Technology in the Classroom
Ms. Kathryn Gamble
In my classroom, technology and learning go hand in hand. There are many tools out there that can help supplement or compliment instruction in the classroom but this year our main focus is going to be on the three tools found below. In our seventh grade english classroom it is important to get students working with a variety of technological tools because they will help the children grow as students in the technological age. By getting students working with these tools now they will be ready for high school and their post secondary adventures well prepared to use technology to their benefit. Not to mention, educational technology is a much more fun alternative to pencils and paper!
- VoiceThread is website that allows users to upload, share, and discuss more than fifty different types of media including documents, presentations, images, audio files and videos. VoiceThread media can be commented on using a microphone, webcam, text, phone, or an audio-file upload and can be shared as publicly or as privately as you want! Because of the variety of expression tools on this website, students can interact with each other using their voice, videos, or text to collaborate and discuss over a variety of materials. It's a great tool for my large classroom in order to put all comments and ideas into one centralized and easy to find place.
- Google docs is a free application in which documents and spreadsheets can be created, edited, and stored online. By using these applications students have access to Google Documents, Google Excel Spreadsheets, and Google PowerPoint presentations and need no more than an internet connection and a free Google Drive account to access them. Since these apps can be edited by more than one person at a time, it's a great tool for collaborative work. For example, everybody could access the same PowerPoint presentation and edit their individual slide while still seeing the work of their group-mates. Google Docs can also be shared in a "view only" setting for professors or peers who need to keep track of the information on the Google Docs but have no content to add to it. All group projects in seventh grade must be collaborated on using a Google Documents page for a centralized compilation of information.
- Prezi is a presentation tool that can be used as an alternative to traditional slide making programs such as PowerPoint. Using Prezi, a student can create a dynamic presentation involving text rotation, zooming features, and music. Prezi can also support image, video, and PowerPoint within the presentation. Prezi also has an app available for Apple products so you can always have an updated version of your presentation wherever you go since Prezi presentations are always accessible on the Prezi cloud. All presentations in my classroom will be encouraged to be intertwined with Prezi for a visual and aural experience.
As you can see, seventh grade combats its standards with a large variety of fun and interactive educational technology. Using these technologies students can learn while being creative in the process. The collaborative nature of these tools allows students to grow team working skills and an appreciation for everyone's unique ideas.