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WHAT WORKS IN EDUCATION The George Lucas Educational Foundation
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Technology Tools for the First Week of School

Mary Beth Hertz

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA

Are there specific technology tools that educators should use during the first weeks of school? Yes! In case you're not sure where to start, I asked my Twitter colleagues to tell me what tools they are planning to use, or have used, and why.

Keep in mind that there are many uses for each tool and there is no one right way to use it -- adapt the ideas to work in your own classroom. And if you would like to learn more about certain tools, I will be addressing some of them in my next post, so please let me know in the comment area what interests you.

I placed all the responses from Twitter in a Google doc, but here are some highlights:

* Dana Zora (Stevens Elementary, Aberdeen, WA): "QuickieQ and AnswerGarden to survey students and parents on first day."

* Kristina Peters (Spring Lake Magnet, Omaha, NE): "I'd like to start using Twiducate to empower students to get involved in social media in a 'safe' manner."

* Deena Warwick (Chocowinity Primary School, Chocowinity, NC): "I want to use Prezi as a get-to-know-each-other tool. Typically, I have used powerpoint in the past, but I think Prezi (or Glogster) will be more engaging."

Below, you'll find all the Twitter responses I gathered. But you can go directly to the Google doc for easier reading. You can't edit the Google doc, so please share your ideas, ask questions, and provide resources and answers in the comments field at the bottom of this page.

Mary Beth Hertz

K-8 Technology Teacher in Philadelphia, PA
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Comments (16)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Phil's picture
Phil
Teacher and Ed-Tech Blogger at BrokenAirplane.com

Technology should become more a part of our classrooms because it provides us the ability to do things faster than we could have before and often for free.

Here are some useful resources for the year from my blog at BrokenAirplane.com:
How to Make Video Tutorials

Google Apps Level the Playing Field

Staying Connected to Your Parents

Free and Open Source Software Recommendations

Looking forward to seeing all of the other suggestions!

Maria's picture
Maria
teacher and blogger @ http://www.teachingin21.blogspot.com/

This year everyone in my class has a set of iPods and we have used many different tools/apps. The top favorite ones include: Notes, Word Fu,
Bookworm, Google Earth, and Pop Geo. I look forward to trying some of the ones listed above also. Thanks

Chris_NGLC's picture

Interesting about the Prezi terms of service. As we begin to integrate more tech into the classroom, of course the privacy of our students is what's most important.

Al Verdes's picture

Online gradebooks are nothing new, but few are done well. My favorite is a web-based online gradebook recently released (for free) by Thinkwave (www.thinkwave.com). I've found it very powerfull in connecting students parents and teachers around assignments and grades, and using them as a means to improve learning rather than the end result! Thanks for the blog and great ideas!

Ksword's picture

Thank you for telling us about thinkwave. I can't wait to try it...it must be easier than what we have now.

Sharon Ticchio's picture
Sharon Ticchio
Mathematics, 1st - 3rd grade

I really appreciate all of the resources everyone has shared and I am excited to try a few with my students. My school is currently using Everyday Math. We recently installed Promethean boards in most of our classrooms. We have flip charts and journal pages scanned for our use for 1st and 3rd grade. I am trying to find similar resources for 2nd grade. Where do you recommend finding these items?

Samantha's picture

Thanks for the ideas. When I was told I would be teaching computers computers to grades K-6, and wasn't going to be given curriculum, software, etc., i was overwhelmed. I am in my third year now, and have slowly pieced together my own curriculum and units for the kids, but am always looking for new things to teach. These are great ideas, and I cannot wait to expore them further.

Laurie Cutler's picture
Laurie Cutler
1st grade teacher from Virginia Beach

I am eager to integrate technology into my instruction as I begin my teaching career. This post introduced me to many online tools that I cannot wait to try with my students. I love the idea of using Answer Garden or Question Press to conduct pre-assessments or interest surveys. These tools provide an efficient way to determine your students' knowledge and interests at the beginning of the year or before starting a new unit.

I also like the idea of using Twiducate to build a community of learners through social networking. Wordle is a good brainstorming tool, and Prezi seems like an exciting site for creating engaging presentations.

I am working to create my own Weebly site for my professional portfolio. Weebly is another great tool that could be incorporated in the classroom for building electronic portfolios of student work.

Thank you for giving me ideas that I can incorporate in my classroom!

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