One of my biggest struggles as a teacher is remembering to take attendance within the first five minutes of class. I get the emails asking, “Hey, was so and so here?” far too often. I thought I would share some ideas for taking attendance with technology so that you can utilize the tools you have available and stop getting those guilt-trip emails!
Taking Attendance with Technology
One of the downsides to this is that attendance helps me get to know my students and their names! Doing my start of class routine builds that classroom environment and relationship with the students so you can avoid scenes like this one:
However, once you’re into the year and know your kiddos, this can be a great way to make sure you’re taking attendance and get to know them through a little question every day! Let’s look at some options for taking attendance with technology.
An Attendance Question
One of the most straightforward ways to check in with students is to do an attendance question! Essentially, students answer a question or prompt you provide. These could be simple questions like you might ask during Persona Especial, something content related, or just something silly! Here are a few ways you could do that:
- Post a question in Google Classroom for them to respond to.
- Don’t use Google Classroom? How about a Google Form! It will collect the name, date, email, and their answer to whatever question you choose. You can also link it in whatever Learning Management System you prefer to use.
- FlipGrid Q&A -my friend Kate O’Donnell shared this idea as she was prepping for distance learning and I love it! She’s essentially having them do a short calendar talk, then responding to a personal question each day within the FlipGrid. She’s able to record them ahead of time for them to respond to. Check out her example she shared on her Instagram:
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Wondering how to do “attendance” each day during e-learning? 🙈 I’m using @flipgrid to record short videos to which my Spanish 1 and 2 students will need to respond each day. 🎥 It’s a really simple formula that is a pseudo-reproduction of our daily calendar/small talk. 🗓 In their video response students must include: •greeting and their name •date and weather •how they’re feeling •response to the QOTD Nice and simple! 😁 What questions don’t you have about e-learning? 🤔We’ll figure this out! 👍😊
Students respond to the video within FlipGrid. Something else I love about this is that they are hearing you speak the language! You can definitely scaffold this option for your students as well.
Other Ways of Taking Attendance with Technology
If your students are physically in your room, you might like this idea from the Tech for World Language Teachers blog! It’s set up to do a digital bathroom pass, but you could certainly tweak it so students “scan in” to say they’re present!
If your students are not in the same location as you, and you simply need to track whether they are with you in the class or not, you can post a short digital learning option for them to interact with. Their attendance for that class is their completion of the activity, or activities.