Setting homework using technology

Technology has given teachers some new superpowers! It is possible for classrooms to open their walls around the world and to communicate with each other. Many schools are now communicating with parents via technology, whether it’s by text messaging or online newsletters or social media. In this article, I’m going to discuss 3 ways that teachers can save some time by sharing homework with parents using a few different services.

Before that, what are the advantages of sharing homework with parents? In most classrooms, taking down homework is a frustrating affair. Everyone has to have a homework notebook that isn’t lost or torn. Everyone generally has to write down the same homework and many children find it very difficult to do this. All written homework lacks any form of multimedia. For example, try asking children to write down “Watch the following YouTube video” and see how many write down the URL correctly! Then there’s the problem of when the homework journal gets home… if it gets home! Can the parent read the child’s handwriting? Technology allows for the teacher to “write” the homework once and it can then be sent directly to the children and their parents. It also provides teachers with the opportunity of creating more interesting forms of homework. (That’s for a different article though.)

Here are three ways that teachers can send homework to children’s and parents’ devices. There are many other ways but I’m choosing three for this article. Feel free to comment below with other ways.

ClassDojo – Class Stories

ClassDojo is a wonderful tool. Most teachers use it for behaviour management, awarding points for positive behaviours and so on. However, ClassDojo has moved towards being a communication system between classrooms and parents. Class Stories is a brilliant way for a teacher to share moments from the classroom or from trips and parents can see these moments on their phones or other devices. Using Class Stories, teachers could send home the homework for the day to parents. ClassDojo is currently free.

Google Classroom

Google Classroom is part of Google’s Apps for Education (GAfE). It allows teachers to set up a virtual classroom and each child has an account. It works similarly to a social network in that a teacher (or student) can post something up and anyone can comment. This is very useful for posting up all sorts of different types of homework. For example, a teacher could post up a survey question and ask children to respond to it as part of homework. Another example would be for a teacher to post up a video from YouTube and children could comment on the video. Parents can also log into the Classroom account and see homework. Classroom has an app, which is also useful for all devices. It is also free.

Aladdin Parent Portal (Part of Aladdin Suite)

Aladdin’s Parent Portal isn’t free and is an add-on for schools. It gives schools a huge amount of power to give parents access to their child’s information. Sending out homework would be an easy process too. Aladdin’s Parent Portal has many other functions that would be useful to parents but, again, that would be for another article.

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