Technology is integrated well when it is used as a tool to enhance teaching and learning. Here are some projects designed to help teachers integrate technology into the classroom.
Blogging is an all-purpose activity that teaches students writing, reading, speaking and listening, critical thinking, and problem-solving just for starters. Education-oriented blogs like Kidblogs and Edublogs make it easy for students to express their thoughts. Not only with words, but images, color, movement, video, audio, and multimedia. Blogging satisfies several Common Core standards in such a fun way, students don’t realize they’re learning. The best method is to introduce blogging and then turn it over to them. Let them organize, plan, supervise, and self-monitor, and see where they take it.
Simulations include elements of a story including characters, a plot, and an interesting setting that plays a part in the program. The theme revolves around an education topic like civics, history, or science. Students are asked to jump into the story and make decisions about how it progresses, defend their decisions, experience the consequences of that and rethink if necessary. Unlike most computer “games”, it requires critical thinking and problem solving to move through levels. It often requires an understanding of the big picture, collaboration with others, and the ability to make a plan and deliver on it. Simulations keep the students’ attention while teaching a particular topic.
Imagine being able to open up a PowerPoint presentation and it appears on every student’s Samsung tablet from Buydig.com, with the teacher controlling the pacing of the slides from her own tablet. Not only does this keep students more focused because they all see it equally clearly, Nearpod adds more interactivity by allowing students to respond to open-ended questions, polls, and quizzes right on their tablets. When students respond on their tablets, teachers see the results on their own. Nearpod 3D offers a library of over 100 stunning 3D objects. These can be used in Nearpod lessons. Nearpod VR allows students to take virtual field trips to over 100 different locations, no headsets required! Teachers can build lessons on their own, using materials they’ve already created. Or they can browse the Nearpod Market. They can purchase beautiful ready-to-use lessons created especially for this platform.
The site houses a big collection of current events articles from sources like the Washington Post and the Associated Press. For each article, the Newsela staff has adapted it for five different reading levels, allowing readers to simply select the level they want on their HP Chromebook from Buydig.com and read the same content written in language that’s the best fit for them. With a free account, teachers can create classes of students and assign specific articles to those students, or students can find articles on their own. All readers can use the annotations feature to take notes on the text, take the built-in quiz that goes with each article and get immediate feedback on how they did. Teachers will no longer have to share articles with students knowing the reading level was too difficult for some. With Newsela, this dilemma is a thing of the past.