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Steve Haberlin's picture
Steve Haberlin is an assistant professor of education at Wesleyan College in Macon, Georgia. He holds a Ph.D. with a specialization in elementary education from the University of South Florida. His...
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Techie Challenge

This week~ I challenged my students to make a presentation without talking. Thats right~ mums the word. Instead~ they were required to use whatever technology was available in the classroom to present the information~ which in this case~ involved World War II.

At first~ they looked puzzled but after I suggested the use Google Translate to speak~ for instance~ and powerpoints and slideshow programs to illustrate~ and music to convey emotion~ they began to get the point. To be honest~ Im not sure how they will do or how this lesson will turn out since its a work in progress~ but the point is this is just one way to challenge our students to think outside the box when using technology.

We have to push our children (and ourselves) to get beyond PowerPoint and see the possibilities when it comes to using technology to learn~ inspire and create. Here are some examples:

  • * Using a program called Animoto~ I have my students make a timeline of a social studies lesson. They use pictures (if possible) from the time period~ and the program allows them to incorporate music and effects. We discuss how the music and background should convery the mood of the slideshow.
  • *Implement Google Translate to have students decipher phrases and quotes in different languages. I have my students translating some of their information into German for the World War II project.
  • * Use Google Earth to find and locate places that you are studying in a novel. For instance~ while reading The Red Pyramid~ locate Egypt and the pyramids.
  • * Have students use computers to create cover letters and resumes---or have them use video to create live interviews where they must convince a company why they are the right person for the job.
  • *Utilizespreadsheet programs to teach students how to balance checkbooks.
  • * Create a wikispace website for your classroom and conduct online debates during off school hours (contact me and I can give you more information).

These are just some of the ways you can think out of the box when it comes to technology. Personally~ I like toissue students a challenging task~ give them the tools~ then let them run with it. This way~ they are learning to use technology to accomplish goals and exercising creativity in the process. What interesting ways are you using technology to improve learning and creativity? Join me at the Innovative Teaching group at http://community.educationworld.comcontent/techie-challenge?gid=NTEyMQ==and share your great ideas! See you there.

Steve