You are here

Using Technology In The Classroom

Using Technology in the Classroom Archive

Technology has always been a major focus on EducationWorld.com. This archive compiles many of the features we have done on the subject of using technology in the classroom. Many of these articles have been updated many times or even rewritten as technology changes. That said, due to the ever-changing nature of technology, there will be articles on this list that are a little past their prime period of usefullness. If there are any that you would like us to update or redo, please drop us a line.

Social Networking Tips for Teachers
Social networking in the classroom? Absolutely, says Facebooks chief security officer Joe Sullivan. Its educational and safe -- if you follow the rules.

Teaching? Learning? There's an "App" for That!
In Colleen Ruggieri's high school English class, kids use iPods for online research, to define words, listen to music of historical periods, and more.

Fifth Graders Soar in the Blogosphere
Across the curriculum, Gillian Ryan asks her fifth graders to respond in writing to the topics they discuss -- whether in math, science, social studies, or language arts -- and their ideas become posts to classroom blogs.

Podcasts Promote Reading
Librarian Malissia Bell has challenged students to create 500 podcasts describing their favorite books. Even parents and visitors are encouraged to record a review to add to the collection, which students use to identify great reads.

Reaching for the Heart: Five Tips for District Communications Directors
Today, press releases and strategic presentations to special groups are only a small part of the positive media attention thats possible. Learn how school districts can use social media tools to connect with the global audience, circumventing the traditional media to get the real story out there.

Eight Tips for Successful Online Course Facilitation
Learning is socialand online learning environments engage students in that way. But we have to be careful to avoid trying to engage students in online learning environments with face to face approaches.

Who Is They?
Theres no simple resolution to the conflicting priorities between techs and educators, but I know this about making better policy decisions: the best rules and guidelines are those developed collaboratively.

Practical Moodle Tips for Technology Administrators
How Moodle is used depends on your expertise in setting up Moodle for maximum educational use. Discover practical tips for enhancing Moodle for K-12 district use.

Mobile Technology Goes to School
Matt Cooks fifth graders use cell phones to enhance learning and keep classroom doors open 24/7.

Risks Involved in Integrating the Internet Into the K-12 Curriculum
Lets consider eight risks involved in integrating the Internet into the K-12 curriculum -- and some solutions and resources to help you minimize those risks.

Moodle-izing Your Education Enterprise
Moodle is one of those technologies that can transform how you handle online professional development and student learning.

Not All Who Twitter Are Twits
The concept behind Twitter is simple. You post short statements -- tweets -- about your current activities. Other Twitterers sign up to follow your tweets.

Five Lessons for Mobile Device Implementation
Because many school districts are just embarking on implementation of mobile devices, Ive provided five lessons that should be considered before implementation.

Seven Brilliant Things Teachers Do With Technology
Here are seven technology practices that just make me marvel and feel proud to be a part of the profession. Which do you do?

A Philosophy of Instructional Technology Use for Teaching and Learning.
A pre-requisite for seamless integration of technology in the preK-12 classroom is well-trained teachers who understand how to use technology to improve the quality and effectiveness of education.

Seven Stupid Mistakes Teachers Make With Technology
I see stupid acts and beliefs related to technology in schools way too oftenthese would be my nominees for the most stupid things** a teacher can do related to technology...

Driving Down Education Costs With
Online Technology

When schools use less energy by effectively using technology, they can have a huge cumulative effect in conserving energy, and perhaps more importantly, time for teaching.

Five for Fun
Lots of image generators are available on the Web. Most are free and easy to use -- so easy even a technology director can manage them. Here are five of my favorites.

Essential Computer Tips for Parents and Teachers
What every student, parent, and teacher can do to protect his or her Windows-based investment.

Learning 2.0: Built for the
Next Generation

Learning 2.0 solutions reverse the e-learning model in which content is produced by publishers and consumed by students. Instead, Web 2.0 tools allow information to be integrated immediately into a standing curriculum, engaging students and providing innovative, collaborative solutions for instructors.

Things Id Do Differently the Second Time Around
I had a woeful initial understanding of the state of technology-readiness of my new students at Sri Padmavathi Womens University in Tirupati, India. I know now I should have spent at least the first couple of weeks in the computer lab going over the basics.

Podcast for Free on a PC
Dont let Mac users have all the fun. Teachers and students can record, upload, and share online recordings called podcasts using just a classroom computer or even a phone.

Ten Things Everyone Needs to Learn
Your school will try to teach you the facts you'll need to pass their tests, but schools won't teach you the things you really need to learn to be successful. What are they? Stephen Downes offers a list of his top ten things you need to learn.

Reflections on India
Education World tech columnist Bernie Poole reflects on his experiences as a Fullbright Scholar in Tirupati, India.

Computer-Based Learning and Montessorian Manipulatives
The methodologies applied in Montessori schools are based on a philosophy of education that recognizes children's preference for control over their own learning. Consider the "discoveries" she made about the learning modes of the children she worked with.

Creating Your Own Web Site
Bernie Poole provides 11 easy-to-read handouts designed to lead you or your students step-by-step through the process of creating a content-rich education-oriented Web site.

Sites to See: Parent Conferences
These ten sites, filled with advice, tips, and practical resources, can help ensure that your parent-teacher conferences are a pleasant and positive collaborative experience for all.

Tech Tools for Teachers
Members of the Education World Tech Team talk about the technology tools they find most useful in their professional lives, and the technology they use most successfully with students.

Social Networking: More Hype Than Help?
If you believe the hype, just about everyone between the ages of 16 and 34 who thinks he or she is hip -- or would like to be perceived as hip -- is logging into a social networking site and having a ball. But, asks Bernie Poole, can you believe the hype?

Integrating Technology and Science
Discover how technology enhances the science program in the Greece Central School District, Rochester, New York.

Who's Talking Online?
Are social networking sites appropriate for school use? Should schools ban the use of such sites -- or incorporate them into the curriculum and teach students to use them safely? Members of the EW Tech Team tell us how their schools deal with the issue.

Tech Conferences: For Geeks Only?
Afraid you're not techie enough for a tech conference? Think again! Four classroom teachers share how attending a national tech conference impacted their teaching and networking.

What Every Teacher Should Know About Technology
Ed-tech professor Bernie Poole identifies six essential technology-related skills every good teacher should possess -- or acquire.

Time-Saving Search Strategies
Bernie Poole offers a few quick tips and tricks for saving time when you're searching online.

Tech Team: Tech Activities for Parent Open House
The Education World Tech Team suggests technology-related projects your students can do in class and then display at Open House or Parent Night to demonstrate that yours is a classroom in which technology will be used.

Blogging? It's Elementary, My Dear Watson!
Blogging -- or Web logging -- most often is thought of as an activity for high school students. Did you know, however, that students as young as kindergarten now blog on a daily basis? Read on to learn more! Included: More than two-dozen links to blogging software and to elementary blogs across the United States.

Tech Tips for Tots
How and when should toddlers use technology? Learn what early childhood experts say is appropriate technology use for children ages 2-4, and discover six ways to use technology wisely with young children.

Three Keys to Implementing a Laptop Program
With administrators, tech support, parent volunteers, classroom teachers, and even student tech leaders pitching in, Connecticut's Thomas Edison Middle School recently issued every one of the school's 6th graders a laptop computer. How did they do it?

Computers in the High School Classroom
Education World's Tech Team offer opinions on the reality and possibilities of "teching" in the high school classroom. Included: Nine ways to integrate technology in high school and links to technology in action at high schools across America.

Tech & Teaching: Principals Share Best Uses of Technology
Technology can be used to engage students in ways that other tools cannot. So what are the most fun or creative ways principals have seen teachers use the technology at hand? That's the question we asked our "Principal Files" team.

Speaking of Electronic Whiteboards
Combine the touch screen capability of a video game with the drawing flexibility of whiteboard markers and what do you get? Electronic whiteboards! Discover how K-12 teachers are using these devices in almost every subject area, and learn what you should consider before purchasing one yourself.

Professional Development Via E-Mail: All You Need is a Keyboard!
E-mail is a great way for keeping teachers informed about school goings-on. But are you using e-mail as a tool for providing professional development for your teachers? Ed World's "Principal Files" principals share how they are doing just that. Tips included.

What's the Point of PowerPoint?
PowerPoint can be a powerful tool in the classroom, but students' fascination with its bells and whistles often can distract them from the importance of effective content. So, how can K-12 educators rein in the PowerPoint beast? The EW Tech Team has some ideas.

Online Projects Are for Everyone:
Jennifer Wagner, online project guru, talks about how she first got interested in online projects, and shares tips for selecting the best online project for your classroom. Included: Half a dozen links to online project resources.

Laptops, Handhelds, or Tablet PCs?
Which mobile computing device is best for data collection? For Web searches? For grade books? For collaborative activities? Which is most practical; most usable; most economical? The Education World Tech Team shares its thoughts about how each mobile computing device might help teachers teach and students learn. Included: The plusses and minuses of laptops, handhelds, and Tablet PCs.

Tech-Ing Wisely In K-2 Classrooms
Do computers help or hurt learning in the K-2 classroom? Find out what the Education World Tech Team suggests for successful and engaging computer use in this age group. Included: Half a dozen classroom-tested activities and recommended software programs.

Students Map Neighborhoods With GIS
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), mapping and analysis software employed by the U.S. government, NASA, and other agencies, now is helping students locate and document hazards in their communities.

GIS Brings "Real Life" to Learning
A Geographic Information System combines maps and information databases to produce displays that allow users to see and manipulate data in new ways. Learn how a GIS works and how to create your own GIS classroom activities. Included: Online resources for GIS lessons, activities, and projects.

The E-Mail ABCs!
Today's students believe that e-mail is a medium unfettered by the rules that govern letter writing. Most classroom teachers, however, believe that e-mail should adhere to the same rules of grammar and style as snail mail. Who's right? Let's take a look at the ABCs of e-mail etiquette.

How Teachers View Technology
A recent "Teachers Talk Tech" survey found that the majority of teachers view computer technology as a valuable teaching tool that can improve students' academic performance and attention in class, while strengthening the lines of communication with parents.

Voice of Experience: Connecting Our Students to Their Past -- A World War I Project
With so few veterans of WWI still alive, who will make sure the world remembers? Brenda Dyck shares how primary and secondary resources became the vehicle for connecting her students to some of history's most important lessons.

Technology Training, Assessment, and No Child Left Behind
Don Knezek, chief executive officer of the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE), discusses efforts to enhance and assess educators' technology skills.

Technology Integration, Assessment and No Child Left Behind
John Bailey, director of educational technology for the U.S. Department of Education, discusses in a teleconference how the federal No Child Left Behind Act can help schools and states use technology more extensively and efficiently.

Learning Games for Students in Grades 3-5
This week, Education World searched the Web for interactive learning games for students in the elementary grades. The sites below represent some of the best we found. Keep them in mind when you're looking for a way to engage students' interest while increasing their knowledge or enhancing their skills!

The Concept-Mapping Classroom
By providing a framework that allows users to focus on topics, and a structure that permits them to easily convert diagrams to outlines and back again, Inspiration and Kidspiration simplify the task of organizing thoughts into effective project plans.

Pre-K-2 Students Play and Learn Online
This week, Education World searched the Web for engaging -- and safe -- sites offering learning games for pre-K-2 students. The sites below fill the bill -- whether you looking for a learning center activity -- or just an activity for yet another indoor recess.

You Can Create a Class Web Site
If you've read the Education World techtorial HTML Basics, you know how easy it is to create a basic Web page. In this article, you'll learn how you can extend the lessons from that techtorial to create your own classroom Web page -- in four easy steps.

Software: The Best of the Basics
The Education World Tech Team reveals 22 software programs that are essential to even the most basic educational technology program. Three of those programs, however, far surpassed the others in terms of the number of recommendations received. And those winners are...

Better Students Through Technology!
Technology-planning expert Dixie Conner explains how technology coordinators, by extending the use of technology beyond the classroom, can increase students chances to reach -- and surpass -- today's stringent education standards.

Quick! Get the (Digital) Camera!
Discover two dozen digital camera activities guaranteed to make life easier for you and more interesting for your students.

Smile! Digital Cameras Can Make Your Day
Teachers across the country and around the world are discovering the many valuable uses for digital cameras; uses that both engage students and make their own professional lives easier. If you can use a camera, you can use a digital camera so, what are you waiting for?

Technology Integration Made Easy
Nineteen activities and nearly 50 Web sites to help you integrate technology into your daily routines.

The State of Technology Part 2: How Does Your School Measure Up?
"Ive seen the attitude of school districts regarding technology," says instructional technology consultant Jamye Swinford. Most place a lot of emphasis on equipment, but have technology coordinators who are not educators. It seems as though they put the equipment first and the education second. Is she right? Discover what Swinford and nine other Tech Team members have to say about the state of technology in schools today.

The State of Technology Part 1: How Does Your School Measure Up?
A few years ago, most school technology coordinators were classroom teachers, drafted to take on a school's tech duties because they were the first ones to figure out how to start -- and restart -- the school's Apple 2GS's. Unpaid and overworked, they struggled to share their hard-won technical knowledge with colleagues and to convince administrators of the importance of those efforts. Times certainly have changed! Or have they? Learn what the Education World Tech Team has to say about the state of technology in U.S. schools today.

Did You See That Poem?
Most likely, when you think about integrating technology into your curriculum, the technology you're thinking of is a computer, and the integration involves engaging students in Web-based lessons and activities. However, many other technology tools besides the computer are available to add interest, knowledge, and skills to your more prosaic lessons. Fifth and sixth graders in Saskatchewan, Canada, learned that lesson last year when the use of video technology turned a language arts unit into "poetry in motion."

Licensing: A Better Way to 'Buy' Computer Texts
What if, instead of purchasing hard copies of computer texts, school districts license the books from the publisher at a cost of $5 per user? When a new version of the software is purchased, the publisher simply replaces the obsolete material with updated digital copies of the text. Digital book licensing slashes the cost of computer books and leaves school districts with fewer obsolete books. Is it an option for your district?

Students Share Computer Know-How With Senior Citizens
A New Jersey elementary school project to help senior citizens access the Internet became a valuable intergenerational experience, as the school's fifth graders conducted a computer workshop for local senior citizens.

A Beginner's Guide to Integrating Technology
Are you feeling pressured to integrate technology into your K-12 curriculum? Do you feel overwhelmed and under-prepared for the information age? Whether you are a student teacher, first-year teacher, or veteran teacher new to technology, this article provides ideas you can use to assess where you are and to plan for the future.

'Checking Out' Library Books from Home
Researching library-based materials used to mean sequestering oneself in a library carrel with a mountain of books and a notebook and pen. Now, using eBook libraries such as the one in the Aldine (Texas) Independent School District, teachers and students can "check out" online copies of library books from their home or school computers.

Students Learn Computer Repair Skills and Build a Future
The Virtual High School in Cincinnati, Ohio, offers students a computer repair program that benefits students at all grade levels. The Cyberstars program teaches high school students to repair, test, install, and service used computers. For a small fee, the computers are then installed at city elementary and middle schools. Virtual High School principal Dr. Steven Hawley calls the program a way to "marry good school habits and good work habits."

The QUEST for Capital: Desktop Publishing Is 'Big Business'
Through a project called QUEST Graphics, Susan Seagraves's gifted students developed their computer skills and business knowledge as they raised money to purchase new technology for their school. The kids loved their role as miniature managers! Seagraves shares her experiences and explains how any classroom can become a booming card factory.

'Raw Data' Links Students to Valuable Sources
Education World explores Raw Data, a Web page teachers and students can use to find fascinating -- and useful -- educational facts. Discover how one North Carolina teacher used the Web page to teach middle school and high school students about the science of waves while helping them learn such computer skills as keyboarding, database utilization, and spreadsheet creation.

Electronic Portfolios in the K-12 Classroom
The electronic portfolio, already a well-established tool in higher education, is beginning to appear in K-12 classrooms as well. Learn what electronic portfolios are and discover how they can help you and benefit your students.

Web Cams Bring Lessons to Life
Teachers use Web cams to share real events with students!

Telementoring: Help for Students (and Teachers) Is Just a Mouse Click Away!
Education World writer Sherril Steele-Carlin takes a look at some online mentoring projects.

Students Use Technology to Preserve Inuit Heritage
Students in Arviat, Nunavut, Canada, interviewed local elders and studied traditional skills as part of the Arviat Iglu project. In the process, the kids used technology tools of the present to learn about the past and to preserve it for future students.

FirstGov.gov: Government Resources at Your Fingertips!
Whether you're looking for the text of last night's presidential address, facts about current political situations in specific foreign countries, satellite photos of Earth, or nutritional requirements for school lunches, you'll find what you need at FirstGov.gov, a Web portal created and maintained by the U.S. government.

First Graders Picture Themselves in Their Dream Careers!
Join first graders at English Village Elementary School as they explore their dreams. Technology, including word processing and programs such as Paint Shop Pro and PowerPoint, has enabled the students to see those dreams move one step closer to reality. Education World writer Sherril Steele-Carlin talked with the teachers and technologist who created this unique class project.

How to Thrive -- Not Just Survive -- in a One-Computer Classroom
Are you a teacher in a one-computer classroom? Do you long to incorporate technology into your lessons but not know how? Are you unsure how to start, feel overwhelmed, or believe it is more of a hassle than it is worth? Education World explores strategies experienced teachers use to help them turn their one computer into a dynamic, creative teaching tool.

The Simple Joys of Technology: A Tale from Camelot (Idaho)
"The kids are really excited about technology. They have no fear and just get right in there and go!" says Debbie Kuntz, the computer technologist at Camelot Elementary School. Camelot's teachers are equally excited about using technology in their classroom activities, which is a quality that has earned the school the title of one of the country's 100 Top Wired Schools. What can your school learn from the tale of Camelot?

SchoolWorld Projects Bring Together Schools Around the World
When Australian John Halse was asked by local schools to help wire their computers and organize online projects, he couldn't have expected his volunteer efforts to become a vocation! Halse founded SchoolWorld, a global program that listens to teachers and offers technological advice, online projects, and help in connecting with other educators. Now sponsoring more than 50 projects, SchoolWorld has announced even more exciting new endeavors that target teachers in the United States.

It's Not Too Late to Create a State: Online Project Teaches Cooperation!
"The Create A State project provided students who will never meet each other face-to-face with an opportunity to work together and learn from each other," says teacher Pamela Galus. "Students use the Internet as a tool to build cooperation and collaboration. Students in 18 states have already completed the project!"

MacDougall MacDougall in Time: Internet Project Teaches History, Geography, and Technology
"Providing structured learning activities for the use of the Internet as opposed to just passive, aimless browsing is one of the great challenges facing educators at the moment," says teacher Euan Bradley. That's why Bradley created MacDougall MacDougall, an imaginary Scottish time traveler and "misadventurer" who is at the heart of this multidisciplinary Web- and e-mail-based project. Bradley never imagined how much students, known as "MacTrackers," would come to love MacDougall as they follow him across the world and through time.

Sands of the World: Swapping Sand and Sharing Knowledge
Have you seen black, pink, or red sand? Have you listened to singing or booming sand? Teacher Jane Carlson-Pickering was looking for a way to incorporate technology into one of her favorite units, rocks and minerals. When a grant provided a video microscope, the stage was set for the fabulous online project and Web site called Sands of the World. With the help of her students, this educator has obtained samples of sand from all over the world and has posted up-close images on the Internet.

EXCEL-lent Middle School Math Lessons!
Can a computer program motivate math students weary of "drill and kill"? Teachers all over the country use Microsoft Excel in ways that excite students about the power of math in everyday life. This week, Education World talks with Illinois middle school teacher Kelly McMahon about three important roles Excel plays in her seventh- and eighth-grade classrooms.

Surfing for the Best Search Engine Teaching Techniques!
Surfing the Net is part art and part science. But when is the best time to teach children how to use search engines? And how can teachers go about teaching the skill of Internet searching? Today, Education World writer Sherril Steele-Carlin explores those questions and others in this article just for you and your students!

Create Ergonomically Correct Computer Workstations
Are your school's one-size-fits-all computer workstations meant to accommodate students of all ages, shapes, and sizes? Today -- International Repetitive Stress Injury Awareness Day -- might be a good day to make some quick and easy changes so that all students can be comfortable as they type and surf. It's also a good day to make your students aware of how to care for their bodies today and avoid repetitive stress injuries in the future.

ESL Lessons for Adult Students
Nearly 80 percent of U.S. immigrants are 18 or older. Always motivated, though frequently frustrated, these adult learners present school districts with unique challenges -- and exciting opportunities. Do your adult ESL programs measure up?

Tech Club Kids Produce CD Yearbooks and More!
After an introduction to the power of technology, students told technology resource teacher Richard Soos, "We want to learn more" and "We want to create the products you told us about." It was then that he hit upon an idea -- the tech club! Since its creation, the students have created three CDs of original music and have been finding new ways to combine their love of performing with the tools of technology!

Encourage Student Writing -- Publish on the Web!
Publishing student writing encourages the reluctant writer, strengthens kids' self-confidence, rewards interest, and promotes a positive attitude toward literature. If your school is like most, however, you lack an easy and effective way of publishing your students' work. Now, help is as close as a mouse click away! Today, Education World writer Glori Chaika explores opportunities to publish student writing -- and teacher writing -- on the Web.

PowerPoint -- Creating Classroom Presentations
Your students have just completed some terrific reports and you'd love to incorporate a technology component into the activity. You've never used graphics software, though, and you certainly don't have time to learn new software now! What's a technological newbie to do? A PowerPoint tutorial!

Updated 6/13/11