Technology in the Classroom

Technology in our world is ever increasing and the opportunities to use technology in the classroom have kept pace.  Technology comes in many forms and can often be used to supplement the scientific material of a textbook.  Unlike a textbook, however, most technology resources can be interactive and therefore much more engaging to the students.  Technology can also offer students a much more authentic experience with the material where traditional lectures and textbook reading cannot.  Four examples where I employed technology use this semester are listed below with a brief description.

Bug Scope                                                                                                    

Bug Scope is an interactive imaging program run through the University of Illinois (Urbana Champagne).  The free program allows students to view images of insects using a scanning electron microscope, a very powerful tool that they most likely would otherwise never have the opportunity to interact with.  Not only does the program offer students the opportunity to view these images, the students can send in their own bugs that they find and then control the microscope over the internet all the while asking questions of the bug scope team.  This gives students an authentic opportunity to become scientists as they explore the physical features of the insects that they themselves have collected.  This lesson could supplement any unit on insects or on scientific investigations.  The link below will take you to the bug scope website.

bugscope2_header

Virtual Tour                                                                                                

In my critical task, I discuss the use of a virtual tour.  The overall lesson topic of the critical task is exploring volcanoes.  As such, it is near impossible for kids to get an real life experience with this topic.  A virtual tour offers the students the chance to develop an authentic experience with the material all while in the comfort of their classroom.  In this case the students explore one of the volcanoes in Hawaii. Through the use of a web program that has a tour set up.  They view pictures and read information that gives them the experience of actually being there.  Virtual tours are a great way to create an authentic learning experience when studying subjects that would be otherwise impossible to visit for the class based on danger, impracticality, or funding related reasons.  Use this link to view the relevant section of the critical task and use the link below to be taken to the virtual tour.

 

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Webquest                                                                                                   

A webquest is a from of research that attempts to go beyond the usual method of text and library.  It utilizes the internet as a research tool in an easily controllable way.  The teacher picks a few relevant sites to the topic being studied and the students are given time in class to “quest” through the material.  This allows the students the opportunity to view materials and resources outside of their textbook or school library while at the same time allowing the teacher to focus their attention in the vast realm of the internet onto the specific ideas he or she wants.  Teachers can build their own webquests by simply organizing sites or they can visit one of the many online programs for help.  Use this link to view the relevant section of my critical task and use the link below to be taken to a site that will help you create your own webquest.

pirate_map

 

Power Point                                                                                               

Using the presentation software power point can be a powerful tool in any classroom.  Great amounts of information can be displayed to the students and with each new version comes the ability to do more with the product whether the teacher wants to add pictures, videos, music, or other interactive activities.  Teachers must be careful not to fall into the trap of over using power point.  Students will become very disengaged if each class period is another section of notes off the overhead projector.  The teacher must ensure that the material on power point is engaging and appropriately chosen.  In one of my lessons for my clinical, I utilized power point to create an assessment activity.  By utilizing the tools in the program I was able provided a visual quiz to the students, only revealing the answers after they had guessed.  Follow this link to see this lesson and the attached power point.

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Published on December 9, 2008 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

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