I am in the process of becoming an educator and I have been learning a lot about technology in the classroom. I am currently observing in Rochester NY where there is not a lot of technology being used within the classroom itself. Does anyone use technology in their classrooms and if so what types of technology and how beneficial is it to the students?

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HI

I teach Media Art and Communications Technologies. We work on Mac computers and do digital imaging with photography and video...page layout and design etc.

Each student has a blog where their work is uploaded to and it becomes their electronic portfolio.

I know I am in a great environment so not sure this is what you are looking for or not.

Good luck
I would like to know how to begin setting up blogs for myself or other teachers in my school and then including our students in this technology. I don't know where to start. Would you please give me some advice?
I've been using Edublogs.com for myself and my class blog. I created blogs for all of my students also. It's been about 4 weeks into the experiment, teaching the students how to use its dashboard and such, but I feel now my students are on auto pilot.

I use it to create a running portfolio as I have the students constantly writing. As they practice their craft, their writing mechanics will improve, and it will all be documented.

Check us out here :

http://tparent831.edublogs.org/
Shannon, I use technology on a daily basis in my fifth grade classroom. I have an Apple machine, Windows machine that doubles as a Linux client, and 14 desktops running Edubuntu Linux through a terminal server. All computers with the exception of the Apple computer are older computers that have been donated and have been brought up to speed using Linux technology.

My students write daily in our lab. We conduct research. write news letters, create presentations, and access textbook materials. I use technology to help me teach more effectively. I use it as a learning tool and writing station during math time. I break my students into two groups based on ability level. I modify my lesson to meet the specific needs of each group. It is the same lesson, but it is presented in a different way to accommodate struggling learners and advanced learners. While I teach my lesson, all computers are within my view. I also have trained student tech. experts to help with any issues that may arise while students are completing tasks. Therefore, I am rarely interrupted during teaching. During independent practice, I quickly monitor the progress of my students on the computers.

Last year I had two Spanish speaking students. When I had my students read their social studies text, I would have my Spanish students read the same text in Spanish online. My students needing special help would also read the same text online; however, they could listen to it being read to them as well. It is amazing how long students will stay on task when completing assignments using technology. They are focused and enjoy what they are doing. My computers are a valuable teaching and learning tool.
Sorry, but this message is for Joel...can you describe your Linux terminal server setup? What are the specs on the server itself? Do you feel the clients are quick and responsive? Any glitches? Thanks!

PS. Feel free to add me as a friend if you'd like to respond directly.
Christian, I will respond to your question in greater depth directly. However, anyone who is interested in taking a look at my totally green Linux terminal server setup can go to our website: http://hawaiianfifthgrade.weebly.com/linux_lab.html If you have any questions feel free to ask.
Great lab set up, Man. I'm just know discovering Linux. In the process of converting my home PC from Windows XP to Ubuntu. If successful, I hope to implement the new OS into my classroom. Question, was it difficult to get the donated computers?
Ricardo, It was not difficult to get my computers. You just have to know what you are looking for. For example, I sent out an email district wide asking for vintage PC's with at least a PIII processor. I received a few offers, of which 5 computers did not suit my purposes and 3 did. I kept my eyes open and within our district email the adult school wanted to get rid of a few tube monitors. Now, I was thinking that if they had old monitors there should be old computers that go with them. Right? So I replied asking if they had computers that went along with those monitor. They had thirty computers that they were going to recycle. I took all of them and used them in my classroom my partner's classroom and another teacher's classroom, all running some form of Ubuntu. The funny thing is that they were running Windows XP and were very slow online. They run great with Ubuntu with minimal setup, out of the box! The ones that I use as thin clients are even faster since I have a pretty hefty server. A few of my thin clients still have XP on their hard drive and I keep them because some publishers have software that will only work on Windows. I can do this because Linux LTSP bypasses the hard drive. I like Windows XP, but it is just not cost effective for what I need it to do. It's hard to beat Open Source resources. My students flip flop between Apple OS and Ubuntu every week with no problem. They are becoming technically well rounded being exposed to Apple and Linux, which is a prominent player in the business world running Google, OnStar, Sprint, Novell, Facebook, Hewlett Packard, and IBM. In fact, Linux commands can be used on Apple machines.
Wow, I have already received so much useful information. I guess I should of been more specific, I am in the Elementary grade levels or special education. I know some of my classes have used websites such as google earth for virtual fieldtrips which really motivate and engage the students. Are there any other tools like Google Earth which you think could be fun but also instructional?
I set my classroom up back in 2003 with a setup that I still use today. I have one computer with a network box that allows three student computers to view only the specific items I place into the shared file folder of my computer. I use ExamView to make tests and the students must login with their password to take each test. Once completed the test is automatically corrected and the score is entered into my virtual gradebook. For lesson delivery I use EPEE Software for Teachers. I just drag and drop a copy of the tests, presentations, worksheets, videos anything you want into EPEE and it holds it in the order I teach. Each year you just start at the top and work your way down. Anything you find online and or in any file format can be dropped into an EPEE cell. You end up with lesson modules that make it very easy to keep on track. Click the cell and you can print or project to your screen anything in an instant. There is no easier or better way to develop, organize and present your curriculum. Any room can be a classroom with a laptop, projector, printer and EPEE! Google EPEE Software for Teachers and try the free trial.
This sounds like it would be great to use in the classroom. I think it is great that you can have students only view certain items because we all know that there are a lot of not so educational things children can find on the computer. By having tests and quizzes online this cuts back on paper use as well, GO GREEN! Do you have to put the answers into the computer for the tests and do you have multiple ways of answering a question, or does the computer create these? EPEE allows you to store all your work so that the following year you can just pull it up and use it again and make minor changes if needed? This sounds like a fantastic technology tool, I am so glad you introduced me to it!
I'm working on it. I recently received a grant that got me a Tablet PC and a Mimeoboard. The Mimeoboard hasn't been installed yet, but I use my tablet for everything, from projecting lessons up on a screen to taking running records and anecdotal records.

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