Integrating Technology

This blog offers educators basic instructios on how to incorporate technology into the classroom.

Monday, March 27, 2006

Educators are the building block in helping students to integrate technology. Many resources are available to help one succeed in this task. Technology is moving faster than we often know how to keep up with, but it is an educators responsibility to expose students to different types of technology.

One way that teachers can help students integrate technology is by using resources allotted to them. The use of the website United Streaming has proven to be very helpful for many teachers. United Streaming is a digital video library website containing instructional videos brought to you by Discovery Education. The videos offer material for grades K-12. The videos also covers different subjects, ranging from the core subjects to Music, Art, and Health. Training needs to be given to teachers who are not familiar with the site. They may need help navigating through the website, but once they are familiar with the resources, teachers can use the video to enhance already created lessons, or to help students gain a better understanding of topics taught from a textbook.

Teachers can also help students improve their presentations by allowing students to become familiar with PowerPoint. Before teachers can assist their students, they need to first become familiar with the program themselves. Often students in elementary school are not aware of how to make an effective presentation, and by offering them the tools in PowerPoint, teachers can assist in that process. Presentations can be used to give facts about a research topic, display graphics, offer a visual aid during a presentation, or just help students prioritize their information and organize their thoughts. Different animations can also be used to help increase focus to the presentation itself. Teachers should be familiar with the program to be able to offer PowerPoint to their students, but once it has be introduced, you would be amazed at what the students are capable of creating.

Study Island is another program that can be of great help to teachers and students. All to often students grow tired of monotonous worksheets. Study Island offers an alternative. It is a web-based state assessment preparation program. The site uses state standards to offer Reading and Math questions. The questions can be answered in a testing format or answered using a game. The options allow students to be more willing to complete assignments. Also, the teacher can personalize the program based on the needs of the students. The instructor can select the objectives they would like the students to work on based on their individual needs. Then the teacher can retrieve a report assessing how their class is performing on the chosen objectives. Study Island is a great resource to incorporated into the classroom to help improve student achievement.

Resources are available to teachers, by integrating technology into lessons, students are often more engaged. When they create their own projects, learning levels are often increased. As educators, it is our responsibilty to expose our students to technology and require them to use it. With increased practice, students become familiar with technology and often become more comfortable using technology. I have listed just a few resources that have proven to be helpful, but there are many more out there just waiting for students and teachers to discover.