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As technology becomes more commonplace in classrooms, teachers from preschool to higher education are finding innovative ways to use technology to provide feedback to their students.

Some educators rely on popular tablet computers to communicate with their students both inside and outside the classroom, while others use propriety software, social media and email to provide regular feedback, insight and instruction. Whatever the method, teachers across the country have latched onto technology as a means to remain better connected with students after classroom and office hours, or to more closely monitor students’ progress inside the classroom.

Popular Technology In The Classroom

Bridget Draxler, professor at Monmouth College in Monmouth, Ill., uses both social media and online communication in the classroom. Draxler, an English and communications professor and director of the college’s Communications Across the Curriculum program, communicates with students via Skype for student interviews on papers, and she posts paper proposals on her Twitter account. She creates YouTube videos to post feedback for students and others in her classes, and she uses Google Drive for group writing projects.

Whereas Draxler has employed a wide range of technology to foster better communication with students, Perry Callas, an instructor at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, Ore., relies on email and blog posts to provide feedback to his students. Callas says written answers to questions often allow him to provide clearer insight than face-to-face interaction.

“When things are written, ambiguity is less likely,” he says.

Callas uses blog posts for discussion of classroom topics and to provide an open forum where ideas are discussed, debated and analyzed so students can see what their peers are thinking on a particular topic.

Other teachers use iPad applications or proprietary cloud-based software to monitor and provide feedback on student progress. Still others, such as Sarah Brown Wessling, an ELA teacher at Johnston High School in Johnston, Iowa, use podcasts. Brown Wessling records individual podcasts for her students to provide personalized feedback and suggested revisions on their papers.

“When I first started teaching, I spent all this time writing on these papers,” Brown Wessling says. “I decided I can change how I do this. It takes the same amount of time, but I can say so much more in 15 minutes than I could ever write.”