Technology in Our Classroom

Below I have a chart that includes different types of technology that can be used within the classroom. These are all just examples of ideas; this is not a plan for specific technological tools I will implement in the classroom. I may use some of them, but I may not. I have included the taxonomy level that would go along with each technology tool. This is simply the types of skills that the students would be utilizing if completing these specific tasks. 


Taxonomy Level

Activity/ Strategy

Technology Tool

Rationale

Remembering

Students can make outlines, timelines, lists, and even notecards. 

Students can use Microsoft Word or Apple Pages.

Using a word processor allows students to create outlines or timelines that help them to remember sequences of events in history or literature. Also, it can help students outlines the steps of specific activities whether they are physical activities or mental ones such as how to divide fractions. Students can make lists of terms or events. Both Microsoft Word and Apple Pages have outline features where a document can be formatted as an outline. Also, the bullet feature of each makes list making extremely fast and efficient. Flashcards can also be made using the word processor to help the student memorize sequences or definitions of terms.  Formatting a document to create flashcards to print is a little more difficult. Nonetheless, it can be done, and makes creating notecards for memorization much easier for the student. Personally, this feature of the word processors mentioned is more for the older student than the elementary student, but it is a tool that students can utilize. A word processor is a quicker, more efficient, and precise way for students to create aids to help them better remember concepts.

Understanding

Students can create webs or graphic organizers of thoughts as a way of pre writing. Also, graphic organizers can be used to summarize or illustrate concepts. 

In order to create these graphic aids students can use the software, Inspiration.

Inspiration comes in two formats; one being more elementary level and the other more advanced. Inspiration is a simple way for students to create graphic organizers that can help organize and interpret concepts. The rapid fire feature makes the creation of webs and graphic organizers extremely easy for students of all ages, but especially those at the elementary level. For example, in preparation to write a narrative, students can put their thoughts into the from of a graphic organizer using the rapid fire feature of inspiration.Also, the use of images and icons can be extremely helpful to all students, but especially to those who struggle with reading comprehension. Teachers can create graphic organizers that display both words and icons. The icons can help the students who struggle with reading comprehension; the student will both read the word and see a picture, therefore helping the student make the connection. These visual aids enhance the ability of students to organize their thoughts. When their thoughts are organized it is easier for them to interpret the overall purpose or theme of a general concept. 

Applying

Students can solve math word problems in groups or as a whole class.

To do this teachers can use a SmartBoard. 

The SmartBoard is an extremely useful technology tool to use in the classroom. Teachers can create their own activities or they can use pre-made activities for all subjects. This technology can be especially useful for a math lesson in that students will be able to read the problem, visualize it with images and then manipulate it. For example, a lesson on money can be reinforced through a SmartBoard activity by having the word problem typed in words, and having images of the money and items involved. Now students have both verbal and visual aids that they can manipulate through the use of the SmartBoard. Students can drag items around, do matching or grouping, and even perform more complex tasks by simply touching the SmartBoard. The SmartBoard appeals to multiple senses, (auditory, visual, and touch), making it extremely effective in the classroom. This allows the student to take knowledge they have previously acquired and apply it to the activity or problem set before them. 

Analyzing

To show analysis skills students can create a compare and contrast project in which they research two topics and connect them via comparison and contrast. 

To create this project students can use Microsoft PowerPoint or Apple Keynote. 

PowerPoint or Keynote is an excellent tool that allows students to not only be creative, but also to display analysis skills. Students can do research are two given topics and bring them together in a presentation that compares and contrasts them or that simply takes a deeper look at a specific topic. PowerPoint or Keynote has many  characteristics that allow for creativity in the presentation of the information. Students can incorporate graphs and charts, images, video or audio, and/or plain written text. This technology tool also allows students to construct thoughts and ideals based on analysis of previously received information. There are several technology tools that could allow students to do this, but PowerPoint and Keynote give students a creative freedom that enhances their ability to display good analysis skills. 

Evaluating

Students can display personal opinions, critique information , and weigh in on topics in order to show evaluation skills.

*Make this a class project due to the complexity of the program.

To do so, students can use Snag-It along with Word, Excel, PowerPoint, or another presentation creating software.

Snag-It allows the student to take information that has been researched via the internet or other computer resource and enhance, crop, and alter “screen shots.” This allows students to create presentations where they can critique specific points or ideals using both words, and images that have the capability of being enhanced. Students can crop out unnecessary parts of the image, highlight and add arrows to emphasize the important parts, and add text to further explain or critique the ideal being presented. This is a more advanced technology, but can certainly be utilized in the classroom.

Creating

As a class, students can create presentations that display an exceptional knowledge of a given topic.

These presentations can be created using Prezi.

Prezi is a technology tool that is very similar to PowerPoint, only it is far more awesome. Prezi allows students to create enhanced and detailed presentations that can be extremely detailed, and very broad all at the same time. It is up to the presenter as to how far in detail the presentation goes. The extreme detail displays the student’s extensive knowledge of the topic at hand. Because this program is more advanced, to implement it in an elementary classroom I would make it a class project; create one Prezi as a class. Prezi makes it very easy to compile many thoughts and expand on topics of importance. This can be done through the use of Prezi’s features. For example, a topic can be placed as the backbone of the presentation with “limbs” flowing off it that may have other “fingers or toes.” This allows the class to display their vast knowledge and understanding of a given topic.

Understanding

Students can show understanding by verbally explaining, or summarizing plots, processes, or topics.

Teachers can use Voice Thread as a means to evaluate students’ understanding. 

A teacher can create a Voice Thread about a story being read in reading. They can use graphics and have the students go through and comment on what is occurring in those images. Students can use the comment tool; this way each student has the ability to leave their own response. This can also go for other subjects besides reading. Students can summarize math processes or science concepts using Voice Thread. Students can also create their own Voice Threads to show their understanding of a story or concept. 

Creating 

*One of many possible levels

As a class, students can come together and create a website throughout the year that will display their knowledge of specific topic, subject, or multiple topics or subjects. 

The class can create this website using Google Sites. 

A teacher can utilize Google Sites as a long term, in depth way to allow students to create something based on the knowledge they acquire throughout the school year. For instance, a class decides to make a website about the different ecosystems. Throughout the unit on ecosystems the students will compile information and opinions about the topic. Then, the class will come together and use Google Sites, a free and user friendly program, to create an integrated, well developed, combination of information about a specific topic. Using Google Sites is especially useful for many reasons; one being, this method allows the creation to be publicly shared. Also, the set up of Google Sites allows for organization that enables the students to go into  detail on pertinent topics. Also, the information they compile can be enhanced through graphics, links to sources, audio, video,etc. 

Knowledge

Students can find and identify various things related to a specific topic. For example, find and identify types of leaves.

Students can use a digital camera to help them find and identify the different types of leaves.

A digital camera is a type of technology that helps a student by simply being a source of documentation. A picture is a picture is a picture. However, that process in which that picture is found and taken allows the student to practice acquisition of knowledge. With the use of a digital camera a student can go into nature, find and identify the different types of leaves, then print or embed into a computer presentation those images to display accurate identification. The digital camera is also extremely useful because it enables students to step away from the desk or computer and move around; students can learn through a different prospective

Analysis

Taking key concepts and developing a bigger picture and identifying motives and hidden meanings.

This can be done by using  Wordle. 

A teacher can discuss the importance of Martin Luther King Jr.’s I Have a Dream Speech using a Wordle. Wordle takes the most used words in a given text and arranges them by size so that the most used words are the biggest and the least used the smallest. This can allow for discussion of what the text, in this case the speech, really mean. Students can create their own Wordless, then analyze them to look for underlying motives and meanings. In the Elementary classroom, this technology would be used in the first way; the teach could create a Wordle, then allow for discussion of the parts that make the whole and vice versa. Also, teachers can use this as a tool to discuss hidden meanings and motives. 

 
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