Saturday, July 4, 2009

New Technology Tricks for Old Dogs: Use What You Know

At Kathleen Risolvo's K-5 School in Chicago, IL they began integrating technology by planning some group activities in classrooms with a variety of technologies and found innovative ways to introduce these technologies to teachers in training.

One innovative training technique they used was a speedgeeking event - Kind of like speed dating where each station had a quick review of a technology tool or application that the attendees had to visit and then move on. I personally loved this idea and could imagine the possibilities for developing an event like that. Maybe a Google form at the end where everyone "scores" each new tool. Just thinking...

When planning technology based centers in the classroom Kathleen said that what makes them work is a specific task for each center. This would, of course, be after they had been introduced to the technology. It works to have them review a skill or research a topic. Here are some examples:
Interactive Whiteboard Center - Students must be comfortable navigating the board, make the activity self-checking and have expectations for individual student contributions.

iPod Center - Have them get videos online to watch and do an activity. One idea is to have them watch a screencast of how to do something on the computer and then do it.

Digital Camera - Used in movie mode, reader's response video or photo, interviews, all should be written out first

Teacher Guided Creation Station - This is your opportunity to work with a small group, should be higher level thinking using what the students know to create something, may need more than one rotation. Ideas include: powerpoints, newsletters, creating podcasts, movie making, tagging content and much more...

They had each student bring their own earbuds and carry them with them to each class.
Pedagogical and curriculum knowledge used to be all a good teacher needed to know, now technological knowledge is a must. The bottom line includes finding ways for teachers and students to get their hands on technology and use them to increase learning.


Shannon Smith said...

Thanks for posting this. I did not attend this session, but would have liked to while at NECC. Unfortunately there is not enough time to see it all. I am a HUGE proponent of centers within my classroom and can totally see myself doing this. I typically have one or two of my centers technology based, but never thought of incorporating the cameras in such a way. Great idea!

Teaching Sagittarian said...

I LOVE this idea - so simple - we've done it at a Faculty Meeting (speedgeeking to see what staff have been doing in the classroom with technology) but it never even occurred to me to do it with kids!! Thanks for sharing Melanie - (and I'm sooooooo jealous that you went to NECC - maybe one day I'll get there .........)

dayle timmons said...

This idea of "speedgeeking" looks really interesting. However, having never done anything remotely similar to speed dating, I'm not sure exactly how this looks or if you would feel rushed to look at too many things in a short period of time. Would love to experience this to see how it works.