Since the beginning of the school year is near, I have been searching for innovative ways to work with my students using technology as a way of conveying information. I have been researching tools like Moodle, Blogging, Whiteboard, Podcasting, etc. I am at a loss at this point. There are so many interesting ways to include technology in instruction. Let's face it - technology is vital in our classrooms if we truly want to prepare our students for life after graduation and there is so much of it out there, if we don't start with them when they are young, they will not have the skills they need to get by later! So - what to do? What do you guys think? How hard are all of these things to set up and to maintain? Can this be done while still having time to teach and have a family life?

Views: 33

Comment by Anne Mirtschin on August 5, 2007 at 4:12am
Exactly how I feel. I have started podcasting using audacity and moviemaker with grade 6 and year 10. Used bubbl.us for mind mapping and de.licio.us for social bookmarking. Have set up a wiki for students to identify what they know, what they need to know etc and about to commence a blog but I find it is all so enjoyable and the kids love it. But, I do spend a lot of time on the computer trying to get my head around it all. Maybe and hopefully, it is only necessary in the early stages when my learning curve is so steep.
Comment by Stacy Strickland on August 5, 2007 at 2:35pm
How long do you feel that it took you to become familiar enough with everything to feel that it wasn't a chore? I love technology, but there is so much still that I don't understand. This website and these forums have really helped, though . . .
Comment by Nancy Bosch on August 5, 2007 at 6:18pm
I use webpages, blogs, and wikis with my students. I blog, design webpages, use RSS, social networking and social bookmarking. I recommend that you start small, most teachers think the whole class has to do something to be "fair". What is "fair" for one, is not fair for another. (With that rhetoric, are you surprised that I teach gifted kids--haha!)

Decide on what you want your learning outcome (s) to be--see if there is any technology that adds to that outcome. Start with the end and the rest will fill itself in. Blogs and wikis are easy-peasy. Start there.
Comment by Patrick L on August 5, 2007 at 8:02pm
A good discussion!

Nancy makes very good points. Ask yourself, "What are my instructional goals based on the needs of the students (and even consider school plan or needs).?" Then, "Which technologies can I use that are easy to implement and sustainable? (Fancy is not always best.)?" Then, "Which software or online tool does the job?"

And finally, don't get distracted by what everyone else is doing. There's just too many options and gizmos. As long as what you are doing meets your instructional goals, you're OK....

For me at my school- Audacity for podcasts, Photostory for digital storytelling, and our county requires Blackboard (including for blogs and wikis) for everything else, so that decision was an easy one.
Comment by Stacy Strickland on August 6, 2007 at 5:39am
Thanks a lot you guys...that really helps. I think blogging will be a great start. Now to decide how to get started - I am looking at Moodle right now. Has anyone ever used it before? It looked pretty difficult to set up.

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