it is a good idea to model completing the task. Your involvement will be motivating to students. It also serves the practical purpose, as you can suggest relevant resources, design tips, and pitfalls to avoid, based on experience.

8. Use the Device Often

Parents have spent the money and students have taken the time to bring in their device, which means they are expecting to use it. Make the device an important part of the lesson.

9. Team Up

If not everyone has a device, design lessons that have a collaborative component. For example, at the beginning or end of a lesson have students work in partners or small groups to take a poll, survey, or quiz. Or have teams compose a joint response to a question in the form of a post, tweet, or instant message. This will engage learners and maximize the use of the devices in the classroom.

10. Explicitly Teach Technology Skills

Many supporters of BYOD state that students need to know how to use their own applications and explicit instruction is not required. However, this approach is often not realistic and can place limits on students who tend to use familiar apps, without challenging themselves to try something different. For example, students on their own may not discover how to set up a blog, edit a video, or produce a Wordle. Throughout the school year, consciously design activities that use various apps and model how to use them to complete an assignment. Once students have gained expertise in using the app, they will be able to apply their skills independently to new situations.