Integration of technology into the curriculum is currently in the infancy stage at my school. Not only do we lack sufficient computers and other tools, but our students have not yet had a keyboarding class. For this reason, I will have to carefully consider how to begin harnessing technology in a practical and beneficial way. One application to which I was introduced in another class this semester is Voicethreads. Using it, students and teachers can respond to a graphic or video using only their voices. I think it would be a highly motivating introduction for students who haven’t really communicated through technology before. I could use it in the library to get students to comment on different books. The book jacket could be displayed on the Voicethread and then students could make their comments into the microphone. Their recorded comment would be heard when their photo was clicked.
Another technology I would like to see our students learn is PowerPoint. This would require very little keyboarding while still providing a new and exciting way for them to communicate new knowledge to their classmates and teachers. Students could help create PowerPoints in the library to announce school news on the monitor that sits at the checkout counter. They could also create PowerPoints in their other classes to report findings from research. I know this isn’t anything new or exciting to most of you! We are just really behind, and I know that learning PowerPoint would be most exciting to our students.
Both Voicethreads and PowerPoint lend themselves to the Constructivist model of learning and require students to think critically. I’m looking forward to having more time next year to devote to helping teachers learn these skills in hopes that they’ll, in turn, teach their students.
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