Thursday, December 11, 2014

More Technology Ideas

       I have recently implemented technology in two additional ways. Within a science fiction literature unit, students practiced the skills of explaining and analyzing. After realizing several students had mastered these skills while other students were struggling, I decided I needed to make several resources available to students to offer additional help. One of the resources I offered was a link on my Edline page to a YouTube video I created and posted. In the video, I modeled how to explain and analyze using a quote from the text we were reading. The video served as a helpful resource for all students, whether they benefited from an additional example or whether they needed the additional modeling to enhance their own explaining and analyzing skills. Additionally, the video served as an excellent resource for students who had been absent and for students in classes taught by other teachers as another example of modeling.
     Additionally, in our ongoing study of root vocabulary terms, students have been required to create detailed flashcards that include a definition for each root, a picture/image representation, a list of 3 words containing each root, as well as a related explanation. After realizing that the flashcards had served their purposes and that most students needed additional practice with the terms, I used Quizlet to create flashcards for any students who still needed additional interactive review, as well as tests and review games for students who were ready to extend their knowledge. While I hope to continue learning about additional features of Quizlet, the program has provided students with a more engaging way to review root terms rather than traditional review methods. The classroom Chromebooks continue to serve as useful devices for accessing technology such as Edline, YouTube, and Quizlet, as well as shared documents through Google for writing purposes.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Incorporating Technology

         When I first began this endeavor, I struggled to "find time" to incorporate technology. However, I've come to realize a few things. First, students are always more "qualified" to use the technology than I anticipate. Secondly, the first time a program or site is used it might take more time, but this process eventually becomes much more efficient and often more effective than using typical pen and paper methods.

     Padlet is one form of technology I have used recently with success. Padlet allows each student to provide an idea to a group "discussion" on the screen. Students have used this multiple times, including before reading The Giver when each student described their idea of a "perfect" world. Additionally, during reading A Midsummer Night's Dream, I provided a selection from the text and each group provided their translation of the selection into modern English (as well as an explanation of the quote's humor) using Padlet.

      Google Docs is another form of technology I have implemented successfully. While practicing using the TIQA format, a form of analysis writing, students worked in groups to compose literary analysis paragraphs. One student from each group was invited to a Google Doc so that the students could simultaneously type and compare/contrast their work with the writing of other groups. This allowed us to work in "real time" and allowed me to provide comments electronically while they worked.

     I'm looking forwarding to finding other ways to use this technology and exploring other possible applications as the school year continues!

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

High Tech Teacher: Why?

Technology has become nearly as essential to our lives as eating and sleeping. It should be used in the classroom, but in the right way. Students seem busier than ever, and when they have free time, I see them completely absorbed in technology, but often not the kind of technology that enriches their learning. For this reason, I would like to infuse technology into my classroom instruction so that using technology devices to share and complete learning is as normal as using pencil and paper.

My ideal classroom, and the classroom I will strive to create, is one where technology is used to stimulate thoughtful conversations each day. I want the technology to create an environment where everyone may share their thoughts simultaneously about a topic, and I can quickly and easily assess student understanding. I also plan to use the technology to provide individualized learning to extend the knowledge of some students and provide additional reteaching for others. Having technology devices readily available will allow me to change individual student activities as needed each day to meet each student’s learning needs. The technology will also be used to provide easier access to recent articles, websites for research, and publishing tools. Additionally, the technology will enhance group work and create the opportunity to develop meaningful station activities that meet eighth grade standards.

As a High Tech Teacher, I plan to bring new ideas to fruition in the classroom and share my processes, successes, advice, and activity ideas with other teachers. While I hope that students still increase their knowledge through the pages of books, I realize that the tools technology devices provide can and will extend this knowledge even further and I intend to use these devices to do just that in my classroom.