How to Improve Your Lesson Plans with Classroom Management Software (Advice from Technology Teacher Susan Sebastiani)
If you’ve been using LanSchool for awhile, you’re probably familiar with the Blank Screens feature. Teachers frequently use this tool to minimize digital distractions and keep students focused on the front of the classroom.
But if your LanSchool use ends there, you may be missing out. There’s so much more you can do to increase student engagement and enhance learning.
Few teachers know this better than Susan Sebastiani. For many years, the technology teacher has been relying on classroom management software to help elementary students engage in a safe digital environment, where they learn about everything from digital citizenship and using the internet to programming and robotics.
“When I first started using LanSchool, I loved that I could log in and monitor all of my students from one machine and send everyone to the same web address,” Sebastiani told us during a recent conversation. “Then I discovered that I could do so much more.”
Today, Sebastiani relies on the full scope of LanSchool features daily to teach hundreds of students ranging in age from kindergarten through fifth grade. She’s been amazed at how remarkably easy the software makes it
“Now, I feel it would be a disservice to use LanSchool only for monitoring students,” she says of the software.
We asked Sebastiani to share her top suggestions for incorporating LanSchool into lesson plans. Here’s what she recommends for teachers across grades and disciplines:
Don’t Hesitate to Start Early
The sooner students become comfortable with technology in the classroom, the better positioned they’ll be to engage in online learning tools long term. While many teachers may be inclined to rely on paper and pencils for simplicity and ease in early grades, Sebastiani has found that classroom management software makes it remarkably easy to introduce younger students to digital learning tools.
“With kindergartners, I can use LanSchool as a classroom management tool to help students when they’re struggling, when a computer’s frozen or when I need to push out a link,” Sebastiani explains.
Then, as students become more comfortable with classroom technology, LanSchool can be used in a variety of creative ways to enhance learning. For example, you can...
Ask (and Answer) Questions
One of the biggest benefits of LanSchool is the ability to interact with students one-on-one. Would you like to know how well individuals are comprehending your lesson? Use the chat feature to check in and see if they need assistance. Looking for ways to engage your quieter students? Let them know they can send questions to the teacher through LanSchool, without having to raise their hands.
“When you weave LanSchool into your teaching, it frees you from having to hover over students,” says Sebastiani. “And students can feel free to express themselves without the fear of judgment from classmates. Otherwise, there are some students who may never ask a question.”
The fact that LanSchool monitors those interactions so you can use them as part of your grading, she adds, is a big bonus.
Make Learning Fun
If you’ve been wishing for a way to motivate students — to really, truly get them excited about being in your classroom — it’s time to infuse an element of fun.
For that, there’s gamification. And LanSchool is packed with features you can use to add elements of gaming-style “play” to virtually any lesson plan.
“For example, I could see the poll feature being used in a history class,” Sebastiani suggests. “You could ask students to vote on ‘who came first’ or ‘what happened next.’ Using LanSchool to make a lesson more interactive would also be great for science, language arts, math… pretty much any subject when you want to help students become eager to learn.”
If you’re still using paper and pencil to give tests, it’s time to give LanSchool a try. When placed in assessment mode, LanSchool will follow PARCC (Partnership for Assessment of Readiness for College and Careers) testing requirements to lock down devices. Then, once the test has been administered, you can save time and ensure greater accuracy by grading in real time and even exporting the results.
“I can create any test in LanSchool, and when I’m ready for students to take it I simply start assessment mode,” Sebastiani explains. “LanSchool literally keeps kids from going anywhere they’re not supposed to during tests.”
The biggest benefits of all, says Sebastiani, is that the classroom management software is remarkably easy to use. “I didn’t have to spend hours learning how to use it,” she says. “When I first started with LanSchool, it took just 30 minutes to learn how to use 12 features. As someone who’s looked over more software than anyone probably should, I know how rare that is.”
The above insights from Sebastian are just a few of the many innovative ways LanSchool can be used to make classroom learning more engaging. And if your school district has a 1:1 device program, as Sebastiani’s does, regularly incorporating technology into lesson plans will help ensure your students are equipped to get as much as possible out of their devices — both in the classroom and when they take them home.
Eager to try these ideas in your classroom? Your K-12 school is eligible for a full year of LanSchool —simply by purchasing Lenovo education devices. Want a free trial of LanSchool?