connecting educators & enhancing learning
When I was in the classroom I had a ceiling projector and document camera, and I truly enjoyed all the powerpoints, movie clips and other things I could do via my computer or document camera. Those projectors are great! I took them for granted because now I have nothing and boy do I miss them! I also teach math and have been looking into a smartboard. I would love to get the website for your blog if you do not mind. I was looking to start a website for my students next year, but not to sure how to set it up.
Taking technology courses through MSU has opened up my eyes to so many wonderful new resources, programs and ways to spruce up my teaching! Sometimes I feel that I am stuck between the old and the new, as in the video in the beginning of our lesson. There are so many GLCES that I am required to teach and assess at the primary level, I often feel that it is more quantity over quality. It would be so nice to really allow my students to focus on incorporting technology into lessons, such as having them video tape each other presenting a skill, or podcasting. It would be very easy to allow my students to video tape themselves using a digital camera, and play it back to the class. Having students teach one another is a very powerful thing!
As of yet, I have used SmartBoards in my classrooms, laptops, PowerPoint, Google Earth and YouTube. SmartBoards are a great way to lecture to my students and teach them skills, but I also use them to get my students involved and to practice ELA, science, SS and math skills. When I used PowerPoint and YouTube, it was more in a lecture type of way. I would love to really incorporate new innovative ways to help me teach, but to incorporate technology in a way that really gets my students excited and comfortable with it. It's one step at a time with my darling primary kiddos :)
I am excited to be learning new strategies to intergrate technology into the classroom and into my everyday life. I enjoy art and photography. I can't wait to tryout making videos and slideshows. I want to create a jing video and glogster poster just to start. There are so many great tech tools available and so many ways to utilize them. One thing I struggle with is becoming overwhelmed with all the options and thinking I have to use everything all the time. I have to remind myself that I don't have to think this way. It is not necessary to have to do everything. I need to start small using one tool at a time, progress is the important part. I read this in an article I have linked to below. I know I don't have to be perfect or learn every tool, but it helps to read it and be reminded when things get complicated. My tip is to learn one tool at a time, progress not perfection.
One thing that I learned and was confirmed about face to face instructional strategies is the number of options for classrooms. One thing I noticed was the number of options that were not designed specifically for educational use but repurposed for instruction.
In my former classroom, I used SMART technologies such as the SMARTboard and Senteos in the classroom. Both served as motivators for students and brought about participation and engagement in lessons. The more I used the SMARTboard, the more I had opportunity to investigate all of the resources created by other educators to use with the software and board itself. I would recommend checking the created communities to both peruse resources and contribute created activities with others.
One instructional strategy I'm interested in implementing in my classroom is voicethread. I have seen the technology used but have never experimented with it for my own students. Another strategy I'd like to use more often with students are youtube/teachertube/commoncraft videos to assist in explanations. I often have students who ask for help. Previewing and bookmarking videos would provide opportunity to direct students to an alternative explanation and resource which could be viewed in or out of school.
I love this idea! I have made paper-based "Cheat Sheets" to give step-by-step instructions for different technologies and programs, but a video would be so much more accessible to my students! I am definitely going to have to try this one out in the future.
This is an example of what I have used...
As a 4th grade reading teacher, I am always looking for ways to have my students improve and continue practicing their reading fluency and expression.
For face to face reading instruction, I love using simple microphone headsets attached to our classroom desktop computers. Several times a year, my students record their voices for fluency checks. Adding this voice recording component to the typical fluency check is a simple but effective way to get the kids excited about their fluency - They really get a kick out of hearing their voices played back to them. The best part about it is that instead of it just being me who is doing the evaluating of their reading skills, the kids listen to their recording, evaluate it using a fluency rubric, and compare it to their previous reading. I can easily move these digital files into each child's electronic portfolio, so at the end of the year I can give parents a CD that shows their child's reading progress throughout the year.
Recently have built on these short fluency recordings by having my students make other recordings as well. My students also love recording themselves reading books. We burn these files to a CD and give them to younger grades, which makes the reading activity more authentic.
In the future, I would like to learn more about using programs to edit voice recordings so I can really engage my students in other types of podcasting projects... I'd love to hear ideas and tips about podcasting from those of you who already use this in your classroom!