At a SXSWedu Conference & Festival workshop March 8 in Austin, three Round Rock ISD teachers shared their experiences with innovative new classroom tools that allow students and parents to digitally connect with the curriculum and easily share and discuss assignments.
Third-grade teacher Lauren Derrington as well as Jesse Sosa and Katie Leining, both instructional tech specialists with RRISD, walked about 40 participants through a variety of interactive learning tools such as lesson presentation software and academic quiz programs.
The digital tools—most of which are free—provide customizable experiences designed to help teachers to better engage and communicate with students, the RRISD faculty explained.
One such tool, Google Classroom, is a web-based feature that allows teachers to see who has completed assignments, and provide real-time feedback and grades, according to the Google Classroom website.
Derrington, who uses Google Classroom, said the tool allows students to learn at their own pace and gives them a platform to share with and support other students. The tool is also helpful for RRISD parents, who can log in anytime, anywhere to view grades and assignments digitally, Derrington said.
“It’s a lot of collaboration and working together and when you’re a teacher it [provides] that moment of ‘this is why I teach',” she said. "My parents were really thankful."
Other interactive classroom programs discussed in Tuesday's workshop included Kahoot, Apollo Atlas, Nearpod and Blendspace. The full presentation with links to each feature is available online here.