TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY An Introduction to Integrating Technology into the Classroom TEACHING WITH TECHNOLOGY Technology is ubiquitous reaching every aspect of our lives, whether at work, home, or school. Properly utilized, technology in the classroom will enable students to acquire the skills they will need to survive in a highly complex technological world.
WHY USE TECHNOLOGY? Teachers who see computers as a problem-solving tool, move from a behaviorist approach to a more constructivist approach. Students who use technology and interactive multimedia are more engaged in their learning, becoming creators and critics, instead of just consumers. Proper use of technology enhances teacher/student relationships. The Center for Applied Research in Educational Technology (CAR ET) found that, technology impacts achievement in content area learning, promotes higher-order thinking and problem solving
skills, and prepares students for the workforce. Information found in George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2012. TECHNOLOGY TOOLS Technological tools for the classroom can be broken down into three broad categories: 1. those that publish 2. those that manage information 3. those that share content in new collaborative ways - Richardson, 2010
OUR FOCUS In this lesson, we will introduce the following technological tools and some of their applications: Weblogs Wikis RSS
Jing Alternatives to Power Point Google tools Social bookmarking
WEBLOGS Weblogs are easy to create and update sites that allow an author (or authors) to instantly publish to the Internet. They engage readers with ideas and questions and links, encouraging response and interaction. For the top 10 sites to build a blog for free, see http://devilsworkshop.org/top-10-websites-to-create-a-blo g-for-free / Two new blogs are being created every second -Richardson (2010) WEBLOGS USES IN THE
CLASSROOM Class Portal to post course curriculum, syllabus, class rules, homework assignments, rubrics, handouts, and presentations E-Portfolios a students personal record of learning, with links to videos, presentations, and podcasts Collaborative Space students can interact with each other online, or with experts in their field of study Knowledge Management and Articulation committees and groups can share meeting minutes, relevant links, and presentations; schools can share best practices, lesson plans, what works, what doesnt work. For some additional ideas on blogging, click here.
WIKIS A wiki is a Web site that allows users to add and update content on the site using their own Web browser. This is made possible by Wiki software that runs on the Web server. Wikis end up being created mainly by a collaborative effort of the site visitors. Usually every page in a wiki has a link (most often at the top) which says edit page, or something similar. A number of wiki sites feature a password and login system which provides some security when using in a classroom situation. To see how wikis work, click on the following link. Top ten sites for creating a wiki Currently, edits [in Wikipedia] appear at a rate of around 400,000 a day.
- Richardson (2010) WIKIS USES IN THE CLASSROOM Online Text create online text for your curriculum that both students and teachers contribute to Class Wikipedia create a dictionary of terms or encyclopedia of concepts applicable to the course Assignment Portal students post their work for other students to view and comment upon For some additional ideas on using wikis, click here. RSS RSS stands for Really Simple Syndication.
RSS makes it possible for you to subscribe to the content that is created on a particular weblog or wiki so that you dont have to visit the site itself to get it. You can subscribe to multiple sites. RSS uses a type of software called an aggregator which checks the feeds you subscribe to (usually every hour) and collects all the new content. When youre ready, you open the aggregator and read the individual stories, file them for later, click through to the site itself, or delete them if you wish all on one site. RSS allows you to read more content, from more sources, in less time.
RSS Things to Remember Not every site on the Web has an RSS feed Be sure the sites you add are worthwhile Creating folders in your RSS Reader will help to organize your feeds
Try to read your RSS feeds on a daily basis Top Ten RSS Readers Still confused? Watch this video, for an excellent introduction to using RSS. RSS USES IN THE CLASSROOM Checking Student Weblogs rather than checking each weblog individually, the aggregator can collect them all in one place Student Research enter a search term and receive any newly published data on that topic as soon as its published
Create a Web Page Using RSS - group together a number of RSS feeds about a specific topic onto a single Web page Some additional uses for RSS can be found at this site. JING Jing is a way to share images and short videos of your computer screen The software for Jing is free and can be downloaded here You can also download a more sophisticated screen capture software called Snagit at the above site Jing has some excellent how-to tutorials at this site This website also shares some interesting ways to use
jing ALTERNATIVES TO POWER POINT In this next section, well look at 4 alternatives to the Power Point presentation: Prezi SlideRocket
Google Docs Presentations Zoho Show PREZI The Prezi works more like a giant virtual whiteboard containing your entire presentation. Instead of flipping through slides, the viewer is zoomed in and out of the appropriate portions of your Prezi presentation, creating a much more animated and
visually-appealing experience. Prezi offers three different licensing agreements: For $0/yr you get the core features and 100 MB of storage space For $59/yr you get 500 MB of storage, the ability to use your own logo, make your prezis private, and premium 24/7 support For $159/yr you get 2 GB of storage, all of the above, plus the use of Prezi Desktop for offline editing
PREZI To see some examples of presentations using the Prezi software, and to learn how to use this technique, go to www.prezi.com SLIDEROCKET SlideRocket is a collaborative web-based application that can be used online, offline, or mobile. Combine themes and layouts, shapes, charts, tables, pictures, audio, HD video, and Flash to tell your story. Licensing agreements range from $0/mo for the casual
user, to $24/mo for the professional, to an undisclosed amount for organizational use. To learn more about this product, or to download the software, go to www.sliderocket.com GOOGLE DOCS PRESENTATIONS The presentation builder for Google Docs is more or less a simplified clone of Microsoft's offering, but it remains a pretty solid alternative. Allows you to share and collaborate in real time, control who can see your presentation, and safely stores and organizes your work For a visual introduction to using Google docs
presentation, watch the following video: http:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=upYWo84wNxM To get started using Google docs presentation, click here. ZOHO SHOW Similar to other online presentation tools Go to this link to see some of the design features of this software Zoho Office (which includes Zoho Show) can be downloaded free for a 30-day trial period; after that the cost is $3/mo, or $24/yr.
You can download Zoho Office here. GOOGLE TOOLS For a complete list of Google tools for the educator, go to: http://www.google.com/educators/tools.html SOCIAL BOOKMARKING Wikipedia defines social bookmarking as a method for Internet users to organize, store, manage and search for bookmarks of resources online (Social bookmarking, n.d.). Tagging is a significant feature of social bookmarking systems, enabling users to organize their bookmarks in
flexible ways and develop shared vocabularies known as folksonomies. To see a demonstration on how social bookmarking works, view the following video. To see the top 15 social bookmarking websites, click here. SUMMARY The technology tools available for classroom use today are proliferating at an astounding pace. What has been presented here is only a fraction of the opportunities for enhancing learning that can be realized through technology. Learning these new techniques takes time and practice. Yet the time that educators spend on incorporating technology into the classroom will reap great rewards. And because many of our students already employ many of these
techniques, we cannot afford to ignore them. I would encourage every educator to critically evaluate the tools presented here and try to gradually implement as many as is appropriate to your individual learning situation. REFERENCES Barrett, T. (n.d.). Interesting ways. In Edtech. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from http://edte.ch/blog/interesting-ways/ George Lucas Educational Foundation (2012). Why integrate technology into the curriculum?: The reasons are many. In Edutopia. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-introducti on
Richardson, W. (2010). Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (3rd ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin. Social bookmarking (n.d.). In Wikipedia. Retrieved March 14, 2012, from http:// en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Social_bookmarking
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