Monday, August 23, 2010

7 Technology Alternatives to Standard Homework Assignments

Standard Homework Assignment: Create a poster board over a book/person/event.
Technology Alternative: Create a Glog using Glogster for Education

Standard Homework Assignment: Find an article about a certain topic (Current Event maybe) and bring into class with a write up discussing the content
Technology Alternative: Have students find that article online and post a link to it on a blog or wallwisher wall discussing the content.  Share the blog/wall in class the following day.

Standard Homework Assignment: Complete the questions from a certain section or chapter review in your textbook.
Technology Alternative: Create a Back Channel Chat using a site like TitanPad and discuss the questions from the book at a certain time that night. 

Standard Homework Assignment (Math): Do a certain number of problems from your book and bring them in to check for correctness
Technology Alternative: Use a site like Twiddla and provide a whiteboard area for students to collaboratively work together on the problems.

Standard Homework Assignment: Complete a worksheet and turn in to the teacher the following day
Technology Alternative: Create the worksheet and make it available to students online (Use a Word to PDF converter).  Have students search the Internet for the answers and provide a link to the source for where they found the answer.

Standard Homework Assignment: Read a poem/story/section of a book and be prepared to discuss in class the next day
Technology Alternative: Read a poem/story/section of a book and create a blog or Twitter account for students to discuss the night they read it.  Then share the comments on the blog with students to facilitate the discussion in class the next day.  It also provides a way to grade them for participating in the reading.  If they do a blog response, they get a grade, if not, they don't.

Standard Homework Assignment: Write a Poem.
Technology Alternative: Use a site like PicLits and write the poem using an image as inspiration.  Email the completed poem to the teacher.  Share in class.

What Technology Alternatives do you have for the Standard Homework Assignment?  Feel free to comment!

Top 10 Things I Learned Going From Teaching Students to "Teaching" Technology Integration - My 200th Post

I do want to point out before getting into the list that these are in no particular order and one of them is not more important than the other. Some of these are personal opinion, while some of these are from personal experience.  However, all ten are very true to the successful integration of technology in the classroom.

1.) So much of the technology integration that I am sharing was available while I was teaching, I just did not have anyone to show it to me.

2.) With what I know now, I am intrigued with the idea of going back to the classroom to use the technology to improve my lessons and activities and engage my students more in class.

3.) It is still, and will truly never be about the technology; it is about the teacher who uses the technology and how they use the technology.

4.) Possibilities for integrating technology across the curriculum are endless for those teachers that are willing to learn.  Technology is the one true resource that is not biased to a certain subject matter.

5.) Twitter is a great method of Professional Development for educators and should be encouraged by teacher education programs and school administrators.  We expect students to be lifelong learners, but then don't expect it of ourselves.

6.) It is good practice to use the tools that you are sharing with the staff during meetings and professional development so that they can see the tool and resource in action.  It is also good for them to see it not always go right when you are using it and how you adapt to a "problem."

7.) You don't have to be a technology integration specialist or a technology resource teacher to share technology with your staff.  You just have to be a teacher who is willing to share personal experiences with integrating technology in the classroom.

8.) Blogging (both writing and reading) provides a way to share, discuss, and reflect on experiences as a teacher.  It has been a great experience in my position, especially receiving feedback and learning the powerful uses of RSS (Really Simple Syndication)

9.) Ups and downs that come with technology integration are no different than any other ups and downs that one might experience while teaching and working in education.  The Internet will always be down at some point....but so might the copier that you need for those copies.

10.) Technology integration offers more opportunities and possibilities for communicating with students and parents....especially outside the classroom.

So what is keeping you from having the same eye opening experience I have had in the past year?