Among her favorite sites are Nearpod, Flipgrid, Wakelet, Gimkit and Spiral. But she also encourages students to play with technology to figure out what works best.
“I often present them with an idea for a topic I have in mind then tell them to pick a platform and give them options to play around with,” she said. “A lot of times, students tell me this didn’t work, or let’s try this next time, so I’ve learned a lot from them.”
In the three years Ettzevoglou has taught at Alpharetta, she’s found games such as Pictionary and Goose Chase keep kids’ attention, especially in a remote classroom.
“It’s completely possible to do virtually,” she said. “We laugh at the cheesy game music, and there’s a fun competitiveness. The aspect of playing is as important as the hard, serious stuff.”
Skype has also been a favorite, allowing students to connect in real-time to native French speakers around the globe.
“It’s an authentic way to experience the culture,” she said. “And it pushes students to use the language skills they’ve acquired. I also use funny memes, cute animals and storytelling to keep people talking about what’s big on Netflix or what’s bothering them.”
Sophomore Alyssa Khalil noted that even after classes went online, Ettzevoglou found ways to keep the momentum.
“She always came up with fun and creative things to do; it wasn’t just memorizing content,” she said. “We had opportunities to listen, speak and write. We used Wakelet to upload audio recordings and images. We did games online together that helped us feel like we were still in class, even though we had fewer chances to get together.”
Conversing and sharing ideas through technology has had another impact in her classes, said Ettzevoglou. “It’s brought in a personal aspect, and as strange as it is to say, even though I have not met about 90% of my students, I feel like I know them.”
Information about Alpharetta High is online at fultonschools.org/alpharettahs.
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