educational articles
Educational Articles

Computers in School: How to Integrate Technology into the Classroom

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Although we live in an age where we constantly experience advances in educational technology, some schools do not have the budget to integrate expensive technology. Many schools cannot afford to purchase smart boards or document readers for their teachers. These tools are extremely helpful in incorporating interactive technology into every day lesson plans but there are also ways to incorporate technology into the classroom if these devices are not readily available in your school. Technology is an important part in today's students' lives. An important part of a teacher's job is creating lesson plans that are relevant to students' lives and using technology in lessons is a great way to achieve that goal.

Using the Internet

The internet is such a valuable tool to use in and for the classroom, and is widely used by today's students in their own lives. While teachers commonly use the internet for research projects, it is important that teachers educate their students on the different dangers of using something that is accessible to anyone. Students should learn to determine what sources are acceptable to use in academic writing. The internet is available to every student through school and/or public libraries, so every student will have the opportunity to use it for class assignments.

Teachers can also use the internet to create interactive presentations and activities. Power point presentations have been used for many years, and can be replaced through new technology that provides the same visual presentation. While direct instruction can sometimes be mundane, teachers can enhance lectures and presentations by including media. Educators can record or create videos using music and voice recording that outline important concepts, creating an interesting visual learning tool. There are also many videos available online that have a focus on learning important material such as vocabulary or math terms.

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Web Quests

Web Quests are based on the inquiry learning model and require students to seek required information from the internet. Web Quests combine technology and learning in a way that allows for higher level thinking (students will access levels of learning that are higher on Bloom's taxonomy). Web Quests are created as a webpage and include an introduction of the assignment, the task that the student is required to complete, the process that the students should follow in their quest, resources for the assignment, a section on how the student will be evaluated, and a conclusion section that can provide more online resources so interested students can continue to find information on the given topic.

Creating a Website

Create a website for your classroom. Many schools provide the opportunity for the creation of teacher pages or class pages. Teachers can post homework assignments, helpful resources, and notes to parents that can be checked at home or in school. Teachers can also post summaries of what was covered in class during the day or week so parents are better prepared to help their children with homework assignments.

Technology Focused Assignments

Students can create videos easier than ever using video editing tools like windows movie maker. Students can also upload videos to popular sites such as YouTube. Social media sites are growing incredibly popular and they are a great way to connect with other classrooms that are across the country or in another part of the world. Social media sites provide students with the opportunity to have an electronic pen pal from anywhere in the world. Teachers can also assign projects that do not directly require the use of a computer, but are inspired by technology. Students can create a poster of a Facebook page of a character from a book or historical figure. This Facebook page will require students to access higher orders of thinking because they will have to write what that character would post on their wall, and determine who would most likely be their friends and what kinds of events they would host or be invited to. Students can also practice similar activities by creating the layout for a webpage and detailing what every page of the website would be called and what information would be on it.

Blogs

There are many sites that can allow students to create blogs for free. Students can blog about books they are reading or they can write a blog from the perspective of one of the characters in the book. Scrapblog is a free service that allows users to write text and add pictures to create a visual presentation for a project. Blogs are also very useful tools for foreign language classes. Students can constantly practice writing in the language they are studying and many blogs also allow the posting of video clips where students can record themselves speaking in their learned language.

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