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Tech for Teachers

The purpose of this site is to provide ideas, activities, and links to help teachers use technology in their classroom.  Contributions to this site will include experiences from myself and my collegues that are involved in "The High Tech Classroom" program at Mason High School, Mason, OH.

The High Tech Classroom
My desire to become a "High Tech Classroom" teacher comes from my desire to meet my students' need of using technology as a tool in the classroom as well as using technology to keep my teaching strategies as relevent as possible for myself and my students.  As teachers, we are faced with balancing our curriculum with "real-life" activities for our students.  Effective use of technology in our classrooms is essential in providing students the greatest opportunities to succeed and be engaged.  Our students are born with technology in their hands; using smart phones, tablets, computers, and apps is second nature to them.  And it's our responsibility, as teachers, to show them that there's more to that technology than just Twitter, "selfies", texting, and games.

My hope with this site is to contribute effective ways to use technology within our classrooms in order to provide students and teachers with ideas, activities, and links.

I ran across Kahoot as a site that can be used to collect student feedback and give "quiz" questions to students.  It's similar to other websites, like InfuseLearning and Socrative, but it makes the questions into more of a game for students.

To begin creating quizzes with Kahoot, you can go to getkahoot.com and sign up for an account.  For students to take the quizzes, they need to go to kahoot.it.  As a teacher you can create a quiz, discussion, or a survey for students to easily access.

This video gives you an idea of how Kahoot can work in the classroom.

YouTube Video

Using Google Forms for Assignments
Google forms is a powerful and easy to use tool that can be used to create short assignments.  This type of assignment works very well for a statistics assignment where students are answering questions that have them analyzing data.

The activity I put together provided students with a data set that showed "Backpack Color Preference" vs "Gender".  I provided the data to my students through Google Sheets here.  Students were asked to use the data to create graphs and analyze the data to answer questions found here in a Google Form.

The nice thing about Google Forms is that the submitted answers are collected in a spreadsheet.  This allows teachers to easily see everyone's answers at once and share those answers with others if disired.

Launching Gummy Bears - A Statistics Project
I've assigned a project in my stats classes over the years that involves the creation of a catapult out of rubber bands and popsicle sticks.  The objective of the activity is to help students design an experiment, collect data, organize the data, and then analyze the data to determine the best position to launch gummy bears in order to make them fly as far as possible.

Students are given an experimental factor of "the position of the gummy bear" (sitting on it's rear end or lying on its back). They are then asked to come up with a second experimental factor and create treatments for launching the gummy bears.

The final report requires students to use graphical displays and basic statistics to support their conclusions about the best launching method.  Students can use Minitab or other graphical/statistical software to help them with their report.

Below are a couple of instructional videos on how to use Minitab.

Boxplots and Basic Statistics on Minitab

More Boxplots and Basic Statistics on Minitab