Tech I Use and Why
Being the impressionable, work-a-holic, easily inspired teacher that I am, the recent NY Times article A Silicon Valley School That Doesn’t Compute really got me thinking. Do I use too much tech in my class? Does all the tech I use facilitate student learning or do I just think it’s fun and cool? What is the purpose of technology in education? In the classroom? Should I strip my classroom of technology too? Am I doing bad by my students by integrating so much tech into our classroom? Rather than tackle these difficult questions, I decided to make a list of all the tech I do use, and the associated purpose. Anything that I feel doesn’t facilitate meaningful learning will get axed. Below is the list I generated in no particular order. See “tools” tab above for more resources. Should I get out the chopping block?
Use this program to build my class website. It allows me to integrate things like google forms into the website in a seamless fashion for students. Students seem to enjoy the clean look and feel.
Student/group produced instructional videos upon conclusion of “Explore” day of learning cycle.
Produce quick tutorials for students during class. Use iFrame function in Rapidweaver so videos are automatically housed on class website for ease of access. Also, given the need for spontaneously produced instructional videos in response to misconceptions that arise during the “Explore” day of the learning cycle, this app allows me to create quick instructional videos for students.
Collect students summaries to instructional videos. Collect and grade multiple choice responses to quizzes and tests (I use the scriptsFlubaroo for item analysis and MCQ to email students score and feedback). Collect and analyze group lab data. Collect student and parent course evaluations. Peer Instruction “buzzers” (see sidebar on right).
Shared “collections” for student lab and writing portfolios. Public google document for “Virtual Review” before exams.
Enter student instructional video summaries to generate word cloud. Use this to stimulate Q & A about instructional video before “application” phase of learning cycle.
Screenflow, Jing, & Quicktime:
Record teacher and student produced instructional videos.
Coaches Eye (iPhone):
Use app to record and deconstruct student lab work.
Voice Thread (iPhone)
Record teacher and student produced worked examples.
Wacom Graphire & Wacom Bamboo tablets (w/wireless adaptor):
Use for mobile instruction/modeling when needed during class.
Use in conjunction w/ tablets to annotate over pdf documents during class.
Use in conjunction w/ tablets to annotate over blank screen during class.
Use in conjunction w/ tablets to annotate over screen, videos, slides, etc. during class and in instructional videos.
Use in conjunction with tablets to annotate over pdf documents in instructional videos (clunkier than FormulatePro but easier to change color).
Use to time students when taking AP style exams, working on challenge problems, or negotiating any task that is timed during class.
Use as a backchannel for students and groups to ask general questions to me or the class during problem solving sessions.
Use to obtain clips from DVDs for #anyqs style video clips during “Explore” phase. See “movies” tab above for examples of clips.
Use to obtain mp4s of YouTube clips to integrate into instructional video and Keynote slides for #anyqs and general demonstrations.
Vimeo & YouTube
Publish instructional videos. Both allow for time-marker integration and annotations to help scaffold videos.
Use to generate iTunes feed for instructional videos.
IPEVO & Boardcam (iPad):
Use as doc cam to showcase student work, demonstrations and lab set up.
Logger Pro w/ Vernier:
Use for data analysis during “Explore” day of learning cycle.
Use video camera function to record class demonstrations and student work.
Use as “home base” for activities during “Explore” or “Apply” day. Also, #anyqs pictures and videos are housed in the keynote slides as ways to begin “Explore” day of learning cycle.
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