Best Practices of Using Technology in the Classroom

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“With some research, creativity, and professional development, any school can stop talking about becoming a 21st Century school and confidently become a 21st Century School (Byrne, 2009).” Technology is becoming more and more embedded into classroom instruction. Some of these technologies include using Web 2.0 application, project-based learning (PBL), and using classroom response systems, otherwise known as clickers, in the classroom. These technologies offer some of the latest and best practices in using technology effectively to engage students’ within learning environments.

Web 2.0 applications are free which any educator can use to enhance their instruction. Technology by itself will not create more engage or better students, but Bryne (2009) asserts “..well-chosen technology resources infused into classroom instruction can create more engaged and better students (p. 2).” This allows students to create meaningful connection and/or help create classroom content rather than simply using the tradition way of auditory learning. There are many different Web 2.0 application the following are just some: Animoto (http://animoto.com/), Read the Words (www.readthewords.com), and Spelling City (www.spellingcity.com). Animoto is used like a video trailer allowing the teacher to give the students a preview or review of the content being taught. Read the Words is a website to help educators differentiate their instruction for struggling readers. At this site educators can translate a website, worksheet, or inputted text into speech. This is important since the average reading level of website is at an eighth grade level. The final website Spelling City offers students practice both at home and school of weekly spelling words. ...

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... which allows for PBL in science and social studies, students are asked to research about different topics and then have class discussion and debates. Finally the use of classroom clickers is used in both reading and math to help gather formative assessments on how students are doing during a particular topic. This allows it easier to make instructional decisions that benefit the whole class and also small groups.

Bibliography

Byrne, R. (2009). The Effect of Web 2.0 on Teaching and Learning. Teacher Librarian , 37 (2), 50-53.

Kenwright, K. (2009). Clickers in the Classroom. TechTrends: Linking Research and Practice to Improve Learning , 53 (1), 74-77.

McGrath, D., & Sands, N. (2004). Taking the Plunge. Learning and Leading wiht Technology , 21 (7), 34-36.

Page, D. (2006). 25 Tools, Technologies, and Best Practices. T.H.E. Journal , 33 (8), 42-46.
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