Each week I create a PowerPoint presentation of goals and activities that are intrinsic to the success of the class. I include relevant links to current events and topics. I refer to it throughout the week and edit and add to it as we discover relevant material. At the end of the week, I use the PowerPoint to review for the quiz or to reteach difficult concepts. I also print copies for absent students.
Magnolia High School
The most engaging and practical use of technology in my classroom is presentation software for reports, review activities, and games.The power of images combined with text and audio is so great that nearly all styles are addressed. My favorite is my homemade Jeopardy game, with scoreboard, answers, and theme music. In geometry class, at the end of a unit, we don't review; we play Geopardy!
Math/science teacher and technology coordinator
Mercy Catholic High School
Red Bluff, California
An LCD projector connected to a computer. The projector allows anything on the computer screen to be projected on a basic, white overhead screen. Think of all the places in cyberspace that you could go with your class while surfing the Internet together or watching streaming video.The LCD projector is also versatile. You can hook up a DVD player, a VCR, or another output device for big-screen viewings.
FAME curriculum coordinator
Dent Middle School
Columbia, South Carolina
The software that holds the most promise is really a technological philosophy: the open-source movement. Give every student an old laptop that businesses no longer use. Download a free, blindingly fast Linux operating system (www.puppylinux.com/puppy). A keychain flash drive with free software (www.openoffice.org) does 95 percent of everything Microsoft Office can do. Then let students read from free online classics (www.literature.org/authors) rather than having to lug around those cumbersome anthologies.
Todd Blake Finley
Associate professor of English education
East Carolina University
Greenville, North Carolina
The pencil and paper. Sure, they're old technology, but they work, they're cheap enough to give plenty to every kid in school, and they don't take any special training.
First-grade teacher (and former computer consultant)
Searles Elementary School
Union City, California
I teach art, and any time a student wants information on a particular artist and to see images, we just go online together. I can access art museums and galleries around the world -- armchair travel at its best.
Ridgway High School
Santa Rosa, California
A well-prepared teacher. She or he has the capacity to inform, challenge, and open minds. Using a variety of media -- chalkboard, computer, presentation tools -- and enthusiasm, a teacher can open a window in any subject.
Most Blessed Sacrament School
Baton Rouge, Louisiana
Wireless technology permits students to access information on the Internet in real time while working on projects, cases, and presentations. A wireless educator station is essential to class facilitation. Real-time participation with peers and colleagues outside of the physical classroom simulates team dynamics.
A. Gary Anderson Graduate School of Business
University of California
I love United Streaming for using video clips in the classroom.United Streaming has every video subdivided into topic-specific clips just a few minutes long. Teachers have more control over the content. Much better than wasting forty-five minutes of a fifty-minute class with a video and notes.
Technology project coordinator
Austin Independent School District
Without any doubt, the most useful and powerful technology for use in the classroom today is the interactive whiteboard. A teacher finally has a tool that actively engages the students with all the learning potential that can be found on the Internet. Contemporary sites, animated applets, Web search engines, and whiteboard-specific software make a classroom more inviting and thought-provoking, no matter what the subject area.
When used correctly, video is the most effective technology in the classroom. Clipping segments and pausing during playback to ask questions make video an effective and complementary source of instruction. Students are likely to be more engaged when they are asked to interact throughout the video, as opposed to the end (when two or three might be sleeping).