Connected teaching demands full classroom connectivity. Educators find classroom teaching richer when connected to digital resources, other classrooms, other teachers, and professional experts. For example, learning about dinosaurs is fun, but learning about dinosaurs using an online video feed from an actual dig and asking questions of a real-life paleontologist is even better.
We all know that technology changes rapidly, but teachers often don’t have a lot of time to stay technologically current after creating and preparing classroom activities and assessing students’ learning. Technology is integrated in our daily lives, both at work and at leisure. This is especially true for students. Students’ use of technology outside of the classroom raises the bar for its use within the classroom, making it an important component for student engagement. Collaboration can be fostered by using class wikis, blogs, learning management systems, and custom social networks.
What would this kind of collaboration look like in your classroom? Cell phones at each desk? An iPad for every student? Students solving math problems using computers instead of paper and pencils? Classes going on virtual online field trips to exotic locations? Technology in the classroom can enable these scenarios and more. Implementing new technology in schools is a hot topic right now, but how important is it to teaching and learning?
The importance of technology in the classroom is discussed this week in Joann’s Picks and Peggy’s Corner found on the Gateway’s home page - www.TheGateway.org. Last week’s columns on Grant writing continue to be discussed on the Gateway’s Facebook and Twitter pages.
Resources covered in this week’s column include:
Tales of Things
Subject: Language Arts, History, Social Studies Grade: 4-11
This lesson plan uses QR codes in the classroom as a social studies/history/literacy project. Students can use QR codes to link any object or image directly to a 'video memory' or an article of text describing its history or background. The goal is to help preserve memories and information about various objects or images. Their movements can then be tracked, as well as any subsequent stories. This lesson was produced by INTERFACE Magazine, a publication for educators to learn about information and communication technologies.
The Science of Fringe #309: Exploring Protein Modeling
Subjects: Forensic science, Biology
In this lesson, students learn about 3-dimensional protein models and how their use allows scientists to predict biological behavior. They will also use computer visualization and online resources to guide them in constructing physical models of proteins. Smartphone users can simply point their devices at the QR codes embedded in the lesson plan for a quick link to the show. This lesson was produced by Science Olympiad in conjunction with FOX Broadcasting Co. Science Olympiad is an American science competition that provides challenges to nearly 6,500 students.
The Wonder of a Wordless Book
In this lesson, students will develop and write a creative story from a wordless book. They will record the stories and export them into podcasts to be presented to the class. This lesson was produced by Digital Wish, a non-profit whose mission is to modernize K-12 classrooms and prepare students for tomorrow's workforce. Teachers create wish lists of technology products for their classroom, and donors then connect with their favorite schools and grant classroom wishes through online cash or product donations.
About The Gateway to 21st Century Skills
The Gateway has been serving teachers continuously since 1996. It is the oldest publicly accessible U.S. repository of educational resources on the Web and the oldest continuously operating service of its kind in the world. The Gateway is sponsored by the National Education Association (NEA) and supported by over 700 quality contributors. The Gateway to 21st Century Skills is the cornerstone of the Global Learning Resource Connection (GLRC) which is a JES & Co. program.
About Joann Wasik- Author of Joann’s Picks
Joann is the Metadata Cataloger for The Gateway for 21st Century Skills. Her primary responsibilities for The Gateway include locating and cataloging standards-based K-12 lessons and activities for The Gateway, as well as writing the “Joann’s Picks” weekly column. Before joining The Gateway in 2006, Joann had been involved with numerous projects at the Information Institute of Syracuse at Syracuse University, including virtual reference with the Virtual Reference Desk (VRD) project; virtual reference competencies and education with the Digital Reference Education Initiative (DREI) project; and metadata cataloging with the Gateway for Educational Materials (GEM). Her previous experience also includes technology training and positions in academic libraries. She also conducts freelance research for business and educational clients. Joann holds B.A. and M.A.T. degrees in English from Boston College, and an M.L.S. degree from Syracuse University.
About Peggy James- Author of Peggy’s Corner
Peggy received her B.S. in Molecular and Cellular Biology from The University of Arizona, and continued on to earn her M.Ed. from the U of A as well. She has taught Physical Science and Chemistry at the high school level. She is working toward her endorsement in Gifted Education, and has been actively involved in coaching and volunteering in Odyssey of the Mind and Academic Decathlon. She has a passion for teaching critical thinking and creativity in the classroom. She has done work evaluating and aligning lesson plans to standards as a curriculum consultant with the National Education Association Health Information Network. She is very excited to help create a collaborative environment for educators to discover new resources that will enhance their teaching!
About the GLRC
About JES & Co.
JES & Co., a publicly funded 501(c) (3) education research organization, is a leader in research and deployment of education programs based on open standards. With 20 years of experience in interoperability and portability of educational resources, organizations around the world come to JES & Co. for leadership and guidance on education programs and initiatives. Since its establishment in the early 1990s, JES & Co. has led and managed The Achievement Standards Network (ASN), The Partnership for 21st Century Skills, The Gateway to 21st Century Skills (formerly known as GEM), the Dell Academy, the Intel Student Certification Program, and Microsoft’s Partners in Learning. For more information about JES & Co. or the Global Learning Resource Connection, visit www.JESandCo.org.