George Lucas Educational Foundation

Integrating Technology Within The Classroom

Integrating Technology Within The Classroom

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I am a 4th grade teacher that is fortunate to have a superintendent that is big on technology. I live and teach in Selma, Alabama, Dallas County School District. Selma is a very small town. However, technology is plentiful here in the Dallas County School District. Every classroom has several computers with cameras, promethean boards/projectors, mobi-systems, and clickers/active-votes. Technology is enforced and encouraged within the Dallas County School System. I try to integrate technology in every subject area. I found that my students are more interested in reading especially through technology, the promethean board. Students seem to grasp concepts in math better by integrating technology. They enjoy having the opportunity to go to the promethean board and work a problem or play a math game verses going to a normal chalk board. Student are so interested in technology, they will introduce you, the teacher, to several learning sites. Technology is very important to the educational system.

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Randy's picture

Our high school provides 40 laptops for 3000. We can schedule the laptop cart but have no internet access. Currently we just word process, which is helpful for focus. I would love to find successful ways to use the computer to teach.
Does anyone have any ideas to share for English?

Tonya Walton's picture

Back in my undergrad technology class we were always asked if the lesson should teach technology or if technology should teach the lesson? Our professor didn't want us to design a lesson around technology. She wanted us to design the lesson and then integrate technology. There's a fine line. Any thoughts?

Your question on English. My kids love when I use my overhead projector that is hooked up to my computer. I open a word document and type a sentence. (They love watching how fast I type compared to them!) Then as a class we go through and edit it. Currently we are working on quotation marks and the correct punctuation with them. They like getting to come up to my computer and type in the corrections in front of the class.
I also let them come up with incorrect sentences, print them, and have a partner see if they can edit it correctly. We also try to utilize PowerPoint and come up with slides that use either correct or incorrect punctuation or an "adjective find". They love being involved in the lessons other than just the book.
Good Luck!

Kelly Fryar's picture

I teach computer applications and other business courses, along with Introduction to Theatre Arts. Occasionally in Theatre Arts, I have my student use the computers to create games for whatever unit we are working on using PowerPoint. It is not necessary to have online access. Hope this gives you something you can use in class.

Betsy Payne's picture

India, How wonderful that you have the opportunity to use technology in your classroom. Our district in California has been working hard to integrate technology into each school. However, technology takes money and with all of the budget cuts, it's a very slow process. We have just been designated, once again, a Title 1 school. This means that we will be getting extra monies from the state and it has been designated to mainly be spent on equipment such as LCD projectors, smart boards, more computers, etc.!! I am looking very forward to learning to use all of these things and integrate them into all areas of my curriculum!

Kathy F's picture
Kathy F
6th grade writing teacher

My school also has mobile laptop carts that are to be shared by the masses. I understand and feel your pain.
If your school has a network drive, you might be able to place a task/worksheet for the students to complete. Then they can print or save it for your assessment. It is still word processing, but at least it is different form.
In addition, students can use different applications like Microsoft Publisher or PowerPoint to create different projects. They can also create various assessment pieces for their peers.

Good luck!

Mary Baker's picture
Mary Baker
11th Grade Social Studies

I also feel fortunate that my school focuses on the importance of technology in the classroom. My first year we received our first SMARTboards and I was scared to use them. I was a first year overhead projector locing teahcer :) Now I am blessed to have my own classroom mounted SMARTboard attached directlt to my wall. While I have not been able to use it as interactively as liked this year, I am so excited to attend various conferences and workshops so I can learn how to use this tool in my classroom.
I believe that technology has to be used in the classroom because technology is a part of the students everyday life. They are more compuetr savy than most of their teachers so it must be the goal of teachers to become as technologically svay as they can. We must meet our students in the middle to demonstrate our desire to learn their interests and want to teach through their strengths. If their was a video game created that teachers could use to teach I think it would be highly successful because students today think in that context.
As teachers we can not be afraid of technology the way I was my first year. We must learn these new strategies and implement them into our classroom.

Mary Baker's picture
Mary Baker
11th Grade Social Studies

I agree with your professor. Technology must be integrated into the daily lesson but during some lessons the technology will have to take the lead because you may have to teach students new skills that are based on technology. Also if you are fortunate to have the new fun technology then you obviously have to use it. In my case My SMARTboard is front and center in my classroom and it took over my ability to use white boards or chalkbaords is highly limited so I have to use my technology so I have to make sure the technology is a part of the lesson. Now I when I say I use it on a daily basis I am not saying I have these huge elaborate lessons with it but it is a focal point on a daily basis.

Joel Menking's picture

I completely agree with what your professor taught you. I have tried to plan my lessons around technology, and it was like putting the cart before the horse. I found myself losing focus of the original purpose of the lesson, and the kids ended up confused.

Jon Moore's picture
Jon Moore
11th and 12th grade English teacher from Shepherd, Montana

I think one advantage of being old enough to have taught in a classroom without technology is that I have lessons/assessments that worked on paper. Now I can integrate technology to enhance those lessons. I would say for anyone who is worried about if the cart and horse are in the correct order-try it on paper first!

Hubert V. Yee's picture
Hubert V. Yee
social media and marketing manager of startup

I think that when we teach it's important to use tools that people are comfortable with. Currently, I'm coaching a person on the use of technology for communications. I encourage the new person to try new things and not to be fearful. Now she's sending emails and scanning pictures. One step at a time.

Also try simulating the lesson before hand first.

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