First– I need to give some serious KUDOS to the teachers that have saved "dinosaur computers" so that their students can make the most of technology in the classroom (thanks for sharing your stories)! There are some great resources available for schools to receive donated/refurbished computers across the country… check them out:
· Computers For Schools (donated computers by businesses and individuals)
· Computers For Learning (donated computers that were disposed of by federal agencies)
Talk with your district Technology Coordinator, as some major computer companies (Dell, HP, Compaq, Apple, etc) have programs to recycle old computers and/or donate computers to schools.
Samples… Samples… Step Right Up!
Since teachers don’t get enough credit and/or recognition for their creativity and zest for teaching— I think this week I’ll brag about a few teachers and share their innovative ways to integrate technology in the classroom!
· Dave Gamon, Mead School District (WA), uses a different movie each week that relates to his lessons. He puts a hyperlink on his webpage to Assignment Builder so students can hyperlink from home, watch the movie, and then fill out a questionnaire to be emailed back for extra credit.
· Susy Breneman, Mead School District (WA), takes the "Tea Party" approach in teaching new vocabulary terms to her students. Students are given a vocabulary word and definition to preview, and then they walk around the classroom introducing the word and its meaning to other classmates one-on-one. After a few minutes, the video is introduced with a focus placed on those vocabulary words. Ms. Breneman will either write the words on the board in the order they appear in the video or create a word document so that students can take notes about the word and its context (as they watch the video).
· Toula Jacobson, Washtenaw ISD/REMC16 (MI), likes to engage her teachers in a hands-on activity that can be utilized in the math classroom. After showing a math video/segment, she asks teachers to create a "math cube" with numbers and/or math vocabulary. Teachers partner up, roll the cube, and then create a word problem, story, or equation with whatever is rolled (varying difficulty by increasing number of rolls, content on cubes, etc). This truly makes a great connection between a video lesson and bringing the concept to life with a hands-on activity! **You can easily vary this activity for other subjects–spelling words, geology phrases, book characters & events, shapes, etc. Click here for a cube cut-out that you can write on & print!
· Kristin Furdak, Michigan Manager– Discovery Educator Network, really likes to utilize whiteboards in her training sessions. She will begin to show a video segment and then pause the video so that it becomes an image on the whiteboard. At this point, she will encourage her students to write notes on the board next to the image. Art teachers have also taken advantage of this lesson– pausing a video and then asking students to go up to the board and point at shapes, colors, textures, etc. that they see on various "paused frames". What a great real-world connection!
Whew…to keep this blog from becoming the next War and Peace novel, I’ll stop by early next week and add a few of my own lessons that were favorites at this time of year! As always, I look forward to hearing some of your great ideas– brag away, you deserve the credit!
~Monika Davis, Discovery Education