Math comes alive with the use of an interactive whiteboard. Rather than relegating numbers to the black-and-white world of paper and pencils, throw them up onto the big screen with fun graphics in full color. Math concepts take on deeper meaning to visual and all types of learners when displayed in creative ways.
Let kids take turns at the whiteboard, touching the screen and manipulating the visuals. They'll be more invested in learning and making discoveries on their own, and they'll teach others at the same time.
Examples include Shape Sort (sort objects by number of sides, colors and shapes), Toy Store (develop understanding of cost and money), Place Value (develop an understanding of place value: ones, tens, hundreds), and Multiplication Chart (use a multiplication chart to practice facts and discover patterns).
Discovery Kids Online
Another indoor recess on a rainy day? Bookmark this site and let your students play away. They can visit Fun & Games and watch video clips from Discovery Kids shows.
Produced by Dragonfly magazine and the National Science Teachers Association, this interactive website offers fun online science activities. Dragonfly links children and scientists in an open community of investigation and aims to involve children in the creative process of science, to help them see how science relates to their lives.
What's a podcast? It's an audio or video file that can be downloaded over the Internet. You can view or listen to them on computers or iPods (thus the name), which makes the medium especially appealing to students.
Popular at the university level, where professors often post downloadable versions of their lectures, podcasting is increasingly being used at the middle and high school levels for a range of purposes.
Classes are producing podcasts of poetry readings and plays, dramatizations of creative writing projects, jingles for mock products and inventions, interviews for online school newspapers. They can also be used to record scientific observations while out doing field research. Your students will certainly come up with inventive ideas of their own.
Podcasting builds literacy and communication skills, and is a great way to foster collaborative learning and self-confidence. For more information visit the "Digital Gadgets" section of Kathy Schrock's Guide for Educators: http://school.discoveryeducation.com/schrockguide/gadgets.html
This 21st century genre has something for everyone. Students become actors, directors and producers, writers, researchers and photographers, graphic artists and digital technicians.
Technology brings compelling new dimensions to traditional storytelling. By combining words (both written and spoken) with pictures (both moving and still) and music (professional or one's own), digital storytelling makes for a rich and creative medium. Kids who never gave a hoot about creative writing are now getting hooked.
Students can produce their own digital stories, or collaborate with others in clever ways. Two people can write two parts of a story from two different points of view; a group of people can spin a yarn, each taking a sentence at a time, to see what happens.
Digital storytelling is being used for classes such as history, not just language arts. Throughout the process, students learn to express themselves using a range of communication technologies.
Visit the Adobe Digital Kids Club to get started. http://www.adobe.com/education/digkids/storytelling/index.html
Along with a digital storytelling tutorial and technical tips, there are extensive resources to guide you and your students every step of the way.
Wireless technology is a highly engaging way to get high school students hooked on science. Students can use probes and sensors to collect data in the field, and then graph, model and analyze it back in the classroom. The latest "probeware" can be used with computers, handhelds, and calculators. In addition to the benefits of hands-on learning in the field, the computer models back in the classroom help students visualize scientific concepts in ways they can't otherwise observe, and make sophisticated connections.
Innovative Uses for Probeware
Vernier Technology's web page for teachers features hundreds of experiments and ideas for using sensors and probes in science class. Favorites include Accelerations in Snowboarding and Crash Test Dummies. Search by science subject area for both middle school and high school.
Virtual Frog Dissection
Virtual Pig Dissection
Virtual Plant Cell Dissection
The Cell Visualization Project
Geology Labs Online
Anatomy-The Visible Human Project
From videoconferencing to email pen pals, technology provides opportunities for international collaboration previously unimaginable. Students and teachers can now connect with students and teachers throughout the world with great ease and frequency. Whereas the pen pal letters of your childhood took weeks or seemingly months to make it back and forth via snail mail, the e-pals of today are in constant communication. Find ways to integrate this capability into your curriculum. You'll open up new worlds to your students as they develop valuable communication and technology skills. Along the way they'll develop a deeper knowledge about the world around them and a greater appreciation for their role as global citizens. See links in the Survival Toolkit to point you in the right direction.
Online Science Lab
This is a valuable one-stop site from the Office of Science and the Office of Scientific and Technical Information. Students can explore three different online labs: Elementary, Middle School and High School.
Electrocute a pickle, dissect a cow's eye, or try one of the Exploratorium's other hundreds of hands-on activities. Kids can also use the Digital Library and other online resources.