The past 3 days I have been immersed in the topic of tech-ed at the ISTE Conference. In a lot of ways this is about the Future of Education, or at least possible routes for the Future of Education to take. One of the most daunting challenges of a Conference like this is to process all I have seen, heard and gathered but I will attempt to do so in a few Blog posts that will include practical technology tools that could be used in class this coming year, thoughts on future technology’s impact on society, and finally a discussion where education may be heading in the future.
Classroom Technology Tools: This can be very challenging because there are so many websites that are offered. Like your tool box at home, you have to think about the classroom task at hand and decide which technology tool will work best (if any) for that task. Remember, sometimes a hand screw driver can work better than the fancy, high powered cordless drill.
- Here are the 5 Technology Tools I look forward to trying in the upcoming school year in my history courses but they can be adapted to any subject.
1) Instagrok.com: This site provides Graphical Concept Maps on virtually any subject, any topic. Type in a topic you want to “Grok” and then you are able to determine how in depth you want to analyze your topic from elemetary “A,B,Cs” to “Einstein.” This could be a great pre or post unit tool for visual learners.
2) YouTube: Make your own YouTube channel and easily create a playlist where all of your course videos are in one place for students to access. You no longer have to scroll through a “Favorites” drop down or scramble to locate a video (This can be managed through your Google account).
3) Gobstopper: This tool looks to have real potential in regards to reading comprehension in Social Studies but I have a hunch Moodle (which I am learning this summer) may provide similar capabilities. You do have to sign in for the free account and it will take some time to organize your “classrooms.” To me, one of the highlights of this tool is that you, for example, can upload a pdf article or web-based article and then imbed questions, videos and other links for the students to use as they read.
4) Comments4kids: If you intend on using classroom blogs, this site hooks you up with other classrooms to begin commenting back and forth on each other’s student’s blogs. It is a great way to ensure students receive instant feedback on their work and ideas and keep them engaged in the project.
5) App Builders: I had thought it would be interesting for students to design apps that investigate local history sites around Milwaukee or SE Wisconsin. I spoke to a science professor who developed an apps building project in his course and he passed on several app building sites to help in these endeavors. There are many out there other than the one linked (See also: ibuildapp.com, appmakr.com, appsmakerstore.com, red foundry.com).
These are just (5) of the dozens I saw in San Antonio. Here is a link to a ebook, 101freetechtools, that was given to conference attendees that you can scroll through for your own use.