Ashley Westlund, Cloverleaf Technology Teacher
Jackie Parker, I-SS Instructional Technology Coordinator
Technology Integration Thoughts
Our students and teachers love technology. We're always looking for more ways to integrate technology into daily lessons. The arrival of six laptop carts that go out to the classrooms has helped spread the use of technology. Mrs. Hudson and Ms. Westlund continue to promote digital projects, a collaborative effort among teachers, media, and tech, that combine classroom content with research and the use of audio, video, and text to demonstrate student learning. Examples of some student digital projects can be found on Mrs. Hudson's media center page, as well as Ms. Westlund's staff page
Teachers often ask how for some ideas on using technology in the classroom. Here are some tips:
1. Start with the Standards. Technology is like butter ... it's pretty good by itself, but so much better when it's spread around on everything else. Start with the NC Essential Skills in subject areas, then take a look at the International Society of Technology in Education's (ISTE) Standards for what students can do with technology. The research process is found in Common Core Standards, where research is encouraged to be carried out over and over, so that students can become familiar with the inquiry process. Lots of skills and learning can be combined just by matching up standards in several areas.
2. Put the tools in the students' hands. We are so fortunate to have lots of technology in each classroom: an interactive smartboard, a document camera, senteo clickers, a wireless slate, a flip video camera, and a microphone. Combined with the wireless laptop carts, students have many opportunities to interact with technology. We all must treat equipment carefully, but it's purpose is to be used!
3. Update projects to include technology. The planning and the research is the same as in the past. However, the products are much different! Glogster EDU is an online poster ... Google Earth can take students around the world and zoom into places mentioned in books, magazines, newspapers, textbooks, and in breaking news ... a simple microphone can record a student's voice reading or talking about what they've learned and this becomes a podcast ... student-made photos can become a musical masterpiece in Animoto, Photostory, or MovieMaker ... reports can take on a fresh look with Prezi, Zooburst, or Museum Box. Voicethread is one of my favorite web tools, because students, teachers, parents, and even the community could all collaborate or join into a discussion where comments can be made to each other by text, audio, or video. Teachers, let the students show you how to use these! They are so quick and fearless when it comes to learning to use technology.
4.Connect with other classroom near and far. Many teachers have webcams, and that's all you need to Skype with a class down the hall, across town, or around the world. Webcams are also great for bringing in a webinar into a classroom for the teacher.
5. Pre-Select Websites for your students. Students should never be turned loose for a "google search" on their own. The school provides a wealth of resources through NCWISEOWL, which includes online encyclopedias, magazines, atlases, thesauruses, and dictionaries. All NCWISEOWL resources have links within the articles, and we have permission to use all of the photos found in these resources. Cloverleaf also subscribes to World Book Online. It only takes a little time to preview websites before showing them to students, but it is worth every bit of the effort if you can avoid inappropriate, outdated, or inaccurate content.
6. Give students a real audience. When your students have a signed AUP and Photo-Release from home, the content they create can be posted to the world wide web ... or at least to the teacher's webpage. Our school webpage has a place for blogging, which would be a great way for students to express their thoughts and ideas on topics from the classroom or the world. Many web tools can be made "public," and can generate feedback from around the world. Just presented their online projects before the class provides a well-deserved feeling of accomplishment.
Ms. Westlund, Technology Teacher, and Mrs. Hudson, Media Specialist, Ms. Parker, Instructional Technology Coordinator would be very willing to help you each step of the way ... planning, carrying out the project, presenting, and posting to your webpage.
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