IntegratED Classroom Learning Experiences with Technology
Integrating technology has been a hot topic for quite some time. If you search you will find many different PD books, articles, and tips and tricks on the subject. All of this can be very overwhelming if you're someone that isn’t as “tech savvy” as you think others might be. I’m here (Meg) to tell you I was that person. When I first was introduced to “THE DRIVE” for google I was terrified I would lose all of my desktop folders full of all the goodies. I put up a wall that stopped me and my students from this new learning. It took me some time and some navigating around a few learning curves but now I work in nothing but the drive. You could say it's my life. And now I am a one to one classroom, Google certified and I am always on the lookout for new ways to incorporate technology into my classroom and my personal life.
Our Live by Tips and Tricks
There are so many different ways that you can incorporate technology into your classroom to give students an experience they will remember. Here are just some of the ideas/apps we use frequently throughout the year.
Do you have some favorites? We would love to hear them! Comment on our blog or message us on any social media and we will be sure to shout you and your idea out!
NearPod: Create your own learning pathway for your students by adding tons of different multimedia to a very easy to use slide deck. You can choose to put this as student lead or teacher lead. Check out the Mrs. Everest preview Kara created during our landforms unit.
Google Earth/Maps: Are you learning about a battle? What about an ecosystem? A different culture? Before your lesson, direct your students to a place on the earth for them to explore and ask questions. You can go just about anywhere in the world!
Green Screen: Green screen projects are a great way to integrate technology into your classroom, no matter the grade level! Here are some ideas that can be used as is or modified to fit whatever grade level or subject you teach. Using a green screen with video allows you to replace the background with any image or video of your choice. You can transport yourself anywhere in the world, and beyond, with a green screen. Using any recording device the person filming stands in front of a large green screen and records their video. After the video is recorded your students can use an app like PicCollage, iMovie or DoInk to add your own video or image.
If you want more specific ideas on how to incorporate a green screen into your learning experiences, click here to read our article, 10 Green Screen Ideas for the Classroom.
Skype: Bring in an expert, explorer, or veteran to you! Using the platforms of Skype, Zoom, Google Hangout, you can easily bring in people to interview. This is a great way to connect students to others in their community/world and to hear first hand about different real life experiences. National Geographic has a place where you can book an explorer to talk with your students. Who could you “bring in” to give your students an experience on interviewing and learning more about your topic? This is also a great way to integrate different reading, writing, speaking and listening skills by having them prepare questions for guests. After visiting and interviewing your guest, students could use this information to add to a research paper or presentation for a final assessment at the end of the unit.
Digital Escape Room: These are a great way to get your students to use their problem solving skills, collaboration, learning content and provide some game play. You can create your own or use some that are already made to fit your content. Check out Matt Miller’s blog for 40 Free Digital Escape Rooms and a step by step guide on how to create your own.
Megan and Kara are educational leaders, professional development experts, and current classroom teachers who are improving the way instruction is being delivered in the standard classroom.