Instructional Technology: Tools for Teachers


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Overview of uses and benefits of various instructional technology tools.

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  • One login gives you access to a variety of tools. Once you learn the basic skills, they apply to most of the tools so you aren’t constantly learning different interfaces. Can start simple and progress to fairly complex depending on your time and needs.
  • There are certain terms and concepts that really have to be solid as they lay the foundation for everything else. They have to be memorized and mastered, but it is boring to do so. Or we want students to review but don’t want to take class time. These type of tools really help.
    EX: Kim, art history minor, created PPT slideshows to study for exams.

    They can be created easily using either MyWebCourses self-study quizzes or Study Mate and then loaded into MyWebCourses. They can even be made available for iPods. This is good for you to create for your students, but because it is specialty software in our lab, it is not something your studnets can use to create tutorials for their students. However you can make interactive tutorials with PowerPoint.
  • Kathy’s students are using MS Publisher to create their sites because it comes with standard templates and tools, such as a calendar and a links/resources page

    Students could also use Contribute, which is the software used to access their ePortfolios.
    Students can publish into MyData for class projects and submit the link to you for grading, turn it in as an assignment in My WebCourses, or do as Kathy does and have them get free website space and publish it to the world. The more real you make it, the better the job they will do.
  • Although this sounds like a public diary, it can include more. Blogs not only provide a place for the author to write, they invite readers to COMMENT on what has been said. They can also include LINKS to web sites, other blogs, news articles, or even pictures. Some blogs have the capability of showing pictures as part of the blog itself.
    Blog writers can also “tag” their entries with keywords. For example, if I write a blog entry about the book I am reading, The Cat in the Hat, I could “tag” it with the following tags: Suess, Cat in the Hat, reading. These are a kind of category for my entries, so I can view them by category as well as by date.
    Blogs allow people to “share” in unique ways. Instead of simply using the internet for reading information to “look something up” on the web, blogs let people WRITE, REACT, and SHARE, using the internet as a place to do it.
  • A wiki is a web site that lets any visitor become a participant:  you can create or edit the actual site contents without any special technical knowledge or tools. All you need is a computer with an Internet connection. A wiki is continuously “under revision.” It is a living collaboration whose purpose is the sharing of the creative process and product by many. One famous example is Wiki-pedia, an online encyclopedia with no “authors” but millions of contributors and editors. The word "wiki" comes from Hawaiian language, meaning "quick" or "fast."
    A blog, or web log, shares writing and multimedia content in the form of “posts” (starting point entries) and “comments” (responses to the posts). While commenting, and even posting, are open to the members of the blog or the general public, no one is able to change a comment or post made by another. The usual format is post-comment-comment-comment, and so on. For this reason, blogs are often the vehicle of choice to express individual opinions.
    A wiki has a far more open structure and allows others to change what one person has written. This openness may trump individual opinion with group consensus.
  • Podcasting allows educators to take their students beyond traditional assignments by allowing them to include voice recordings, photos, movies, and sound effects to share their knowledge. For example, students can draft and perform scripts as a writing assignment, create a visual progress report for an ongoing project, or submit a recorded version of a science presentation.
    Podcasting is also a great way for educators to deliver content to their students. They can distribute homework assignments, record book narration for beginning readers to read along with, or create foreign language lessons that students can review at their own pace. For educators and administrators, podcasting is an effective tool for professional development, as well as for communicating with parents about classroom activities and school announcements.

    Examples: background info on a topic for students who may be missing it, think of the audio tours of museums, professor who records a discussion on a topic and posts it to course site, commentary on a topic related to class lecture but not covered, or might be of interest to only a few students.
  • I told my daughter about this over the phone—she is an art major, not education. She used it for a final project in her astronomy class. The class went nuts over her presentation because of the tool.
    Digital Storytelling is sharing a story about events, people and places in our lives and combining it with a variety of multimedia tools. Digital Storytelling helps students to organize ideas and present their ideas in a meaningful way. Students develop communication skills while creating their story.
  • Instructional Technology: Tools for Teachers

    1. 1. Instructional Technology Tools for Teachers
    2. 2. Course Management System  Uses ◦ Organize and present materials ◦ Manage assignments and grades ◦ Extend the classroom beyond class time  Benefits ◦ Variety of tools in one place ◦ Integrated under one interface ◦ Student familiarity with tool  Tool: My WebCourses
    3. 3. Study Aids  Uses ◦ Help students learn necessary vocabulary ◦ Help students prepare for exams  Benefits ◦ Engaging ◦ Increased retention of information  Tools ◦ Self-study quizzes ◦ StudyMate activities ◦ PowerPoint
    4. 4. Websites  Uses ◦ Create classroom web pages ◦ Show what you are doing to outside world  Benefits ◦ Real world skill ◦ Real world audience  Tools ◦ Publisher ◦ Contribute ◦ Public web space
    5. 5. Blogs  Uses ◦ Reflective learning ◦ Writing ◦ Classroom communication tool  Benefits ◦ Real world audience ◦ Improved school to parent communication  Tools ◦ MyWebCourses (private) ◦ Blogger, Blogspot, Classblogmeister (public)
    6. 6. Wikis  Uses ◦ Collaborative projects ◦ Build a shared knowledge base  Benefits ◦ Shared knowledge base ◦ Real world skill ◦ Makes collaborative projects easier  Tools ◦ Wikispaces ◦ PBWiki
    7. 7. Podcasts and Vodcasts  Uses ◦ Supplemental lecture material or commentary ◦ Background information ◦ Audio files for ELL or foreign language ◦ Students can share their knowledge  Benefits ◦ Helpful for auditory learners ◦ Reinforcement ◦ Extend the classroom
    8. 8. Digital Books  Uses ◦ Create lessons or books for students to study with on their own  Benefits ◦ Uses Universal Design for Learning ◦ Can be adapted to different types of learners at all levels of learning ◦ Easy to learn
    9. 9. Digital Storytelling  Uses ◦ Create stories about topics or events ◦ Interpret a literary work (like poetry) ◦ Convey affective responses to events, topics, or literature  Benefits ◦ Combines visual and reading literacy ◦ Develops communication skills /default.php?sectiondetailid=10000
    10. 10. Games and Simulations  Uses ◦ Practice basic skills in a fun way ◦ Experience history or civics ◦ Experiment like a scientist in a safe way  Benefits ◦ Engaging ◦ Reaches students turned off by regular classroom ◦ Teaches strategy, decision-making, and (possibly)collaboration