Wednesday, August 15, 2007

13 Forms of Technology Students Want in the Classroom

An article in the July/August issue of Edutopia Magazine relates different forms of technologies kids of various ages would like to see in the classroom. While there are no surprises here---like cell phones---the varied uses these devices can serve are eye-opening.

1. Laptop Computers---they can be used all over the room…no more bulky computer tables and miles of wire. I’ve been taking classes for an additional degree online. I love it. All of my assignments are turned in online and they are returned to me with notations and grades. While I wouldn’t want to eliminate paper totally, and I wouldn’t want to go totally online with our younger students I think the idea has terrific implications for our older students.

2. Bluetooth---in case you don’t know this application allows people to transfer information from one device to another. For example, students are given an assignment to go home and find a particular type of insect or type of rock in their yard. They use a cell phone to snap the image. Using Bluetooth they can download the picture from the cell phone to a school computer. It gives a whole new look and feel to show-and-tell…..some items simply can’t be brought to school anymore.

3. Cell Phones---a new program called Mobile Prep allows students/teachers to create decks of vocabulary flash cards. Multiplication cards could probably be created as well. An auto generator could be used to create banks of questions for review. As mentioned before most children that have cell phones have cameras and video recorders right at their fingertips……

4. Digital Cameras---these can be used to photograph what’s written on the board such as a list of vocabulary words or even tonight’s homework. This could be a great motivator for the kids who act as if writing one word will kill them. Keep the pictures, scroll through the images for the week, and the child has all the notes he/she needs to study for the test.

5. Graphing Calculator--- Did you know that some versions have downloadable Periodic Tables?

6. Nintendo DS---yeah, really. There are several brain building programs and games such as Brain Age which involves simple equations and syllibication. String a few together and kids can have a competition.

7. Flash Drives---1-gig devices can be bought for $25 and they can be carried on a key ring. You can carry around all of your info on one device and move from computer to computer to work.

8. Web Cam---great for working with other classes across the nation or the world on webprojects

9. Public Address System---for music between classes....presentations, etc.

10. Video Cameras---students can create news reports from different campus locations, film a class presentation, etc.

11. Universal Remote---the perfect companion for all of the new technology

12. Ipod---Students can listen to book, and many teachers have taken to creating podcasts of their lectures/lessons for students to listen to and/or watch.

13. Sims Virtual Worlds---computer programs that allow students to create homes, towns, cities, etc. These types of programs are great for applying all sorts of content from economics, political science, and even math.

The entire Edutopia article can be found here
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Lori said...

Well, its always nice to have something to shoot for:) Happy TT.

Comedy + said...

When I was in school we had the public address system. Wow, am I old. Have a great TT. :)

Deb said...

It's so wonderful to see a positive take on the uses of technology in the classroom. So many teachers are Luddites. thanks for this informative list!

damozel said...

I concur. It's really encouraging to see people coming up with creative and innovative uses of available technology. Also I personally found it helpful with respect to certain devices I am not familiar with. Thanks!

Jennie said...

Ahh, the dream. I would LOVE to use what my kids already have (ahem, cell phones and ipods) and we do sometimes "sneak" them into a lesson. I'm not sure when they'll be "okay" in general though.

I think they also need microphones and headsets to record things on their computers for their ipods!

Splash said...

Wow, thanks for the list! I'm in Adult Ed., which is a little different. Adult Ed is BIG on technology, but we are using blogs, memes, photoblogs, etc. We have to keep it simple, as we are mainly ESL and welfare-to-work, different audience, I guess. (

Nicholas said...

Are we still planning to teach them to read and write and add up?

Robin said...

I love some of the innovations you're suggesting, but the digital camera for taking notes would make me worry that kids would stop paying attention and just snap a picture as they walk out the door. I'm sure a good teacher would have a way to make sure that didn't happen though.

EHT said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
EHT said... wording was off so I started over.

Robin, I've used this in my own classes. Just because a student is busy taking notes does not mean they are listening to you. Some kids get so caught up in writing that they don't really hear you. My students are very young and are at the beginning of their note taking careers. For that reason I have to really abbreviate and condense what they need. Even with that some are unable to get everything down....maybe they skip words here and there....maybe a physical barrier keeps them from doing what they images can help because parents can then help their children go over the info from class and the student has still made an attempt to participate in class.

The images cut down on making copies as well....

Great list!

30plusteacher said...

Thanks for all the visits.

Nicholas, where did I say we were deleting reading and writing instruction? I didn't. They are still key.

When I use technology during research on the presidents, the students must still read, research, and take notes. Then they must take all of that information and analyze it in order to present it in a differnt form of their own. This involves writing and they must exhibit higher order thinking skills to do this.

They are already using the technology. Why not show them that it can be used as a tool to educate themselves with instead of just a passtime to communicate with friends or watch videos?

MamaLee said...

this kind of list always reminds me of what I DIDN'T have when I was at college in the 80s!
happy TT!

Denise Patrick said...

That was a very interesting list. I agree with many of them, but, as you said, there are some places where we just need paper and pen. Too many of our kids are used to "texting" and don't know how to write or spell.

My TT is about my summer travels.

Jeremy said...

I am all for it as they need the tech for the real world, question is how do we fund it? Excellent post.

I still remember overheads and transparencies, and we thought that was cool.....

Natalie said...

Very interesting list. I'm seeing some of those tools used in the classroom at DD's high school this year.

Happy TT!

elisheva said...

Wow, there are some things I want in my home office.

Steve said...

The thing I have found about technology in the classroom is it a tool. In other words, it is only good if you make it count. I think the biggest hitch is for rural schools that cant afford this stuff.

Also, politicians aren't making this kind of thing a priority for some stupid reason. I think we likely have the capital to put this in the classroom, but we just dont give it top priority. Interesting post.

PS- came in through Blog Carnival.