5 Best Times to Use Technology in Class

Before posting a list of links to many ed tech tools, I share this post as a refresher on the instructional opportunities which are enhanced via the use of technology.

This list comes from a blogger at MiddleWeb:

Technology is the right tool when:

  1. It helps students visualize concepts
  2. It allows students to be creative, innovative and personalize their work
  3. It makes work easier for students (and often teachers)
  4. It promotes collaboration, provides students with a larger audience for their work, or connects them to peers or experts in a new way
  5. It enables more students to participate, better engages them, and makes learning FUN

Eight Recommended Tools that Enhance Student Learning

Yes, I’ve already linked to a number sites with lists of apps and other ed tech items to increase student learning. What I like about this one is that it lists a number of items that I’ve never encountered.  As such, I can’t offer comments on them here yet.  I am hoping to do some exploring over Christmas Break…

Eight Recommended Tools that Enhance Student Learning

‘This’ Will Revolutionize Education – A Thoughtful Video

On a Friday afternoon, this article caught my attention so much that I had to watch the video right away.

The link to the Washington Post article about the video is here.

You can link directly to the video itself here.

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For me, the take-away, thought-provoking ideas from the video are:

“I think the reason technology hasn’t revolutionized education is something… that goes to the very heart of what education is. … It doesn’t matter what happens around the learner. We are not limited by the experiences we can give to students. What limits learning is what can happen inside the student’s head. That is where the important part of learning takes place.

So really the question is, “What experiences promote the kind of thinking that is required for learning?” Recently that research is being conducted and we are learning some pretty important stuff.

The fundamental role of a teacher is not to deliver information. It is guide the social process of learning. The job of a teacher is to inspire, to challenge, to excite their students to want to learn. Yes, they also do explain and demonstrate and show things, but fundamentally that is beside the point. The most important thing a teacher does is make every student feel like they are important, to make them feel accountable for doing the work of learning.

The foundation of education is still based on the social interaction between teacher and students. For as transformative as each new technology seems to be, like motion pictures or computers or Smart Boards, what really matters is what happens inside the learner’s head. And making a learner think seems best achieved  in a social environment with other learners and a caring teacher.”

Based upon this, some of the questions I have to ask myself as a 21st century educator are:

  • How do I choose technological tools?  Do I pick ones that make my content more engaging/entertaining for students?  Do I select tools that will ‘promote the kind of thinking that is required for learning?’
  • In my classroom, how well am I doing with the ‘social interaction’ between me and my students?  How do I evaluate how effective I am at fostering this?
  • Today, this week, this month, this school year – Did I make each of my students feel like he or she is important?  Did I make each feel accountable for doing the work of learning?

What are your thoughts on this video?

What questions does it lead you to ask yourself as an education professional?

Bikes Instead of Desks?

I’ve been thinking about the L.A. Times article I posted last week about the teacher who shadowed a couple of her students for a day.  My biggest take-away from her reflection is how little movement the students did during the day (aside from going from class to class) and how exhausting it was to sit and sit some more.

The text of this article and especially the photos, led me to wonder how this would work in my classroom – especially the last period, freshmen one where I know they have energy to burn.

Bikes Instead of Desks?

Stationary Bike Desks

In my classroom, perhaps the bikes could power the cords to charge the iPads of the students who raise their hand in class and say: “My iPad is at 2% charge.  What should I do?”  With the bikes, the answer becomes: “Pedal faster!”


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A Nice List of Teacher Recommended Apps and Websites

Often the best tech resources are those recommended by actual teachers.
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A Gold Mine of Free Educational Technology Resources!

This link takes you to Open Culture – an amazing resource for FREE educational materials of all types!

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Free Educational Technology Resources