Thursday, February 9, 2012
Any teacher will tell you: success in the classroom only begins with a mastery of the material. The key, they will tell you, is in managing the entire classroom, from the physical design of the learning space, to the students’ routines, to the way they are engaged. Leanring doesn’t occur in a vacuum, however, and there are as many variables as there are teachers and students, so wouldn’t a teacher benefit from an interactive model for the optimal class room experience?
Well, there’s an app for that.
Dr. Tracey Garrett, associate professor of Teacher Education, has unveiled Classroom Management Essentials, a classroom management application for the iPad, iPhone and iPod Touch available through the Apple Store on Friday, February 10. Designed for teachers of various levels, as well as their principals and supervisors, the app is a self-guided, interactive professional development tool for teachers that presents an effective model of classroom management.
“Classroom management is a process of preventing discipline problems,” said Garrett, now in her sixth year in Rider’s School of Education. “The app features tasks that help the user understand the factors involved in doing so, such as the physical design of the room, the development of effective rules and routines, and the role of relationships in preventing behavioral issues.”
Users of the Classroom Management Essentials app will first see an introductory video before having the opportunity to view several interactive segments featuring Garrett and four other working teachers, three of whom are Rider graduates: Emily DiPaolo ’10, a 2010 New Jersey Distinguished Student Teacher now teaching in Manalapan, N.J.; Carmen Reyes ’05, who teaches in Trenton; and Brian Caughie ’99, a high school administrator in Doylestown, Pa. The fourth expert, Janet Cole, of the Hopewell Valley Regional School District, also works with the Teacher Education program at Rider.
“These are real teachers talking about teacher management of classrooms,” said Garrett, who recommends interacting with the app over the summer, and revisiting its plan of action throughout the course of the school year. “Its goal is to eliminate misconceptions about management, and introduce an effective model for effective teaching.”
A former elementary school teacher in the Franklin Township School District in Middlesex County, N.J., Garrett began developing the app about a year ago, and moved into production late last spring with the technological help of her husband, a software architect.
“I supplied the content knowledge,” she said, “and he supplied the coding.”
Garrett says that while Classroom Management Essentials offers expert tutorials and guidance to teachers from pre-service and novice to more seasoned instructors, the app also represents a savvy financial option for professional development.
“Over the last 10 years, I’ve spoken at about 200 professional development workshops, and I’ve seen the with the professional development landscape change quite a bit,” she explained. “We’re seeing less ‘one-shot’ workshops. Schools want more; they want to see different kinds of things, especially with the rise of mobile technology. This app can be used in school without me, which makes it much more cost-effective.”
To preview Classroom Management Essentials before it is available through the Apple Store, go to http://www.classroommanagementessentials.com/.