Let's Get With The Program

Let's face it. In today's society all you hear about is using technology in the classroom. We go from podcasts to PowerPoint and from wikis to whatever comes to mind. It's enough to make your head spin! Many teachers don't know where to start or how to begin once they get an idea. It used to be that using a computer's software was all you had to do in your classroom to be considered an expert in technology. Knowing how to teach your students to use word processing, spreadsheets and presentation software made you look and feel like a Technical God. That cloud has blown away my friends and another storm has started raining on your parade, so to speak. Now there is more to the computer than using the software. In fact, today, most computer teachers rely on the Internet and teach more information technology in the classroom. There is more collaboration among teachers to incorporate the curriculum and standards in the computer lab. This blog has been created to help any classroom teacher with technology integration no matter what subject is taught.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Educreations: A Must Have!

If I had to recommend one thing for my coworkers and myself to use this year, it would be Educreations. This is a free website and a free App for the iPad.  Ok, by show of hands...how many of you use PowerPoint or Keynote?  Ok, how many of you use a drawing program like Tux Paint?  Great!  You can put your hands down now.  Imagine having a free program that combines a presentation software with a paint program..... I know pretty amazing, eh?  This also has a recording option so you can have your students record each page.  You are able to set up a lesson and students get a sign in code to your lesson.  There is no need to set up an email account.  Let's face it, Kindergarten should not have emails anyway.  Think of all the possibilities for any grade.  Students can create pictures and record stories.  You can have ELL students practice speaking English or students who are learning another language practice that language.  You will then have audio documentation!  You can have middle school and high school students explain math concepts.  Instead of getting up and going to the board, they can create a video with their explanation.  You can have students create a library of "how to's" for absent students.  If you are a GAFE (Google Apps for Education) school, students can log in with their account.  Check it out and get creating!

New Outlook

I've come to the realization that in order for me to get my students to understand the importance of blogging, I shouldn't be hypocritical about it.  It's important for my students to understand that what they post online is part of their "permanent record," so they should take pride in what they post, type intelligently and not "text type".  How can I push my students to do this when I do not blog anymore?  I have decided to take a blog that I don't use and put it to better use.  I named it Classroom Tech Tips for a reason, so I think I need to live up to the point of creation.  I am not the end all, be all of technology integration, but I know many people who do many great things in their classrooms.  I will, of course share some ideas that I have come across through self discovery, conferences I have attended and some ideas that friends have used.  I hope to grow this blog into a useful resource that many can use.  After teaching inner city youth in Philadelphia for over 20 years, I am always changing the way I teach technology.  I am hoping to give classroom teachers ways to motivate and engage their students on learning the curriculum.  So hop on my bandwagon and hold on.... your head will spin with ideas before we are done our journey.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

What is considered technology, you ask?

Technology is a set of tool used to enhance teaching and learning.
Technology is a great way to provide differentiated instruction.
Technology is anything electronic:
• Scanners
• Computers
• Still cameras
• Video camera
• iPods
• Microphones
• Speakers
• Hand Held Devices (Graphing Calculators, PDA’s , Science Probes, etc.)
• Interactive White Boards
• DVD (interactive)
• Overhead Projectors

Different Ways of Using Technology

I. Podcasting
You can use Audacity, Jam Studio or Garageband for recording the final product.  You can look at many of the Pocasting Resources out on the web.  Podcasting is a process that starts with the writing process.  The publishing part is an audio recording.  You can enhance the Podcast with pictures and videos also.
  Lesson Ideas:

1). Creation of audio books
2). Research of people
3). “Our City” Podcast (Radio Willow Web)
4). Newscasts or Interviews
5). Public Service Announcements
6). Oral Report without the fear

II. Interactive Powerpoints
This is a great way to create review games from core subjects or present research material in a different way.  There are Jeopardy, Who Wants to be a Millionaire and even Hollywood Squares templates.
 Lesson Ideas:

1). Research a Country
2). Flash cards
3). Science and Math Terminology
4). Math problem review

III. Spreadsheets
This is great way to organize and view data.  Students can do graphing and budgeting. Students can also work with easy to use formulas.

 Lesson Ideas:
1). Home Budget
2). Lemonade Stand (business)
3). Shopping Spree to practice percentages

IV. Photo booth,  Snap, Cameroid or Seenly
This is a program where students can take pictures of themselves.  They can use different effects to manipulate the shot.  These pictures can be used to enhance any project.
 Lesson Ideas:
1). Autobiography or My Life
2). Biographies

V. Comic life or Comiqs
This is a comic strip program.  Students can create storyboards for any project.  Students can import a picture into the program or take pictures within the program.
 Lesson Ideas:

1). Public Service Announcements
2). Senses
3). Research of famous people or historical facts
4). Science vocabulary

VI. Movie Making
With iMovie, Movie Maker or Animoto, students can be the director of their own movies.  They can create their own photo montage with audio tracks or mini movies with a purpose.
 Lesson Ideas:
1). Public Service Announcements
2). Culmination of Service Learning Projects
3). Video Yearbooks
4). Full Autobiographies
5). Neighborhood and culture projects

VII. Database
This is a program used to catalog things. Students can catalog and manage large amounts of information or create their own sets of information.
 Lesson Ideas:

1). Categorizing
2). Wetlands
3). Types of rocks
4). Fine art

VIII. Inspiration/Kidspiration
This is a webbing program.  Students can do outlining to story mapping.  The ideas are endless.
 Lesson Ideas:

1). Story mapping
2). Sequential events
3). Timelines
4). “All about me” web
5). Note Taking
6). Cycles (rock, water, butterflies)

IX. Discovery Streaming
Discovery Education has put together a bank of streaming videos and pictures to use in the classroom.  Put that together with a writing prompt builder, quiz builder and assignment builder and the classroom comes alive.
 Lesson Ideas:
1). “This Day in History”
2). Famous Speeches
3). Watch streaming video and answer writing prompt

X. Google Earth
This is a program that uses satellite imagery.  Students can zoom in on anything with an address.  Students can travel anywhere in the world without leaving the classroom.
 Lesson Ideas:

1). Virtual field trips
2). Re-enactment of historical events
3). Family geneology
4). Immigration
5). Neighborhood and regional development

XI. Word
This program isn’t just for word processing anymore.  Students can use the program to insert tables and graph, or to even draw.
 Lesson Ideas:
1). Use the auto shapes and create pictures to re-enforce geometry
2). Insert a table and create bingo cards
3). Insert a table and create a chart to re-enforce latitude and longitude

XII. Wikis and Blogs
These are great tools to share lessons and works.  It’s a great place for collaboration whether it be student-student, teacher-student, teacher-parent, student-parent or school-community.
Lesson Ideas: 
1). Set up a class wiki to post student work and student ideas
2). Use a wiki as a digital portfolio.  Instead of collecting their work, they can post it.
3). Use a blog to have students journal about their reading, do corrective response or even solve a math problem.