Book Report and Library Talk, Apr/May 2000
Constructivists say that you can’t learn something for which you have no frame of reference. One way to help your teachers ease their way into integrating technology into their curricula is to help them take something they already do, and add a technology “upgrade.” Find below 10 common activities that your classroom teachers may be already doing and some ways technology can be used to “upgrade” the learning process.
Current activity Technology upgrade Benefits
- Teacher lecture Computer presentation program (PowerPoint, HyperStudio) Graphics, sounds, movies, and photographs to more clearly illustrate concepts and heighten student interest. Easy to keep notes.
- Student writing Word processed, desktop published. Easily edited, spell-checked, handwriting-proof. Added illustrations or graphics. On-line peer review and commentary.
- Student research Use electronic or on-line resources such an electronic encyclopedia, magazine index, Internet resources. Quickly accessed. Notes can be copied and pasted into rough draft. Sounds and pictures can be used in multimedia reports. Large number of resources means narrower focus on topic and that adds interest.
- Book reports Use database with fields for title, author, publisher, date, genre, summary and recommendation. All students contribute to database. Concise reports can be used as a reader’s advisory by future classes. Easily printed and distributed to class.
- Math problems Use a spreadsheet to set up some basic math story problems. Formulas and operations clearly visible. Charting and graphing capabilities. Convert data from original surveys into understandable information.
- Plays, skits or debates Videotape the presentations. Record for later analysis, sharing with parents. Editing possible. Save as exemplar for future classes.
- Create a timeline Use Timeliner or drawing program. Fast, simple and easy to read. Possible to add graphics and modify time segments.
- Student speeches, demonstrations or lessons Videotape. Students use multimedia to accompany presentations.. Record for later analysis, sharing with parents. Editing possible. Save as exemplar for future classes. Graphics, sounds, movies, and photographs can be used to more clearly illustrate concepts, increase audience attention. Use slides in place of notes.
- Drawings to illustrate concepts or accompany writing Use drawing or paint program. Use features of drawing program to create meaningful original illustrations or modify clipart. Edit and use digital camera images or scanned images with writing for improved meaning.
- Class syllabus and recommended readings Use a webpage creator and upload to school webserver. Easily and quickly modified. Direct links to Internet readings. Can be accessed from home by parents.