Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Technology in the classroom

For a school grant my colleagues and I have decided to read five mentor texts over the next two months. The first one I have read is "Best Ideas for Teaching with Technology: A Practical Guide for Teachers, by Teachers," by Justin Reich and Thomas Daccord.

My introduction to this text first came from a colleague who works at a college in Erie, PA. She uses it in one of her classes as a way to prep future teachers to use technology. She gave the book rave reviews and with the importance of technology in the classroom, thinks it is a wonderful mentor text.

There were several sections that were the basics in the text, like PowerPoints and the uses, also commands to use in word and identifying plagiarism. I am a high school English teacher and feel that these are fundamentals in a classroom.

A topic that I have been intrigued with for some time is WebQuests. I think the idea of researching, navigating through the web, and having target goals is an innovative way to keep students engaged. The book pointed out education WebQuest sites to help get my barring with the topic. Some of the sites are: www.webquest.org, www.thwt.org/webqueststhinkquest.org and bestwebquests.com

Wikis was another section in the book I found I would be able to use in my classroom. I had minimal experience during a conference but thought the idea of being able to work together in whole class and small group would be wonderful. I thought students would be able to create stories together, edit one another's works, and a chance for all students to "speak" on any given topic. The authors suggested PBwiki.com as a free site to use for teachers.

Another side to the book that I thought was great was a smaller part of the book. It was when the authors would use examples of how to use Wikis, WebQuests, Online research, note taking, PowerPoints, etc. These examples gave me wonderful ideas of what to do and my mind has been working overtime on how to use those smaller suggestions in my classroom.

The text overall is easy to understand and filled with great ideas and concepts.

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