Integrating Technology into your Classroom Kelli Munsterman EDC 7613: Introduction to Educational Technology Ottawa University
Integrating Technology into your Classroom “Use technology only when it enhances your content -- not the other way around. Its less effective if you use technology for technologys sake.” –Grace Rubenstein, What Works in Education, The George Lucas Educational Foundation, 2011.
At the elementary level…Use interactive whiteboards: large-display screens thatconnect to a computer and a projector, allowing the user tocontrol the computer by touching the screen. Students can touch the interactive boards to solve mathproblems, play games, write and edit text and much more!This is a great way to take your traditional spelling orarithmetic lesson and turn it into a fun, interactive activity forthe entire class. Keep other students in the classroomengaged by giving them small, personal dry-erase boards touse when it is not their turn to control the whiteboard.
At the elementary level…Connect with peers outside city limits: through the use ofemail, webcams, and videoconferencing software studentscan connect with peers in another state or even anothercountry (a ―key pal‖)! This is a great opportunity for studentsto learn about other cultures. It also provides them a chanceto improve their writing skills and learn email etiquette.Be sure to discuss any internet safety precautions that maybe necessary, and have students do some research on theculture and brainstorm questions beforehand so as not tooffend their new friend across the globe.
At the secondary levelUse “Remote Clickers”: small, handheld devices thatare used for students to answer quiz questions or polls,providing immediate results to the instructor.With this method, paper-pencil tests can practically beeliminated and grading is quick! Plus, teachers can tellright away if students are understanding the lesson ornot.
At the secondary levelUse digital or video cameras: capture images orperformances on film. Allow students to get theircreative juices flowing by acting out skits andvideotaping them. Digital cameras can be great for theaspiring photographers and photojournalists out there.The videos can be uploaded and streamed online forothers to see. Or, students could hold a ―film festival‖ or―gallery opening‖ to present their creative works to theirfamilies and the community.
At the college levelEarn your degree online: taking classes in a virtualsetting has many benefits, including flexibility that workswith a busy schedule. Online courses still offer rigorouscurriculum and quality instructors to facilitate learning. Itis possible to receive a top-notch education withoutsetting foot in the classroom. Course managementsoftware makes it easy to navigate through onlineresources, submit assignments, and interact with peersand the instructor.
At the college levelExplore e-Textbooks: digital textbooks offer manywonderful features that can enhance the reader’sunderstanding of a text, such as highlighting and note-taking tools. Many e-textbooks have interactive featureswhere you can converse with other users regarding thetext in an online format.E-Textbooks are a great alternative to traditional bound,paper textbooks—particularly in subjects whereinformation quickly changes and new editions must bepublished.
At the college levelStart a Blog: an online forum for students to share theirthoughts and experiences, similar to a journal.Blogs allow for there to be running dialogue betweenthe author and readers through a ―comments‖ section.Blogging is a great alternative to a traditional journalbecause the author’s thoughts can be so easily sharedwith others and the information is archived.
ConclusionMany of the ideas for ways to integrate technology inthe classroom can be done at any grade level. Forexample, interactive whiteboards can be used in highergrade levels and are often used in the workforce aswell.Some activities may seem juvenile to older students,like having a ―key pal‖. Consider your audience whenchoosing an activity using technology.As long as students receive instruction on how to use aparticular device or platform, they will be able to have arich learning experience. The key is setting clearobjectives for each lesson and explaining the use of the