Tag Archives: web 2.0

How to Integrate Technology into the Classroom & Meet Common Core Learning Standards

For the past two weeks I have been teaching a professional development workshop for teachers in my school district titled, “Implementing Technology in the Classroom to Meet Common Core Learning Standards.”  Below are two Prezis I made for the teaching portion of the workshop and a Livebinder that I created for the workshop with additional resources and information. My advice to anyone looking to enhance teaching with technology is lurk online for fifteen minutes a week. Read other blogs to get ideas, get inspired, and starting thinking, “How can I adapt this for my content and students?”

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Technology and Teaching

My students know lots of things when it comes to technology. My colleagues, know a handful of things about technology. We are both immersed in technology, but different technologies. My students carry their cell phones with them all day in school even though the school policy requires them to keep them in their lockers during the school day. As soon as last period ends the hallways are a buzz with students on their phones, texting, talking, gaming, listening to music. Students try to hide their ear-buds and listen to their I-pods during lunch period or when class seems boring to them (more often than not). They spend their nights rushing through homework so they can get online and play games, I-M their friends, watch their favorite TV episodes online or create their own videos.

If our students are immersed in technology then why not utilize these tech tools in the classroom as teaching tools?

Technology in the classroom allows young people to demonstrate their tech savvy skills and apply them in a way that highlights their understanding and learning. Technology allows for creativity, inquiry and collaboration. Students can complete a web quest which emphasizes critical thinking skills and integrates media literacy. Why compete with technology and young people? Rather, use technology to highlight the strengths of young people and help invest them in the material we are teaching.

I strongly believe technology is vital to help students learn best and in turn, for my students to show me their understanding and learning. There is an infinite amount of ways to integrate technology in the classroom. When people asked my how or why I use technology in the classroom I show them what I have done. Then I list the skills we are building when we use technology in the classroom: Connecting to Prior Knowledge, Questioning, Predicting, Inferring, Summarizing, Supporting Claims and Providing Evidence, Synthesizing, Build Vocabulary. Retelling in Our Own Words, Sequencing, Monitor Learning, Foster Sense of Inquiry, Making Real World Connections, Creative Thinking, Collaboration, Listening and Reflecting, and Analyzing.

Books and technology both belong in the classroom. I cannot and would not pick one over the other nor would I be willing to give up either one. If students want to read on their Kindle or other device, I would say, “Go ahead.” As soon as something else emerges I figure ways to blend them into my teaching and classroom practices – mobile surveys, Google Docs, Glogster, Wallwisher, QR codes, the list goes on and on.

Anything to help my students learn best.

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Technology’s Role in the Evolution of Information

I am teaching another course in my district to teachers in grades k-12 across all content areas titled, “More Technology to Enhance Content Area Learning.”  If I could rename the class, I would title it: Gettin’ Wiki With It.  The course covers all aspects of collaborative projects and web 2.0 programs that teachers can utilize with their students for a multitude of purposes.  In my research and gathering of new information to share with teachers I came across a great quote on David Warlick‘s blog about why we teach with technology.  He wrote on his May 13th post,

“I honestly believe that educators are seeking new ways to use new information and communication (literacy) technologies in teaching and learning for the very best reasons. But we need better answers than, “Because it’s technology. Our children will do anything if it’s with technology.” ..and “this is the engagement!” pointing at the an iPod Touch.

I continue to maintain that the little box is not what engages them. it is what happens through that box. It is the information experience that…

  • Is responsive
  • is fueled by questions
  • provokes conversation
  • is rewarded with currency
  • Inspires personal investment
  • is guided by safely made mistakes

When we talk about modernizing formation education, this is what we should talk about, not the technology.”

Many teachers in my district are aware of the various web 2.0 tools that can be utilized with students but stay away because they have preconceived notions: technology requires more work, it’s a fad, or the countless other excuses one hears on a daily basis. We do not need to bring Web 2.0 into our classroom for technology sake, but because of what it has to offer.  The evolution of teaching and the way that teachers teach over the past 200 years has evolved dramatically from the tools of the trade  – chalk boards, then over-head projectors, then whiteboards, and now smart boards and the possibility of  ipads or slates for every student.  Warlick writes that it is the experiences that students have with information that is changing and evolving the way that we teach.  I would ask you what types of experiences are your students having with the information you are teaching?  How can technology strenghten their engagement, connection, and understanding with this information?

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