M-CESC Teaching & Learning

December Focus: Technology Integration Across Contents

Technology and Teaching

It is a common misconception that having a classroom full of students typing their assignments on a computer is technology integration. It is also a common misconception that to integrate technology means students need to use their technology every day. While there are a few different models teachers can use to assess their integration of technology, we've chosen to highlight the SAMR model and the standards developed by ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education).


For anyone interested in digging deeper into the ISTE Standards, the ESC offers three on-demand online courses that are based on three of the seven ISTE Standards. Click the link below to register.

Technology & Math

In an effort to centralize the vast number of math resources, a Live Binder has been created for you. Please take some time to look through your grade level, and then offer any feedback on changes or additions that you think would be beneficial to include.


With many districts going 1-to-1 with technology, I still struggle with how to make math go fully online. Have you watched a student attempt to solve math problems on a “scratch pad” on the screen using either a mouse or the touchpad? It takes far more time and effort than it would to simply pick up the pencil and write!


There are ways to utilize technology in the math classroom while still utilizing paper and pencil.


Rocketbook: These are reusable notebooks that work with an app (both iOS and Android) to allow users to upload pages to your email or a number of online sites: Google Drive, Dropbox, Evernote, and several others. Besides notebooks, they provide free PDF pages that can be printed for students.


Think about the possibilities: Notes that can be uploaded and accessed from home, sharing of math problems with peers, homework, test review… They now have a site specialized for educators to share ideas and receive discounts on bulk orders.


This would have similar uses in any subject.


Flipgrid: Allowing students to process their learning through discourse is valuable in ensuring that information moves from short-term to working memory. This FREE online tool will allow students to work independently or in small groups to create videos where they share their learning with you, the class, or the world (teacher choice)! With fun editing features, students are excited to record their learning and stay engaged with classroom topics.


This program can be used to encourage discourse in any subject area, as well as cementing learning.


TedEd: Sign up for this free account from the organization that brings us TED talks (a convergence of technology, entertainment and design), this community has a wealth of resources. You can create lessons from any number of videos they have available, but my favorite are the animated riddles. These fun videos can fit a number of grade levels and support problem-solving and growth mindset activities, while encouraging math discourse in your classroom.


Besides math riddles, this site includes entertaining, informational animated videos that cover a large realm of topics applicable to students.

Technology & Science

While nothing beats an actual hands-on lab, there are many great virtual lab activities available. Virtual labs can often offer your students experiences they might otherwise not be able to have in your classroom. This article from We Are Teachers highlights 10 Virtual Lab websites that allow your students to conduct an entire lab virtually.


Molecular Workbench offers hundreds of virtual science labs for physics, biology, chemistry, and more. All you have to do is download the free and open-source software and start using it. The software includes embedded assessments so that you can monitor student progress and understanding.


Learn.Genetics offers tons of multimedia activities and science labs centered on biology, genetics, and human health.


Glencoe Virtual Labs are designed to go with Glencoe’s line of textbooks, but even if you don’t have the books, you can use the interactive activities at no cost. The program includes virtual labs for life science, earth science, and physical science. The labs can be hard to find, but the site linked above collects them all in one place and offers teacher reviews of the individual activities.


PhET Interactive Simulations offers virtual science labs in physics, biology, chemistry, and earth science for elementary through high school.


Chem Collective offers virtual labs and also features visualizations, simulations, concept tests, tutorials, and online courses.


McGraw-Hill Biology Virtual Labs is a great source for free virtual dissections, including an earthworm dissection and a frog dissection. There are also virtual labs for tracking grizzlies, gene splicing, and more.


NOVA Labs is a free resource from PBS that offers six high-quality virtual science labs on topics such as evolution, cybersecurity, RNA, and energy. Students solve problems and go on missions in order to solve questions and complete the lab activities.


Annenberg Learner Interactives Students in elementary through high school can do virtual labs on topics like amusement park physics, the chemistry of running, and more.


OTHER SITES TO EXPLORE


Crash Course offers videos for Literature, Science and Social Studies. The engaging videos are short in length and can be assigned to students through Google Classroom.


PBS Learning Media has standards-aligned videos, interactives, lesson plans, and more.


TeachEngineering is a digital library comprised of standards-based engineering curricula for K-12 educators.

Technology & ELA

As a high school English teacher, when my district went 1-to-1, I initially found myself scrambling to figure out how to use technology every day. If you haven't been there, trust me, it is a lesson in futility. While the technology might have a luster to it initially, students definitely grow tired of it, as did I. However, I also began to realize that the internet was my worst enemy because students could easily complete their homework by googling the answers. After doing some research of my own, I quickly latched onto two things:

1. If my students can google the correct answers, then is what I'm asking them to do requiring them to be critical thinkers? Is it truly rigorous?

2. My planning and content should drive my use of technology, as opposed to the technology driving my teaching.


Here are a few resources I've used in the classroom as well as some highly recommended apps.


Google Slides - For more than just presentations, if you click on the Google Slides link you will find four different digital interactive notebooks all using Google Slides.


Edpuzzle - Edpuzzle allows you to take any video you might normally show your students to demonstrate a concept and you can add questions throughout the video and basically turn the video into a mini-lesson itself. This also allows you to track their comprehension of the material.


Evernote:

There are freed versions, but the basic is still useful for students. Useful for multiple contents, not just ELA. Can be useful for notes, for students working on research projects.


NoRedInk:

While no way is this site a replacement for grammar instruction, it is definitely a grammar teacher's friend. Plenty of free capabilities, this is useful for station teaching, bell work, or even interventions for struggling students. The downside can sometimes happen where the student doesn't have the reading skills necessary for the tasks.



Simple Mind Mapping Writing (iOS)

Students use the Simple Mind Mapping tool to brainstorm, collect ideas, and structure thoughts as part of the writing process. It includes customizable colors and fonts.



Storehouse Writing (iOS)

Storehouse allows students to tell stories with pictures and video clips on the iPad by combining images, texts, and clips on a blank canvas. Images and video can be imported from the iPad’s camera roll, Instagram, Dropbox, and Flickr. Stories can be shared through email, Facebook, and Twitter. Stories published through Storehouse have their own URLs for online viewing.


STUDYBLUE Tool (iOS, Android)

Students can create digital flashcards and upload study materials to review on the computer or smartphone. It can filter out the flashcards once they are memorized and import notes from Evernote also.

Additional Apps for Other Content Areas

Draw 3D! Art (iOS)

Children draw 3D images that can be viewed without special glasses. First draw a picture and then click a button to make it 3D with the use of austereograms, teaching depth perception. Pictures can be sent to friends via Facebook, Twitter, and email.


GeoMaster Plus Social Studies (iOS)

GeoMasterPlus for the iPad allows students to practice identifying capitals, countries, and landmarks around the world after studying a simple interactive atlas. National geographic features such as mountain ranges and flags of each country are also included. Levels are progressively difficult.


My Congress Social Studies (iOS)

My Congress is a portal to detailed information about elected U.S. Congressional officials. Students can track news, video, and Twitter feeds, and contact official directly.


Geography Drive USA Social Studies (iOS)

Students are challenged to drive virtual cars to each of the 50 United States by answering questions. They earn money for each correct answer to buy fuel and customize cars. Trophies are awarded for various accomplishments. There are over 750 state, national, and political geography questions included in the app.


History Clock Social Studies (iOS)

Each time of day is linked to historical trivia. Key figures and places are linked to corresponding Wikipedia pages. Modern events can be accessed when app is switched to 24-hour mode.


Skrambler X Art (iOS)

Students assemble famous masterpieces by over 30 artists on the Skrambler X app, a jigsaw puzzle mindware for the iPad. Interesting facts about artists and their artwork appear as students put each piece in its place. Progress is saved automatically.


American History Test Prep Social Studies (iOS)

Students studying World History can use this app to remember material by using flashcards with text and audio. Multiple choice quizzes are also included. The app covers topics from early history to the Cold War.


Motion X GPS Social Studies (iOS)

The app includes navigation instruments and maps from all over the world. It can be used with geography lessons and geocaching, the real-world treasure hunt.


Touch Van Gogh Art (iOS)

The Van Gogh Museum created this free iPad app to help students study three of the artist’s paintings: View from Theo’s Apartment, The Bedroom, and Daubigny’s Garden. Students also learn about the museum’s restoration process.