I have been maintaining a website/blog for my classes for a few years now and it is from this platform that most of the tech integration and my current attempts at “flipping” my classroom (at least a little bit) are launched.
I use the site to post weekly assignments and interesting science stuff. For students, there are many resources such as links to online content, PowerPoint presentations, Gaggle, Edmodo, and other useful websites. Parents enjoy the ability to see what’s going on in the class at any given time.
Using the website, I assign weekly content based videos for students to watch, as well as reading/outlines of text material as preparation for the activities and discussions that take place in class. Students are expected to access this information outside of class, at their own pace, and then bring the knowledge into the class where it helps them to make connections and learn the new material.
To assess student progress, periodic quizzes are given using Edmodo.com, which allows students to log in and take assessments. It will also do much of the scoring and tracking of data, which is nice. Oh yeah, and it’s free!
As a communication tool, I use Remind101.com, which is a free web-based text service that allows me to “push out” notices to anybody who signs up. I have one set up for each of my classes, and send out text reminders to check the blog for updates, weekly assignments, quizzes, tests, and sometimes just to point to interesting class-related content outside the classroom. I’ve gotten a lot of positive feedback from students and parents really love this as well.