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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Technology in the Elementary Classroom

Mary Beth Hertz

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

Welcome to the first post of many that I will be sharing about using technology in the elementary classroom.

First, a little about me.

I am a computer teacher in Philadelphia for grades K-6. I will be starting a new job in September at a charter school in North Philadelphia as their technology teacher, and for the last 3 years I have been the technology teacher and technology teacher leader for an elementary school in West Philadelphia. I have spent the last 3 years exploring how various applications and Web 2.0 tools can push my students to think more critically and creatively as well as how to create connections with each other and the outside world. We have used programs like GarageBand, iWeb, iMovie as well as Web 2.0 tools like drop.io, VoiceThread, Storybird, Shidonni, Animoto, Diigo and wikis to create, collaborate and share.

The focus of this blog will be to provide resources, tips and ideas for elementary teachers looking to incorporate technology into their classroom. Please let me know in the comment area if there is anything in particular you would like to know more about and I will make sure I address it!

You can follow me on Twitter at @mbteach and I also blog at Philly Teacher.

Thank you to Edutopia for giving me the opportunity to blog on their website. I really respect what they do for education along with the resources that they provide for educators, so it is an honor to blog for them.

Comments (19)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

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Scott Bowling's picture
Scott Bowling
4th grade teacher in Honolulu

I am looking forward to reading your blog. I recently attended the ISTE conference and went to a presentation on Voice Thread and I am looking forward to using it. I was planning on doing a lot of skype conferences next year but due to our time difference in Honolulu, Voice thread seems to make sense.
I am not familiar with drop io, shidonni or diigo and would like to know more about them.

Brenda Asher's picture

I was also in that Voice Thread class! :) I am looking forward to hearing your ideas for tech use in the classroom. We have so many things blocked in our district but i am looking for ways to use tech despite my district!

sanjuyadav's picture
sanjuyadav
IT professional in MSL

When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons. Moreover, when technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress, for more detail visit- online mba

Linda Martin's picture
Linda Martin
Advanced Academics Resource Teacher from Reston, VA

I am excited about your blog, too. As an older teacher, I may not have the most up-to-date technology skills, but I am ok with letting students figure things out with me (or run ahead of me!). I do consider myself fearless, however, so I intend to learn as much as I can from you. Right now I am interested in how to integrate studies around a wiki by incorporating podcasts, videos, and other presentation pieces into them. So give me what you got!

Anna's picture

I am looking forward to reading your blog! I am a pre-service teacher and I will be starting my full-time internship in a second grade class in the fall. I hope to learn a great deal from you since you have so much experience with technology in the elementary school classroom! What have been some effective ways you have experienced in integrating technology with young students? I have used virtual field trips and various SmartBoard activities with a kindergarten class. I would really enjoy learning more about other interactive ways to engage young learners with technology.

Sara's picture
Sara
1st Grade Teacher in MN

This will be wonderful! I am a SmartBoard user (clickers, too), but am so excited to be incorporating iPads this fall. I have used Garageband and am looking forward to learning more about the other programs you listed! Thanks in advance for sharing!

Kelly's picture

I am excited to learn more about your opinions with technology in the classroom. I have just received an Elmo in my first grade room and a computer pod. I am now interested in how to use those to help my students take ownership in their learning.

TERESA HERNANDEZ's picture

Hello Mary,
I am interested in learning more on how to integrate technology into various subjects. You mentioned various websites in your post. I have not heard of Drop.io, Storybird, Diigo. My district has many websites blocked, I wouldn't know until I return to work in the fall which ones are available. Please keep us posted how your activities went with those websites. Great Post and thanks for sharing.
Terry

Brian C. Smith's picture
Brian C. Smith
Learning Technology in Hong Kong, China

Mary Beth, good to meet you at ISTE last week. I taught in elementary school for 9 years before my current role as an Instructional Tech Specialist (5 years). I'm still working in many elementary schools in our region with inquiry and project-based learning, playful learning workshops, Web 2.0 tools and many other educational technologies.

I'm looking forward to your posts here at Edutopia.org.

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