Using Clickers in the Classroom

Our school is fortunate enough to have access to interactive whiteboards (SMARTboards), SMART airliner tablets, and a class set of clickers.

If we were going to invest our own personal money into our classroom technology, we would definetely get a class set of clickers over the airliner tablet or interactive whiteboard. No contest. Here’s why.

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Use Technology to Engage Boys in Reading and Writing

“Educators and parents may have been too quick to dismiss boys’ preoccupation with computers as a diversion from their own book-based literacy, not recognizing the computer’s capacity to empower users to gain access to, and control of, information. It is imperative that educators and parents be aware of the impact of the multimedia world, and understand the positive ways in which these new languages and cultures can be harnessed as adjuncts to book-based literacy.” (Millard, 1997, p. 46)

“Boys thrive on the visual language of television, cartoons, and video games… Researchers suggest that boys respond so positively to images because boys are more oriented to visual/spatial learning. As a result, visual images “accelerate” boys’ learning” (Daly, 2002, p. 16).

The use of technology is often advocated as a way to engage boys and close the gender literacy gap. (OMOE, 2004, pg 40):  smart boards, blogging, wikispaces, literacy software. Continue reading “Use Technology to Engage Boys in Reading and Writing”

Dynamic Visual Brainstorming Software – PreWriting, Brainstorming, Organizing and Outlining Ideas with a Computer

So, we’ve decided to write a book. A small summer project to warm-up with before heading back into the classroom in September. Of course, this is a great opportunity to try out some visual thinking software to help us with our prewriting.

We have a huge list of software and educational technologies that we wanted to check out for the new school year. Aside from drooling over a SMART Board and using digital ink in our classroom, one of the items on our wish list is to check out some dynamic graphic organizer software.

Inspiration Software is an American company that specializes in visual thinking and learning tools. Their product, Inspiration 8, is a great tool for Prewriting – you can brainstorm, organize, plan and create the outline for your next masterpiece. (You can also download a fully functioning, 30-day trial version of Inspiration 8 for free.) Continue reading “Dynamic Visual Brainstorming Software – PreWriting, Brainstorming, Organizing and Outlining Ideas with a Computer”

Education Technology for the Classroom: From Blackboards to Digital Projectors to SMART Boards

Even though it’s summer vacation in Ontario, we’re still thinking about ways to integrate technology into the classroom.

In fact, we’re considering investing in a SMART board, so we spent some time reflecting on the pros and cons of some of the educational technologies to help us teach in the classroom.  From low-tech to high-tech, chalk and markers to digital ink, there are many different options:

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Classroom Technology Wish List: 101 Ways to Bring Technology into the Classroom

Note: This is a living document. This list was last updated on Jul 4, 2012. How do you use technology in your classroom? Leave a comment below.

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…

Some of the things listed could be considered authentic ways to use technology in the classroom (i.e. using smart boards as a teaching tool), where as other ideas might be considered using technology for technology’s sake (i.e. learning HTML to explore web design).

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.) Continue reading “Classroom Technology Wish List: 101 Ways to Bring Technology into the Classroom”