My district has encouraged teachers to apply for a district-funded $500 grant. Any suggestions for a technology piece or program that I might ask for to benefit the language arts curriculum? I have the following technology available in my classroom at this time:
multimedia projector with laptop for projection
Document camera - which I have loaned out because I'm spacially challenged :)
teacher desktop and printer
The technology would need to be something to further benefit and promote education. I've thought about writing the grant for ebooks, but the librarian beat me to that.
Any suggestions would be great!
You may want to try for some Kindles. I'm a reading teacher who works with small groups of students and I purchased 9 of these last year. We use them primarily to preview new books to order through the library, Scholatic Books, or individually. They're generally well received. I ended up by another 9 for members of my Language Arts Department because they wanted to be able to cart home piles of books to review and read without physically taking them home. Some of the benefits to purchasing on a Kindle are ease and cost per copy. When you buy a 9.99 ebook you're allowed to drop up to 5 copies of it onto other Kindles. So, when the LA Dept. wants to review a book, we need only buy two copies of it for all 9 of us to review. Kindle batteries last a very long time too. Most recharging only needs to happen once a month. They've held up well and been reliable so far.
If you're interested, I've more information on how I've used them on a posted blog.
Enjoyed your blog! So, the real math worked out to less that two bucks a book, which makes the most (sorry) cents to anyone running a classroom and promoting reading. :)
I couldn't comment on it from school because we are blocked from that here, but kudos to you on using Kindles. I may coordinate with my librarian on this.
No problems on the reply. I understand about work. We're fairly lucky because most sites closed to other schools are left open for us. I think speaking with the librarian is a good idea. There are drawbacks to Kindles. I don't see them getting signed out because they of course could get damaged or lost. So, this means reading a book from them has to happen in school and then the difficulty becomes getting back to your page when someone else has read from the same Kindle.
I don't experience this issue in my room because I assign only a few students to a Kindle across all my groups and have them record on paper the "page" they left off with or the location number is no page is available.
Another route to try could be eBooks from Follet. They'll allow kids to read a book from a computer, laptop, or their iTouch. We don't allow iTouch's on the school wi-fi but the Follet books can be checked out on all of the aforementioned platforms from home too. I know my sons like reading from the tiny iTouch screen. The different here is I do not believe you can get multiple copies for one price. I could be wrong. It's worth having your librarian see about that.
Oh and one last idea. You might get some very well received response in purchasing classroom clickers.Our school uses these in many content classes. Essentially each student is given a response pad with numbers and letters on it which they can use to select what they believe is the correct response to a question displayed on a Smartboard or LCD. (The teacher makes the multiple questions up beforehand.) This allows a teacher to see instantly how many students understand a math problem or know an answer and if it's a high percentage, then not waste time on it. If it's a low percentage, then s/he knows there's more work to do. The kids like it because it's somewhat participatory. Here's a link to ONE of many places selling these things. I do not know which brand we use. I do not use them in my reading room.