Monday, June 11, 2012

Classroom Technology - Old and New

The last weeks of school are a great time to pull out the a few fun ideas that you haven't had the chance to get to.

First the 'new':

Data projectors and document cameras have replaced a lot of overhead projectors in our school district (if not all of them) but I get questions all time on how to make more effective use of them. There are so many possibilities... one thing I like to do with my students is show them some "Howcast" videos. You can find them online, but it is challenging to show them with all of the advertising (you never know what the content will be.) TIP: ALWAYS use the "Freeze" button on your projector to freeze the screen while you preview an upcoming web page if you are unsure of the content. I have two favorite Howcasts that I got from iTunes as podcasts. Saving them in your iTunes library is more reliable and the content will not change. I show them "How to Make a Tissue Paper Flower" and "How to Make a Clay Animal". We go over the materials needed, the basic steps, and we create some great opening sentences and closing sentences. They complete a graphic organizer, and then write the directions including an opening sentence, the materials needed, and a closing sentence. Here they are working on their projects. Having a project at the end of the writing is a great motivator for the kids to dig in and get it done. Now the 'old':

The last few days of school can find the kids a little restless. It is a great time to bring something out they have never seen before. When we think of technology, we often consider the newer more cutting edge technologies that are new to our classrooms. Often our students have not seen the way things used to be. I have an old Dukane film strip projecter. The kids are mesmerized by the pictures and the cassette tape narration. After seeing a few over a couple days, I like to choose a story, put up the slides one at a time, and have the class help me write the narration for each slide. Their ideas are priceless. After we have completed the narration, I make copies for them and we read it together along with each slide. Of course we include the famous "beep" before advancing the slide.


  1. I hope to get a document camera soon. Crossing my fingers!
    ❀ Tammy
    Forever in First

  2. The Howcast podcasts are set up perfectly to show kids how to make step by step directions. You only need a data projector to share those. The document camera can be a great tool. I was able to get one funded through Donors Choose.

  3. You are almost at 100 followers!
    I am follower 98!
    Stop by sometime!

  4. I love everything technology! I also awarded you the One Lovely Blog award so stop by and get it when you get a chance :)

    Enchanted with Technology

  5. Love using technology in the classroom! I'm a new follower.

    Lovin’ Kindergarten

  6. I use my projector for showing videos from websites too. It's wonderful to be able to show youtube or animal videos and photos on a big screen rather than just one computer monitor like I used too. I stumbled on your blog after contacting Laura at Over the 1st Grade Rainbow. Turns out that I had seen your blog before and used your easter egg reading idea last year. I plan to use it again. Hope you're having a good year!
    First Grade Found Me

    1. Thanks for stopping by! Glad you were able to use the eggs.