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If you are not familiar with a document camera, it serves some of the same functions as an overhead projector, but is much more advanced. By attaching it to an LCD projector, the document camera projects a real-time image onto the screen for the entire class to see. This means you are no longer limited to just projecting overhead transparency sheets - you can put a worksheet, textbook page, illustration from a book, student work, or even do a science experiment underneath the document camera! Document cameras can also capture and save images of what is underneath the camera, and some models can even capture audio and video recordings.
Of course, there is a world of possibilities for how teachers can utilize this technology in their classrooms, but I wanted to share a few of my favorites:
1.) When doing Reader's Theater, students can use the document camera to project "scenery" into the background, either their own drawing creations or an image from a book. Most recently, some of my students were performing a news show and they used the document camera to project a map from their Social Studies textbook to reference during their news report.
2.) Make it a privilege and reward to work underneath the document camera. While students are individually working on writing or projects, I often choose one student to complete their work underneath the document camera. The kids are SO motivated by the fact that their classmates can see their work projected on the big screen (They think it is pretty cool that you can see their hands moving on the big screen, too.) This reward has several benefits for me as a teacher, as well – (1) behavior improves because students want to earn the right to work under the document camera, (2) when I have a strong writer under the document camera, they serve as a model to the other students, and (3) if I have a student who has trouble focusing or is a struggling writer under the document camera, I am able to watch their progress from anywhere in the room.
3.) If you have a document camera that can capture video, record your lesson! This video clip can then be saved, shared with children at a later date, or even posted to your class website. This is a great way to show students who were absent what they missed, or to review with children who need some extra support.
CEP 810 SS11
For those of you that teach at schools with Mac computers I recommend experimenting a lot with the iLife Suite of programs. I have used garage band, iMovie and Comic life in all my classes.
In garage band its very easy for students to create their own songs. I had my students write songs about the rock cycle and record them. Then they could put them on their mp3 players and listen to their songs as a study aid.
iMovie can be used to create some really nice movies projects. You can implement pictures, video, music, lots of neat effects, and its very user friendly.
I use Comic Life to have students create short stories about different topics we discuss in science. I have found that this program doesn't allow quite the creative outlet as I've come to expect with the other iLife programs but its more than serviceable in many instances.
I'd love to hear what kinds of projects other teachers have created with their Macs.
That is amazing that your school has a Mac lab! The ILife suit is great and dirt cheap (relatively speaking anyways).
At a middle school where a friend of mine works, they create a class video every year and he does it entirely on iMovie and iDVD. The results are unbelievable and it is extremely easy to do. The software does almost all of the work.
There are a lot of great tips and resources shared here! One form of technology that I use in my classroom is Qwizdom’s Student Response System. This is not a free resource, it is something that my school purchased for every classroom. I use it to review material and assess, and the best part is that it scores the activity so I don’t have to grade any papers! When using Qwizdom’s Student Response System, each student is engaged and the screen will show which remotes have/have not responded to a question. There is also an Answer Key Mode for paper-based activities, so students key in their responses from any multiple choice test and it is scored for you. I like the fact that students can receive immediate feedback on their responses. One of the features that my class loves is the Interactive Games. You can quickly turn any activity into an interactive game, and I have found that this adds motivation and healthy competition in my classroom.
CEP 810 SS11
My name is Joe and I teach Physical Education. My tip is scvngr.com Scvnger helps you make a scavenger hunt that uses text messages on a cell phone. An admin sets up a scavenger hunt by writing questions and putting them into the online froms. You can make the hunt random or linear. You can add clues and assign different point values for each question. Players start the hunt by texting a specific number. Almost instantly players receive their first question. For example, a question could be, “Where does MSU play Basketball?” If the player responds with the correct answer (Breslin Center) they then get a new question like. “Good go their and complete this statement: Always a ______” I have not yet used this with my classes but I have used it with the MSU Triathlon team for a teambuilding workout. I could see this being used to help students learn about a new school or in a P.E. class racing, kind of like orienteering.
I came across this website imaginationcubed.com when I was reading the article "Creating Student Engagement in Mathematics : Integrating Technolog.... In the article, the teacher used this website along with Skype to help her college level math students outside of the classroom.
When playing around with the website, I found it to be very entertaining. It is a great resource to use if you are creating a video and want to demonstrate how to do something that has to be written out (such as a math problem), but can be used for any content. You can also invite up to 2 people to view/edit the page via email. I have not tried this feature yet, but saw that it was available. There are also other features besides the pen writing tool. You can also use text, symbols, and lines.
I have always struggled with keeping my anti-virus subscription up to date and I always have wondered if there are better options out there besides what is offered with my computer when I buy it. But, I recently learned about all the free security options that are out there, where to find them and which ones are the best! It was recommended through http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aLtwmUGAhSs (a short video on anti-virus software) several options for protecting my computer’s health.