Sunday, October 21, 2012

iPads, Kindles, and Nooks Oh My!

Electronic devices such as iPads, Kindles, and Nooks are finding a place in classrooms while heavy books are finding their way out.  Some schools have done the calculations and learned that incorporating these into the classroom will be less expensive for the long term.  Their big screens are user friendly, the touch screen provides an interactive experience, apps enhance learning, and software updates make the device constantly feel like new, regardless of when it was purchased.  Reports related to students' learning and test scores show higher scores, and at the same time, the classroom atmosphere is left unchanged and devices give teachers flexibility.  Their popularity has increased, and combining them with online sources makes them a great resource and learning tool for all students.  Other benefits besides having an entire library in your lap are reducing photocopying, decreasing the weight of backpacks by the pounds, and saving school districts money from buying textbooks.  Educational benefits students' will receive include a text-to-speech feature, adjusting the font to their preference, getting students motivated to read, the ability to highlight and take notes while reading, to later share with others, and looking up words that are unfamiliar.  Introducing these electronic reading devices into the classroom will be a strong step in a bright educational direction.  From this movement, our students of today will become our shining future of tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Apps For Your New iPhone 5

There are thousands of apps, and more are created every day.  From apps to track your favorite sports teams to helping you find the closest Italian restaurant.  There are even educational apps for teachers and children, as well as apps related to special education.  Within the category of special education, apps are sorted from Literacy & Learning to Language Development and much more.  The teacher apps are also categorized from Classroom Tasks, Instructional Tools to Curricula Support.  The majority of the apps range from free to around five dollars.  In a tough economy, $.99 won’t break anyone’s wallet.  It’s all about the kids, and children will have a lot more fun tracing letters with Winnie the Pooh or learning about animals at the zoo with Curios George compared to worksheets or reading from blah text books.  Students will discover and master skills and concepts they need to be confident and successful learners.  

Monday, October 1, 2012

Using the Technology of Today, in the Classroom Today

I found this article to be beneficial because it explains how social networking, digital gaming, and simulations are possible, efficient, and effective at conveying concepts that wouldn't be otherwise through other instructional methods.

Whenever an individual is introduced to something new, it can be intimidating because at first it is unfamiliar.  With practice, the feeling of unfamiliarity eventually goes away and the individual has adjusted to the change, feeling comfortable as a result of proficiency.  The author encourages others who are new to technology to play around with the tools/resources, work with colleagues and constantly view several resources to overcome barriers.  Technology is great for the classroom and have a positive effect student development and their educational experience.

(These Web 2.0 Technologies that center around user provided content help students to become actively engaged in the lesson at hand)