Discussion Question and 2 (one paragraph) Responses
In 250 words, please respond to the following questions with your perspective based on what you learned this week based on the assigned readings.
In today’s classrooms teachers are overwhelmed with the world of technology not only what the student brings to class but the new technology that impacts on them from the school system.
Give an example using one teaching activity with the usage of technology. Include the benefits of using the technology strategy for student learning.
I am admittedly not a fan of cell phones in the classroom, but the article by Liz Kolbe titled “Adventures with Cell Phones” (Teaching Screenagers, Vol 68, 2011) helped me gain a new perspective of the possible ways to incorporate cell phones into the classroom as powerful learning tools. I had no idea that there were so many programs and apps available on cell phones for recording podcasts, geocaching and creating digital storybooks. She shared how teachers can use student’s cell phones for administering oral quizzes, doing interactive surveys and more.
An example of how to use technology in the classroom from the article that I loved is texting a link to an oral quiz. Students call into the teacher’s Google Voice account and hear her present the quiz. They then record their answers orally, and the teacher can access them through her Google Voice account as well. The teacher can then text her response or grade to each student as she goes.
One of the benefits of using cell phones for this type of assignment is that it is easy for visually impaired students. It could save time for the teacher, too. She could listen to and grade quizzes while talking a walk at the park. It saves paper, too! It is also fun for adolescent students who love using their cell phones.
The last week of this course coincidentally coincides with a conference on chemical education that I am presently attending. Many sessions focus on using various forms of technology in the classroom. One that I would like to mention is the use of Google Form as a formative assessment. This is a method of assessing students that gives instant feedback and can direct students to instructional links when they answer questions incorrectly.
The type of technology that I think is the most beneficial in a science classroom is the Vernier data-acquisition technology. The Vernier company has been developing many types of sensors, software, and interfaces for many types of laboratory uses in all areas of science. One lab that I use the temperature sensors for is to measure how fast various liquid chemicals evaporate. Using this technology, the students get temperature versus time graphs that they can analyze. The technology is designed so that students can record this real-time data on a Vernier device, or a lap-top computer or even their iphones. It is also highly user-friendly and it does not take long for students to learn how to use the equipment.
There are many advantages to using this technology. The measurements are taking quickly and stored digitally. The students are able to complete an entire experiment in a shorter amount of time and this frees time for them to analyze their data and ask and answer questions. For more advanced classes, the software can even perform mathematical calculation on the data and fit a mathematical equation to the data. Lastly, this teaches students how scientific data is collected and stored in the “real” world.