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Learning Management Systems are fantastic educational tools. They help you to house, distribute, and sometimes grade assignments. Many LMS's also often have communication options. These options are good, but not great. This post will outline some manageable interaction tools to implement into any classroom along with some quick examples of what to do with them.

Classroom Twitter Account
  • Set up a Tweet Deck to organize your online work. Students all tweet through the classroom account so long as they include their name. Organize subjects with hashtags, (ex. #504math?) 
  • Embed your feed on your website. This allows anyone to check in without being on Twitter.  
  • Add button on online work to allow students to tweet or DM you a question. Portals like this make a foundational transformation in the way they use social networks.
  • Collect handles of willing tutors. These tutors will become DM coach assistance. What a fantastic way to create global collaboration! 
  • Video record questions or podcasts for students to respond to. Twitter allows a feature where you can embed your videos directly into the tweet. Leverage this to enhance learning.
  • Tweet our polls and survey to students and parents about the effectiveness of this tool in your classroom.

Hangout Classroom
  • Put a Hangout button on online work so students can either message you, or start a video chat with you or peers. 
  • Use Hangouts on air for important lessons. Hangouts on air records your screen and the voice you have to archive it for later. Take full advantage of this by hosting guest speakers while you are recording the lessons!
  • Create a portal to your classroom for absent students. This is as easy as propping up an iPad in the back and allowing the to hangout into your classroom. They can sit at home and be present, digitally. 
  • Communicate via Text with students. We all know that students are fantastic text messengers. Set up ground rules, and use Google Hangouts to send text messages to students for tutoring help.

Google Drawings (padlet alternative)
  • Use this Template
  • Create educational conversations and embed images for a rich, collaborative learning environment 
  • Scaffold and drive inquiry questions

Leverage YouTube
  • Create a one stop shop for students to get help. Embed playlists, or single videos relating to the content you are working on.
  • Highlight students work here. Use this as a show what you know space by embedding their curriculum videos and work they have accomplished.
  • Doing this removes all ads and junk around your videos!
Make Templates, and Make them Duplicatable
  • Create templates in pages for you apple users and change the URL endings for your google docs to make all your templates duplicatable. 
  • Give students links do directly download or copy these files. You will save time and so many headaches by doing this. Students need just scan a code or click on time to receive these docs!!
  • Make them yourself and make them innovative. You know what you want to see, so make them yourself. If they are universal enough, you only need a handful to be able to meet the needs of all your subjects.