Thursday, February 23, 2012

Technology Integration Professional Development

Below are 5 sites that were shared during the Kwajalein School System K-12 Professional Development session on February 24, 2012. Our schools are in the middle of a technology push that includes every classroom having a SMARTBoard over the next couple years (we have 14 so far) and putting effort into showing teachers how they can integrate technology into their lesson delivery, as well as lesson planning. A handout of 20+ technologies outlining possible classroom applications and a brief summary of each was shared with staff along with the 5 sites below that were demoed on the SMARTBoard for staff.

Animoto for Education
If you haven't tried Animoto, you are missing out. This site is a quick and simple way to create videos to present content or for students(3rd graders LOVE it!) to use to deliver information learned. Animoto is such a proponent of using their site for educational purposes that they offer a free educator account!

If you aren't blogging yet, you should be! It is so quick to set up a page and get to writing. I have used them in education and in my personal life; plus you can create several and manage them all from 1 email address. I have 7 blogs on my dashboard (you blog manager) each with a different purpose. This is one of my education blogs and here are a couple others:

Room 22 Will Rule the World 
(a teacher/student written blog to share with families from when I taught 3rd grade) 

Kwaj Computers

(I use this blog to manage all the links, games and content for my computer classes. I have a couple hundred blog posts, but at any given time only 1-2 are up for students to use. The ease of putting posts up and down is my main reason for using a blog. I can create all my links for the week and then post the ones I need for my next group in the 5 minute transition between classes and still have time to run to the bathroom! This year I also added the grade level tabs at the top (Pages!) for content that I want to be left up all the time, or sites that student will need to access at home.)

Google Docs
Those people at Google know what they are doing! Google Docs is one of my new favorites. It is like a web-based version of Microsoft Office with a word processor, spreadsheet, and presentation creator. Google Docs can also be used by students to collaborate on papers or projects without having to be together, student A can work on it from her home, while student B can make corrections from his. For me, I can use it to work on projects from home and know that they will be waiting for me the next day at work and not on the flash drive that I left in my computer at home. I also love the FORMS that you can create in here. You can have students (or staff) fill out the form and it spits out all their response with a time stamp in an organize spread sheet. It can be a quick way to give a quiz to students and have all the responses in one place. 

I am not sure how many hours I have spent being inspired by others and their creativity on Pinterest. I use this site in both my personal and professional life. Professionally I have seen some of the most amazing teaching ideas for teaching math, reading and bookmarked dozens of educational sites that I never would have found on my own. I can do a search for "computer lab" and hundreds of ideas come up from bulletin board ideas to managing a computer lab to learning websites for Kindergartners. 
(NOTE: If you google "Pinterest in Education" you will see that there are teachers using it with students, but I want to forewarn you that the content is not screened and inappropriate images may pop up. My head is swirling with how students could use this for collaborative projects, but I don't see myself having students use it until there is a way to prevent inappropriate content.)

The last site our staff was introduced to was Prezi. It is useful to help deliver key vocabulary and content to students. It is visually stimulating and helps to grasp student attention. Students can also create a Prezi to show mastery of a process or content.
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