Sure, it’s summer time, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have a few ideas brewing on the back burner.
Here are some technology things that you could do with your students. Not everything may be feasible (i.e. cost factors) or appropriate (i.e. security or privacy issues):
- some of the things we’re already doing,
- some of the things we’re thinking of doing, and,
- some of the things are simply wishful thinking, but great ideas have to start somewhere…
How do you integrate technology into the curriculum? Do you have any ideas to add to the list? (It’s a work in progress. Yes, we know there aren’t 101 things on the list… yet.)
Class Set of Laptops
- Get a company to donate a class set of laptops when they upgrade their equipment. (The company can receive a charitable donation tax-credit.)
- Set up a wi-fi hotspot in your classroom so that students can blog online during independent reading and writing workshops.
- Purchase digital copies of textbooks to have a paperless classroom. Use text-reading software (i.e. Kurzweil) to highlight and take notes in the textbook.
Non-Traditional Reading and Writing
- Teach students the differences between formal, informal, and colloquial language and explore text messaging, chat rooms, and msn-speak as forms of colloquial language.
- Evaluate the evolving nature of language and develop word-attack skills by examining how words get accepted into everyday language (or the dictionary). For example, Google is now a commonly used noun and verb.
- Use text-reading software (i.e. Kurzweil) to allow students to access difficult texts.
- Use dynamic graphic organizer software (i.e Inspiration) to brainstorm ideas and show how to create outlines for writing.
- Use blogs, website articles, webzines, online graphic novels, wikipedia, etc as sources of high-interest, non-traditional literacy texts.
- Have students set up personal blogs as a medium to publish their writing portfolios.
- Explore how Google is a popularity contest. Publish work in an e-zine article directory to understand how to build inbound links. Post comments on other blogs to build inbound links.
- Explore copyright issues. Publish work in a blog or an e-zine article directory will inevitably end up with your work scraped onto another blog without proper attribution. Explore how that feels and the ethics of using other people’s content without consent.
- Have your students take turns moderating the comments received on a blog. Explore what spam is and how spam filters work.
- Discuss cyber-bullying: ways to protect yourself, how to respond when it happens, and how to avoid accidentally cyber-bullying when blogging.
- Explore computer safety: password strength, viruses, trojans, phishing, etc.
- Learn about online dangers and ways to protect yourself.
- Make hand-outs and homework assignments accessible on a classroom website.
- Use a secure website as a communication tool for marks for both parents and students.
- Introduce your students to HTML and web design.
Making Money Online
- Introduce students to the business of making money online.
- Explore advertising online – how it works.
- Fund raise by selling stuff on e-bay.
- Sell products using affiliate marketing.
- Use online banking to explore how compound interest works.
GPS and Mapping Technology
- Geo-cache with your students.
- Use GPS technology or mapping software (i.e. Google Earth) in math class to construct larger geometric shapes. (i.e. construct a circle that has a radius of 5 city blocks.)
- Apply GPS technology or mapping software in Geography.
- Create a structure that can be seen on Google Earth
The Internet as a Global Village / Community
- Find a class to pen-pal with and correspond using blogs, email, or IRC chat rooms.
- Use a voice-over-internet-protocol (VOIP) service like Skype to make long-distance phone calls to overseas pen pals. (i.e. set up a penpal partnership with a school in a developing country)
- Use a webcam and VOIP to make video calls with a long-distance pen pal in a foreign country
- Create a wiki so students understand how collaborative spaces like wikipedia work.
- Use a wiki for students to synthesize and evaluate knowledge gained in a content-subject like History or Geography. They can track how their understanding of concepts grow. Demonstrate how our understanding of a subject-specific topic evolves over time (i.e. a dynamic and digital KWL chart)
- Publish student work in English and in their first language online so that relatives overseas can celebrate in their success.
Technology as a Teaching Tool
- Use a data-projector in class to do modeled and shared readings.
- Use a data-projector in class to do shared writing: the modern equivalent of flip-chart paper
- Use a data-projector in class to explore media texts (i.e. commercials)
- Use a data-projector in class to conduct mad-minutes or Jeopardy-style quizzes.
- Buy LCD display screens for your school and publish school / student-made announcements on them.
- Use smart-board technology to write onto content that is projected onto the screen.
- Use dynamic geometry software (i.e. Geometer’s Sketchpad) to explore math concepts.
Music and Technology
- Buy songs (i.e. itunes) and allow students to DJ their own school dances.
- Use DJ software to allow students to explore basic DJ skills, including beat matching, creating loops, and mixing.
- Critically examine popular music to determine whether mainstream music is appropriate at a school dance (i.e. Soulja Boy – Crank that)
- Compose your own ring-tones / mp3s in music class.
- Create your own pod-casts. Students can use free sound-editing software (i.e. audacity) to mix in free sound effects (i.e. ljudo.com) with their digital recordings of their voices.
- Send an object around the world and invite people who find the object to leave a message online in the classroom blog.
- Test out the theory of six-degrees of separation using email. Students are trying to get an email to a specific person in another country. They send off the email explaining the activity to a friend or connection that they feel is in a good position to send it off towards the target. See how many people the email goes through before it arrives to the target person.
- Explore the video making process: scripts, recording, editing, post-production
- Explore youtube as a medium to publish content.
Physical Education / Daily Physical Activity (DPA) and Technology
- Use active video games (dance dance revolution, wii fit) as a means of combining technology with daily physical activity.