Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Integrating Technology in the Classroom

There are so many fun, exciting, and useful ways to integrate technology into the classroom it is difficult to narrow this blog down to just three! But, I think I have picked a few things that have the potential to have a great effect on learning.

The first application that I am drawn to is Wikipages. I have to admit I have not allowed myself to use these in my classroom thus far and I know that the students are the ones who are suffering. A wikispace is a place on the internet where teachers or students (or anyone) can post information, work samples, group projects, etc. (virtually anything you can think of)once it is posted it can be accessed and edited by other members. Wikispaces make group projects a cinch. Teachers can post feedback and suggestions quickly and easily and the wikispace can be made public or private.


I also think webquests are beneficial. "WebQuests are among the most fascinating applications on the Web for K-12 educators. Student-centered and inquiry-based, a WebQuest challenges students to explore the web for information. Most WebQuests include the links that are appropriate for students to research as well as suggestions for further research. WebQuests are generally constructed around a scenario of interest to students. Traditionally WebQuests have an introduction, a process, a task, a list of resources, a conclusion, and an evaluation" (http://www.spa3.k12.sc.us/WebQuests.html). I think these are important because I really stress the importance of teaching the kids how to search for answers to their many questions rather than ask a friend or your teacher. In my opinion this is a life skill that must be stressed.

I have also seen various software programs that have helped the children develop a love for subjects they wouldn't otherwise. I have had the privilege of using and experiencing an internet based reading program called KidBiz3000. This program sends kid friendly news articles to each student on a daily basis. These articles are fit specific to each students reading level and is accommodated by a reading comprehension activity, a thought question (writing opportunity), and various other activities. As the student progresses through the reading program the articles that are sent can be increased in difficulty level. This is a fantastic tool because there are often similar texts on the TAKS test.

I feel that these are just three ways teachers can easily and effectively incorporate technology into their instruction.

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