Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 8 - Technology Integration in the Classroom

This week's work has been central to what I am trying to do with my students as often as I can in my classroom.  Students need to have experience in using and be exposed to as many different applications as possible so that they can determine on their own which application is the one to use for various assignments that they will get as they continue their education or enter the job market.  I believe it is my responsibility to expose them to these apps and teach them to use these applications.

As I look at my colleagues, I see very few of them trying to bring web 2.0 tools into their classrooms.  I am sure that there are any number of reasons for their reluctance to do this, but I struggle to accept these reasons.  There are all sorts of studies that would suggest that teachers feel most comfortable teaching as they were taught.  While this may have been effective in the past, it no longer reaches as many students as it used to.  We must to do as good a job as we can to prepare students for what is going to happen when they walk out our classroom door, such as:

  1. Having students create poster projects should no longer be acceptable.  These are concepts that they mastered when they were in 3rd grade. By the time they reach high school, they should be taking that same poster project concept and using an app such as glogster to present the same information.  Glogster would also allow them to embed video and sound from other web addresses or that students themselves create.
  2. Timelining should not be on a piece of paper.  It can be put on an app such as that would allow students to include pictures, and links to other sites so that visitors can find more information
  3. PowerPoint is a 6th grade tool.  Prezi will do the same thing, but, again, allow students to embed other information.
These are just the beginning of a list of tools that students must be comfortable using.  Whatever apps students use, they should portable and not platform based.  I want the apps my students work with to be available to them where ever they have access to the Internet, and not dependent on whether they are using a Mac or a PC, or explorer or chrome.

My current preferred app is Aurasma, which allows students to create their own "augmented reality" (AR).  We see AR quite often in sporting events, i.e. the "first and 10" line in football games, and more and more companies are using as part of in-store promotions.  Students who are exposed to this will have an advantage over others in any number of ways, and preparing our students to be ready to compete in a tough college application or job market is what we need to do.

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