As I walk through classes to fix a computer I see a lot of teachers using CD’s to learn on the computer. After taking the time to look, the programs on these CD’s are written mostly for use with Windows 95 or 98. They only work with the CD in the drive or don’t work correctly with Windows XP. A lot of the teachers using these CD’s have been teaching for over 10 years, most 25 or more. I see this as an opportunity to educate our teachers that there are many more resources available on the web. These web based resources lead to more effective learning with the students. Let’s see how….
The first way is by letting a group or class of students use the same resource at the same time. When you are using a CD to teach, for example numbers, only one student can use it at a time in a classroom setting while working on the classroom computers. While on the other hand, in the classroom you can load the site on a teacher laptop, plug it into the video projector and put it up on a screen or an ActivBoard depending what you have available. You are then engaging a whole class at one time, seeing who is learning and who isn’t. You get to see a bigger picture than you see when each child has to wait to use a CD. Yes, you can load the CD on the teacher laptop, but these CD’s tend to run slow while having to access information versus a broadband connection of a web based application.
Another way web based activity is a better way to learn is when you have multiple computers in the classroom and the students are doing stations during a reading or writing block. the students on the computer station can all load the reading web site to work on the same assignment. This gives the teacher a more streamlined lesson plan that they can follow with the students on the computer station, the same as with a reading station at a round table. The teacher can discuss the same reading assignment with these students, instead of having to ask different questions for different CD’s.
To me this is just better use of time and learning material. At our school the Instructional Technology Coach, K1 lab instructor and myself have gotten together and found many sites that we have added to our Technology web page. The links are from a variety of teachers, but everyday we are looking for more. Please check out our links, maybe we have one you don’t. If you have one that you think would be helpful, please drop add a comment to this blog for me.
These are just two examples, there are so many more…Podcasts, blogs, Wiki’s, student online newsletters and the list goes on…..
That’s what I think….What about you?