Give Your Class a Kick with Classkick: My Grant for Classroom iPads

By Mark Hulshof

As an eighth grade math and science teacher, I’m always looking for new ways to help my students learn. Lately, new technology and incorporating it into my teaching practice has changed the way I am able to reach my students. So when I discovered Classkick, I quickly realized it is the best application on the market today with the potential to revolutionize the way teachers assess student learning in their classrooms.

But to use this technology to reach my students, I needed iPads for my class. That’s why I decided to write a grant to purchase new mini iPads for my kids. The Program Development Assistance Fund by the Nova Scotia Teachers Union and the Nova Scotia Department of Education awards teachers annually with grants of $5000, so I decided to apply.

My grant emphasized a few key points:

Classkick is a critical educator tool

Classkick allows me to give feedback and assess every student’s work in real time. But what makes this app so important for assessment is that students can privately raise their hands to ask for help or have their work checked by the teacher. Notes, suggestions, and feedback appear immediately on the student’s individual iPad. Some other things I love:

  • Classkick lets me know which students are logged into the app and working on their assignment (I can monitor who is on task)!
  • Students work at their own pace.
  • Student work and all feedback is saved for future reference.
  • I can work with my class from home when I’m sick or absent.
  • I can upload any kind of content (writing, existing worksheets, images, video, audio, and websites) to create assignments.

A Classkick classroom supports student growth

The app helps me increase student-teacher contact time for students away from the class (or for students needing the extra time), improve student engagement in the classroom, and grow the number of formative assessments given to students. It also encourages independent work and self-directed learning, provides a support system for students experiencing difficulty, and expands resources for kids!

How will I measure student impact?

  • Did my use of exit slips increase?
  • Do students notice an increase in feedback?
  • Are students participating in weekly extra help sessions?
  • AND MOST IMPORTANTLY… Has there been an improvement in grade 8 math assessments?

What’s Next

I have purchased 13 iPad minis, and combined with two other iPads I had gives me a class set of 15. I also purchased the iPad Air 2 to run the program. My iPads are on their way and my Classkick classroom will launch September 2015! I’m excited to see where this adventure takes me and I hope to keep readers updated on progress and results when I implement Classkick this fall.