Tag Archives: technology

Taking It Up a Notch

Over Spring Break, I wrote a grant asking for a classroom set of video cameras and digital cameras.  I should know something by next week. I have lots of ideas on how to use pictures and video in the classroom.  I have also been exploring different sites to use in my classroom.  Today I found GoAnimate! I did not create this video but can’t wait to really dive into this site.  Sites like this blow worksheets out of the water! Does your student understand fractions of a set?  They will if you ask them to make a cartoon video explaining it.  Check it out!  Click on the words below:

http://goanimate4schools.com/public_movie/0id5fdsERNwE

 

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Animoto!

Animoto!

I almost forgot about Animoto! This is a great way to take those pictures you take of activities in your classroom and create a video presentation.  I did this one with some Science Lab pictures.  After I listened, I think I could have picked better music!

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March 24, 2013 · 2:44 pm

Being a Doer

So this past week I put action to my words. I used my teacher’s manual as a guide (oh the horror) and taught the objectives in a meaningful way using technology as appropriate.  My kids loved this! They were engaged all week and worked so much harder than ever because they were actually interested! I combined math, reading, social studies, science, and technology.  I assessed the kids the same way I am required to and guess what? They scored as well or better than average.  I brought home my reading manual this weekend so I can see what objectives need to be taught, but if my administrators pop in to see if I am on Day 1 page whatever, I may be in “trouble”.  But I can’t go back now! My kids are excited and did not moan one time when I said, “It is reading time!” 

I am so happy that I spent some time outside taking pictures with my new macro extension tubes.  Pardon me as I share. Happy Spring!Image

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Teachers and Technology Integration

Interesting research was conducted by Coleen Moore-Hayes at Cape Breton University (see link under articles).   She found that teachers with a positive self-efficacy about technology were more likely to integrate technology into the curriculum.  Teachers need more than access to technology. They need training on the technology itself.  That makes absolute sense to me.  I do consider myself rather tech savy, and I like to explore new websites that I can use with my students.  But before I even introduce the site to my students, I at least play around with the site to get a feel for it.  I do this way before I ever consider ways I could use it in the curriculum.  Most teachers in the survey wanted to learn more.   So if we agree that more technology is needed in our schools and that students should be using technology throughout their coursework, then the question is how do we get our teachers trained so their self-efficacy raises?  Simply putting technology in the classroom or in the hands of the teachers and students is not enough.  Even if the teacher’s job will change from leader to facilitator, they will still need training.  It only makes sense.

My school district went to 1:1 technology this year.  The teachers received training on implementing the publishers software.  Most teachers now feel comfortable having students read text online and watching the publishers short videos of weekly skills.  Is this truly integration?  I think not.  Do many teachers want to do more?  Absolutely.  But who is going to train them?  What kind of time is allowed for the training?  Those are just some of the questions that need to be answered as we move forward in this new age of learning.

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Chapter 9: What Does It All Mean?

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The Gamer Generation is here.  Whether anyone likes it or not, technology is here to stay, and kids are already proficient users.  Children spend more time playing games than any other activity. Now there are some down sides to this.  But as we look at harnessing the powerful draw of technology to a new generation, we need to exam gaming for some positives.  Gamers are problem-solvers.  Many companies use gaming simulations to train their employees. 

The Internet also offers individuals a chance to connect with people all over the world that share their interests. This is happening now outside of the classrooms. And in some cases, it may be happening without parents knowledge.  More parents are using that knowledge to home-school their children, leaving public education by the droves.

Change is all around us. Learning is all around us now.  Learning no longer happens just in schools or through parent interactions.  As technology leaders, we have to recognize that change and be the voice to bring all that technology has to offer into public schools.  I believe we can make a difference.

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Chapter 8 How Schools Can Cope With the New Technologies

This chapter really struck a nerve with me.  Once again I find another author that is for technology in education proclaiming the downside to standardized testing.  I am so frustrated that this is the direction technology integration has taken.   The authors state that this emphasis on testing is totally against what technology integration should be……customization, interaction, and motivation.  This is totally taking away the creative uses for technology that students long for and will prepare students for the 21st Century.

This week, in my classroom, I am making a stand to do what I have been reading about to integrate technology.  I am walking away from the Pearson Bible of Teaching and teaching authentically and integrating some of the tools I have been researching.   I have four students who are performed below benchmark on the last standardized test, and they are pulled out of my classroom for a total of 4- 5 hours every week to be retested or given a practice test.  I am going to take a stand and have them stay with me, doing authentic learning.  I have spent all afternoon looking at the standards that need to be taught this week and thinking of how I can use technology, cooking, real world examples, etc. to make my classroom alive this week.

I am not sure if that is what this chapter is describing for education of the future.  But I do know that I don’t like the way my teaching of the present has been going this year, as I have been trying to follow rules based on getting the students to test well.   My kids deserve to learn in a fun, motivating way.  I have the tools.  I am going to apply them AND cover the standards. hmmmm imagine that.

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Chapter 7: What May Be Lost and What May Be Gained

Once again, I found the most awesome FREE site to summarize my findings on this chapter.  This one will let students create trading cards on a topic.

Even when not attending school, I spend a great deal of time online through my hobby of photography. I absolutely agree with the authors that technology can lead to less interactions with our real life friends and family as online we find people with similar interests.  Through discussions with my EdS peers, I can see the digital divide clearly.  While my school district has adopted a 1:1 initiative with technology, some geographically close districts still struggle with connectivity because they are so remote.  Other districts do not have the funds.

This chapter was full of questions. I think as Teacher Leaders, we need to think of those questions and how we will lead the educational system in the future.

Check out my link with my card!  Look to the right for a link to the site.

Chapter 7

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