Aloha from Hawaii!
I am interested in knowing if, as an elementary teacher, which tech tools support student achievement in your classroom.
What is your take on tools like:
interactive white boards?
Media subscriptions like BrainPop, DiscoveryEd/Safari Montage/etc.?
Adaptive software like DreamBox or Reading Eggs, etc?
Feel free to respond as to which of these listed or those not listed effect your practice and student learning. Thank you for your response!
Thanks for replying! What type of Interactive White Board do you use? What grade/s do you teach?
I just moved to the Technology Teacher/coordinator position in December, but I think I can still speak from my last several years of experience in my 1st grade classroom.
We used our big screen tv to share education videos found on the computer - I really like this because it was easy to find a 5 minutes youtube video to show the class that ties in perfectly with what you are teaching - it doesn't have to be a 30 min thing. We used the tv with our webcam to skype with other classrooms during projects (mostly projectsbyjen.com) and with our Hovercam - a document camera. I especially liked putting the kids work on the hovercam when they were sharing their writing.
I also used the big screen as a somewhat interactive board. I created some lessons in word using elements that I could move (making a circle transparent for instance to provide a ring around the right answer). The children didn't necessarily move it like on a white board but the effect was the same. I also have created a number of interactive powerpoints to do the same thing - I have the students open them on the class or lab computers and manipulate the pictures/words to accomplish the lesson.
I have also had a lot of good expiences with a classroom website/blog. I used the website to post links to make it easier for the children to get where I wanted them to go http://ecafirstgrade.weebly.com/. The first grade classroom has 6 ancient computers to use. I now do this on my lab website:http://ecatechlab.weebly.com/ I used the blog a bit to share what the students were learning or writing about.
Our school used Accelerated Reading for many years and we notice a difference this year now that we don't have it. It was a nice way to motivate kids to read and keep them on target with comprehension, but it was quite expensive.
This year we have a subscription to World Book online - I am not impressed and don't plan on recommending we renew it next year - it is also expensive.
I'm working on next years tech proposal which would include at least 1 new computer in each classroom to run the big screen tv, hovercams, webcams and in some classroom the interactive projectors and then a class set of ipads for our small school to share between classrooms.