Using Science Technology in the Classroom

There are many science resources available for teachers to use in the classroom. One being ExploreLearning. I think that ExploreLearning is a great resource that has a wide-range of subjects. It is also a great resource to get students engaged in learning. The gizmos may have the student think they are playing a game, when really they are learning. I think it is has the most advantages due to its large selection of different topics and grade levels. It also is very aesthetically pleasing and easy to use.

I also love Edheads. Edheads is a web-based application that motivates students to work harder in school by helping teachers connect their math and science lessons to real careers. It is a paid membership program. However, there are free games available on their site. The application includes games and activities that promote critical thinking. You can become a surgeon and perform virtual knee surgery. Or, you can become a geneticist and help a family determine if they carry a genetic mutation. After looking around on the website and playing around on the games, I believe that this application is fantastic. It is engaging and really gets your mind thinking. It also allows students to connect what they are learning to careers they can have in the real world. When students can make these connections, it can lead to a deeper and greater understanding of the content. It also can set the student up for success after school. It can expose them to STEM careers they may have not knew about before.

Using Math Technology in the Classroom

I believe that incorporating technology into mathematics curriculum can reduce the stigma that mathematics is too hard. By implementing simple technology, such as a calculator, time can be taken away from tedious and monotonous work, like basic math facts, and focus attention more on critical thinking skills. Technology, such as applications and manipulative software, could also make mathematics more engaging and interesting to learn.

I’ve used some great mathematics technology resources within the classroom. One that stuck out with me is Geogebra. Geogebra is a mathematics software for all levels of education that allows users to create and manipulate data in regards to geometry, algebra, spreadsheets, graphing, statistics and calculus. I loved using Geogebra because it presented the information in a visual manner, which made it easier for me to understand. It is a free program that you can access through the website.

ICT & Early Math (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 11)

Merilyn Buchanan, author of Classroom technologies as tools not toys: A teacher’s perspective on making it work in the classroom, describes how teachers should be implementing technology into mathematics classes. Sometimes, we don’t usually think of implementing technology into mathematics classes, especially those of younger aged students. When we think of technology in math, we think of graphing programs. However, there are some great resources our there for early childhood aged students that can really improve their math skills and math learning more meaningful. I also agree with Bachanan’s three phases of implementing the technology. I think it’s important that the technology being used is not just being added for show, but that it actually supplements the curriculum and adds to learning.

Bratitsis and Amanatidou, authors of Counting sounds: An ICT musical approach for teaching the concept of the angle in kindergarten, describes how using music can help young students learn geometry. This article was very interesting to read. It makes sense. If you go into any pre-k or kindergarten class, they have songs for EVERYTHING. It helps students learn by memorization which is essential at that age.


Using ELA Technology in the Classroom

I’ve used some great ELA technology resources within the classroom. One that stuck out with me is eSpark. eSpark is an application that allows students to increase their ELA skills based on their individual needs. This software can be used on an iPad for younger grades. It is a “quest-like” application. Students must go on “quests” in order to progress. These quests require students to read short texts, watch movies, play skill-based games, answer comprehension questions, or create their own movie responses. Each student’s eSpark is set to their own reading level and skill set. There is also a web-based digital projects for students in grades 3-8. It allows teachers to monitor student progress. It has the ability to email you when one of your students reaches a new standard or needs additional support.

ICT & Early Literacy (Weekly Reading Reflection Week 10)

Amelia K. Moody, author of Using Electronic Books in the Classroom to Enhance Emergent Literacy Skills in Young Children, discusses the use of E-books within a classroom. I have personal experience with this as a guided reading teacher. This year, my school purchased a new E-Book software called Reading A-Z Kids (or RAZ Kids for short). RAZ Kids is an extension of the program Reading A-Z. It provides a library of differentiated books at 29 levels of difficulty students use to practice reading in school, at home, or on the go. A great thing about RAZ kids is it allows students to read on their own level, practice close reading skills, practice reading and writing connections, use interactive tools, and answer constructed response quiz questions. I have seen how RAZ Kids makes young readers more confident, which in turn will help boost their reading levels. 


Using Podcast in the Classroom

One way in which I plan to use podcasts in my classroom is to provide students with additional time with a lesson. For example, I can record my lesson on a podcast and then provide my students with a link to that podcast for additional studying and review. It can also be beneficial for students who are absent. This way, students do not have to miss out on lessons and they do not have to try and teach the material to themselves.

I can also use podcasts in my classrooms to provide my students with a different source to find information. For example, if we are learning a lesson on economics, I can show an episode of the well-known podcast, Freakonomics. Overall, podcasts are a great resource for any type of teacher to utilize in their classrooms.

Video Editing and Showcasing

I chose to create an Animoto about when I studied abroad in 2013. I am actually quite familiar with video editing and showcasing. In fact, I used Animoto quite frequently when I was in undergrad for projects and assignments. I use iMovie for most projects. When I was younger, I was obsessed with recording and editing my own “movies.” My parents were convinced I was going to grow up to become a film editor. But alas, the teaching profession called my name instead.

As for communication with my group member, I informed Samantha that I am well-versed in Animoto and if she has any questions, to send them on over! As for showcasing on my blog, I wish there was an easier way to embed my Animoto to my WordPress blog. The embed coding does not work. Other than that, I love the application. It is easy to use and, most importantly, fun!