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Need your thoughts for an upcoming keynote. How can learning be transformed by introducing a laptop w/ internet & projector into a class that never had this?
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Stephen Appea, Ph.D.'s profile photoConnie C's profile photoLisa Nielsen's profile photoRoderick Silva's profile photo
23 comments
 
Wow. Where do you start?

What are you looking for? 
 
What are the big things that come to mind. What real impact does this bring to teaching and learning? Share personal experiences.
 
Suddenly you go from a board with words to a full color multimedia experience. If you have an IWB than a web site can be interacted with and written on. You can highlight, circle and use pictures with notes. You can embed video examples and so much more.
 
Thanks +Chrystalle Doyle . I do want to point out that I can do the things you mention without an interactive whiteboard too & put the cost of such a tool into providing resources for the children.

Question. How do the things you mention transform learning?
 
I think the question is also about engagement - if you get kids excited (or even just more interested) about what's going on in the classroom and get them to participate, is there a greater chance that they will learn something? For years now, Mark Prensky and others have made the point that we (educators) should be paying more attention to game theory. I agree.

In a recent school district strategic planning meeting, I asked my subgroup, "What do you remember from your school days? What are the most memorable things you did in school?" After everyone weighed in and the discussion went on for a while, it came down to projects and creativity. The things that stuck in everyone's mind had to do with doing and creating and, in some cases, working together.

In the context of your question Lisa, I think an IWB and projector creates an opportunity to engage children. For roughly $2000 per classroom (+ ongoing professional development), a teacher can have some tools and instructional strategies to get kids involved in good and interesting ways. Of course, some teachers use their IWBs as projector screens and don't take advantage of the interactivity. But, particularly in lower grades with the youngest children, I see many positive changes and effects resulting from adding these technologies to classrooms.
 
+Jeff Johnson What specific positive changes do you see and how? Also, how is an internet-enabled laptop going to enable students to engage in projects and creativity.

And, just gotta say it...I'll save the cost of an IWB and give resources to the kids. There's nothing an IWB provides that I can't do better without...but that's another topic.
 
Ya, if you don't put the technology into the hands of the kids, it's just another chalkboard. I would do group projects, blogging, 2.0's galore Turn the kids into the teachers. At least with a projector, they can share with the class. I don't have a IWB, just a WB. I have students working in groups with 2.0 tools and they can sit anywhere, group up at their convenience. Throw BYOD and GAFE into the mix and there are tons of projects to implement.
 
+Leanna K Johnson , the kids are from a very low SES and don't have their own devices, so we'd just be working with one computer with internet and projector. What type of group projects to you envision the kids doing in such a setting?
 
To add: companies say what they are looking for in employees are people with cooperative/collaborative abilities, leadership experience, and technology know-how. Group PBL provides all that. And studies strongly support that peer group assessment is more influential and has more positive outcome than autonomous work that is teacher assessed.
 
I agree about putting the technology into the hands of the kids - if it's just used for teacher presentations, it's just an expensive overhead projector and an unproductive expenditure. With some of our elem teachers, they've increased the level of participation by getting more kids involved - either coming to the IWB to manipulate objects (math, counting, comparing, etc.) or by using a wireless "slate" to have kids demonstrate some understanding. We've just started using a related technology - student response systems - to get immediate feedback and have better assessments of student progress and lesson quality.

Turning kids into teachers - another great idea! We all learn together - a good mantra for any classroom.

Teachers that have wikis and blogs can be interesting places too - students that are able to write and contribute to online posts in real time are very motivated. Just changing the audience -- from the teacher to the entire class - changes the quality of student writing.
 
You have access to videos. You can do Skype meetings with other classes or book authors, or anyone for hat matter. You can do group projects like a classroom wiki. 
 
Definitely then consider a collaborative work where they can all have input. A website using Google Sites is a snap. Teach one student the mechanics and have that student train the next, or do the training with the whiteboard. Let them research a topic in depth using traditional tools and Internet tools. They could make a website and each have their own page for their subtopic. Some could interview people, some could read/write, some could be photographers and designers (artwork by hand as well, then uploaded to the site). If I only had these tools, my class could build a website, in-depth, about any topic. Maybe the history of the school or another community organization. Something tangible that they could tie their personal experiences to.
 
It's always better to have kids with devices. The cheapest solution hat i've seen implemented correctly was kids with iPod Touches.
 
I got a projector in my classroom for the first time this year. I am using it daily and still finding ways to incorporate it. Lot's of examples, but here's one from this week. During a math exercise with dominoes the topic turns to chain reactions, and so during snack break I cue up YouTube and show a couple of 2-3 minute Rube Goldberg machine videos. Kids love it and we watch more of them all week at snack time. By yesterday, students had researched more about Goldberg, created their own machines at home, written stories, etc. Also opportunities were there to talk about video production techniques, scientific method, physics concepts, inventors in history. None of it scripted and it is mostly student-driven. Meanwhile I'm adding ideas from our findings to Google Bookmarks and building my Schoology resource pages.

It's fun to solve puzzles as a group, and it's also been a great tool to help in my goal to incorporate more gaming in my classroom.
 
+Lisa Nielsen Here's an example--my students made this site last year for contest. I wrote one little part in their Project Narrative because they don't know what standards this work meets. That's all I did. I mentored them through it, I helped them make community contacts, but that was all. They do all the writing, all the research, all the design.
http://stpaulgiants.com/buildinghope/ Now, granted these are 8th graders and I've taught them since 1st grade (keyboarding first!). But having a solid technology foundation is an absolute necessity for today's workplace. Schools MUST provide the tech for the students as well as the teachers. I'm not a huge fan of the WB. I think the IWB and interactive devices are useful in the very early years.
 
There is lots of gaming that can be done with one computer. One person is the operator and the others tell the operator what to do or give input into how to solve the problems. When I was kid before the Internet, my dad would play computer games or even Nintendo games and the rest of us would sit around and help him solve the puzzles and riddles. Two of the games that I remember playing as a family were Zelda and Monkey Island.

As homeschoolers, my husband and I will sit at a single computer or hook our laptop up to the TV to watch YouTube videos, play games, or do some other collaborative type stuff. One night, we spent the evening watching different science experiments on YouTube. One of them was what would happen if you put a brick in a dryer. There are lots of really cool and funny experiments on YouTube that are way more interesting than anything you will find in a text book.
 
Computer/projector is only one way I'm adding gaming, but a few examples that have worked well with a diverse, multi-age small group--either taking turns or playing cooperatively, with one computer:

Find the difference games
http://jayisgames.com/games/farm-hero/

Dueling and making potions at Pottermore.com (in Beta)

Sugar, Sugar was a big hit (coolmath-games.com)

PC games like Portal and Tropico
 
Several years ago, when we were on our first push to provide modern technology resources for every teacher, we ran some "Great Teaching in the One Computer Classroom" workshops for teachers that were getting classroom computers for the first time. Tom Snyder had half-day workshops for teachers so we hired them and offered voluntary sessions for anyone that wanted to attend. We had 90% participation and by most accounts it was a big success. Most teachers took comfort in learning with others that had a similar level of experience in teaching with technology.

There were very few projectors then - at $2000+ each, it was a luxury we could not afford.

There are some good articles by other educators on the one computer classroom e.g. "How to Thrive -- Not Just Survive -- in a One-Computer Classroom" http://www.educationworld.com/a_tech/tech/tech092.shtml
 
I would kind of think simple in the beginning like iTunesU K-12, Khan Academy, EduTube, Skype for the Classroom, Google Apps for Education (Collaborate w Docs, Sites, Bookmarks for content) web browser (discovery channel website, national geographic for kids, pbs kids, funbrain.com- games, Energy and Science http://apps.exploratorium.edu , Go to your local library page and look around, researve a book, XMind is a free mind mapping software that is very easy. Scoop.it is also great and they can create their own. Hope this helps.
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