Welcome to ClassroomDJ!

A collection of some fun and easy-to-use tools for building classroom communities

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Student Profiles

It’s the good ol’ first-day-of-class survey, but in digital form. Use it to find out what students expect to learn, their previous coursework, or just to help students get to know each other. For each question you can choose whether or not the answer should be displayed in the Flashcard app (see below). Especially cool is our online photo management system, which uses facial recognition to automatically zoom in on the student’s face when they upload a profile pic, creating a great headshot every time. Well almost every time…we do see the occasional cat photo.

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Flashcards are a fun way for students to get to know each other and for instructors to get to know students. Click the box next to their picture to reveal the student’s name and a few details from their classroomdj.com profile. Knowing each others’ names is an important part of building a classroom community. Also, when instructors can call on students by name, engagement goes up and students are more satisfied with their experience.

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"Name Games"

Have fun learning students' names with CDJ Name Games! Games include matching, a "lite" (names only) version of student flashcards, and a memory tile game. Not just for instructors, name games are also great for helping students getting to know one another.

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Random DJ

Where it all started! Students create playlists of upbeat music and, before the start of each class, one randomly selected student gets to be the class DJ. Typically paired with a “two truths and a lie” ice-breaker activity. Although it seems just for fun, there are a number of tangible benefits. First, music can help energize students and get them ready to process the lecture material. Also, a music filled classroom (compared to an intimidatingly silent classroom) seems to encourage students to chat - an important step in building a classroom community. It’s also a great tool for letting students know when lecture is ready to begin. When the music stops, students get the hint that it is time to stop chatting - kind of like Oscar speeches in reverse.

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"The Claw"

“The claw” is simply a tool that randomly selects a student from the class roster and displays their name and picture on the screen. Basically, it is a more light-hearted approach to cold-calling where the claw (rather than the instructor) decides who will be asked to speak. There are a number of benefits from using the claw in class. One is that cold-calling provides quieter students with an opportunity to speak and makes it harder for the more extroverted students to dominate the discussion. Also, if you do “one minute papers” or active learning exercises in class, dangling the claw on the screen during the exercise lets students know they can’t count on one of the extroverted students volunteering the answer - a subtle but effective motivator.

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More Cowbell

Sometimes the think-pair-share discussions get so feverish the only prescription is more cowbell. In other words, when the class gets too noisy you can ring this virtual bell to get everyone’s attention. The credit for inspiring this app goes to Kim Kenyon at the Cornell University Center for Teaching Excellence. This one is pretty much just for fun, but can be handy in large lecture halls. Probably beats shouting and/or the silent glaring thing.

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Virtual Clicker (Beta)

Using clicker questions during lecture is awesome! If you are considering using clickers, but are not quite ready to make the plunge, consider experimenting with CDJ clickers. After all, it’s free. More robust, non-free options include iclicker and Polleverywhere.

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Activity Schedule (Alpha)

The goal of the activity schedule is to help instructors easily execute and evaluate activities. Currently, it only "sort of" works. If you are tenured and have a good rapport with your class it might be fun to play with.

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