Here are some technology things that you could do with your students. Not everything may be feasible (i.e. cost factors) or appropriate (i.e. security or privacy issues):
- some of the things we’re already doing,
- some of the things we’re thinking of doing, and,
- some of the things are simply wishful thinking, but great ideas have to start somewhere…
How do you integrate technology into the curriculum? Do you have any ideas to add to the list?
Class Set of Laptops
- Get a company to donate a class set of laptops when they upgrade their equipment. (The company can receive a charitable donation tax-credit.)
- Set up a wi-fi hotspot in your classroom so that students can blog online during independent reading and writing workshops.
- Purchase digital copies of textbooks to have a paperless classroom. Use text-reading software (i.e. Kurzweil) to highlight and take notes in the textbook.
Non-Traditional Reading and Writing
- Teach students the differences between formal, informal, and colloquial language and explore text messaging, chat rooms, and msn-speak as forms of colloquial language.
- Evaluate the evolving nature of language and develop word-attack skills by examining how words get accepted into everyday language (or the dictionary). For example, Google is now a commonly used noun and verb.
- Use text-reading software (i.e. Kurzweil) to allow students to access difficult texts.
- Have students set up personal blogs as a medium to publish their writing portfolios.
- Explore how Google is a popularity contest. Publish work in an e-zine article directory to understand how to build inbound links. Post comments on other blogs to build inbound links.
- Explore copyright issues. Publish work in a blog or an e-zine article directory will inevitably end up with your work scraped onto another blog without proper attribution. Explore how that feels and the ethics of using other people’s content without consent.
- Discuss cyber-bullying : ways to protect yourself, how to respond when it happens, and how to avoid accidentally
- Explore computer safety: password strength, viruses, trojans, phishing, etc.
- Learn about online dangers and ways to protect yourself.
- Make hand-outs and homework assignments accessible on a classroom website.
- Use a secure website as a communication tool for marks for both parents and students.
- Introduce your students to HTML and web design.
Making Money Online
- Introduce students to the business of making money online.
- Explore advertising online – how it works.
- Fund raise by selling stuff on e-bay.
GPS and Mapping Technology
- Geo-cache with your students.
- Use GPS technology or mapping software (i.e. Google Earth) in math class to construct larger geometric shapes. (i.e. construct a circle that has a radius of 5 city blocks.)
- Apply GPS technology or mapping software in Geography.
The Internet as a Global Village / Community
- Find a class to pen-pal with and correspond using blogs, email, or IRC chat rooms.
- Use a wiki for students to synthesize and evaluate knowledge gained in a content-subject like History or Geography. They can track how their understanding of concepts grow. Demonstrate how our understanding of a subject-specific topic evolves over time (i.e. a dynamic and digital KWL chart)
- Publish student work in English and in their first language online so that relatives overseas can celebrate in their success.
Technology as a Teaching Tool
- Use a data-projector in class to do modeled and shared readings.
- Use a data-projector in class to do shared writing: the modern equivalent of flip-chart paper
- Use dynamic geometry software (i.e. Geometer’s Sketchpad) to explore math concepts.
Music and Technology
- Buy songs (i.e. itunes) and allow students to DJ their own school dances.
- Critically examine popular music to determine whether mainstream music is appropriate at a school dance (i.e. Soulja Boy – Crank that)
- Create your own pod-casts. Students can use free sound-editing software (i.e. audacity) to mix in free sound effects (i.e. ljudo.com) with their digital recordings of their voices.
- Send an object around the world and invite people who find the object to leave a message online in the classroom blog.
- Explore the video making process: scripts, recording, editing, post-production
- Explore YouTube as a medium to publish content.