I am currently learing about using technology in the classroom. Does anyone have experiences to share about what actually works and what does not? I am learning about so many different things to incorporate into a classroom so I not sure how to pin point what can really be helpful to the students. thanks!

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Amy,

I think the answer to this questions really depends a lot on your students and you. Technology that "works" is something that enhances students abilities and understandings. It's authentic and gives them a tool for more learning or that they can apply later in life.

Can you give some specifics on where you'd like to see technology in your classroom? Is there an area that you think needs work and perhaps technology can fit the bill? Is there a technology that you want to use but are unsure of where it will best fit? What grade and age level are you working with? What are your goals for your students?
Dear Amy,

The problem with technology is that its so darn technical, definition wise that is.
Lets break it down so that you can refine your question.

There is hardware, stuff! Computers, projectors, document cameras, interactive whiteboards, audio systems and student response systems, That covers most of the bases in the "hard goods" department.

Now, we have the cool stuff: "software" a generality to be sure....There's software that runs all the previously listed hard goods. But the real fun and interesting software is on the "internet". WEB 2.0 , I'm still not sure how to define it!
There are "Wikis" and Blogs and groups and skype and hundreds of applications to use in class....and hundreds of other teachers hosting their own sites.....This site has its strong points! There are educators here that really know their stuff, WEB 2.0 stuff that is.....All you need to do is figure out what you want to do, and ask! Its like a genie in a bottle! With multiple wishes!
JJC
1) You can use technology as a teaching tool. For example if you used a document camera, projector and laptop EFFECTIVELY with a lesson plan, then you could say that it "works".

2) Students could learn FROM technology. For example if you had a computer or handheld learning device using computer based instruction or integrated learning system. Research has shown that these types of things can be effective "they work", especially with certain groups of learners.

3) Students can learn WITH technology. That is you have designed a lesson plan that incorporates students learning with technology, perhaps doing research to locate resources or information on the internet.


The teacher designs an effective lesson plan, perhaps a project that incorporates technology to facilitate learning. You create criteria and rubrics for the project. You might create a lesson plan where the students research information about pioneers in astronomy. The students then create a multimedia slideshow or video presentation using facts, images, sounds, narration etc. to showcase their findings. Students will be using technology as tools in a project based setting to access online materials that may be harder to locate in the library or at the book store or from video resources. Students then create blogs / websites / wikis where discuss their findings and post the video for their peers to review. When students know that others will be reviewing their work, they often work harder to do quality work than if they think no one will see it.
In that type of setting, you might find that technology "works".
I'm an Instructional Technology Integrationist - my job is to help teachers and students use technology in the classroom. There are so many resources out there, I understand it can be overwhelming!

One good place to start is discussion forums!! Students need to know how to contribute to a discussion forum before they enter college. We use SharePoint, but Wikispaces for Educators is free and easy to use. It has a discussion feature.

Also, anything where students are creating a digital product - they need basic computer skills and the ability to express themselves creatively.

Don't get hung up on all of the digital tools and resources out there - think of the lesson and find the right tool to fit that lesson. Don't design a lesson around a digital tool or resource.
well there are different types of technology and apps for each. it also depends what you are teaching and what technology well benefit. There is different websites such stratch, wikis, and digital storytelling. There is also different types of gadgets you can used such as the iclicker so giving quizzes, theres computers(well each student have one) are you going to be the only one with a technical device? because that also changes everything, for example you can teach by powerpoint or moodle. there is so many things you can do and use.
Yes, technology at times can be quite intimidating especially given the fact that it changes almost everyday and with that it brings in different complexities. Given that we are an online math supplemental company which in effect is a technology company serving the education market - we overtime have seen a greater acceptance to the kind of tools and resources available today. Recently we launched a FREE math practice program exclusively for classroom teachers and the response has been extremely favorable with teachers thousands of teachers not only signing up but using the program with great ease in their classrooms. We believe we could only do this because we took feedback from teachers on what works and what doesn't :)
Morgan- Your link for free tools works if you just take off the - at the end :)

Hi Amy,

My High School in Singapore is starting a pilot project to start iPad classes. So far, the teachers assigned to these classes (including myself) have been running trials to move into a more student-centred approach to learning. So far, the results and sentiments from the teachers have been promising. Still keeping our fingers crossed.... :-)

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