A lot of questions, discussions and reflections have come about during YEAR 1 of the SLItech project in Parkland School Division. Every day teachers and administrators ask themselves how they should choose one technology over the other in their schools/classrooms.
Here’s our criteria:
- Free or Low Cost
- Saves Time
- Increases and Improves the Learning (authenticity)
- Enhances and Improves Student Engagement (critical thinking, assessment, differentiation)
The order of importance should actually be reversed. We should always put learners and learning first, but ‘Free’ and ‘Saves Time’ helps teachers and administrators grasp new things quicker than their opposites.
1. Written reflection – Edublog, WordPress, Wikispaces, Ning
2. Real-time Video – Skype, GoogleTalk, Videoconferencing, Webinar
3. Audio – Podomatic, Audacity, iTunes, Voicethread, Vocaroo, SMART recorder
4. Feedback – PollEverywhere, Zoomerang, SMART Response System
5. Discussion – TodaysMeet, Etherpad (PiratePad), Twitter, Sharepoint portal (insidePSD)
6. Brainstorming – Wordle, Bubbl.us
7. Bookmarking – Diigo, Delicious
8. Aggregation – Netvibes, iGoogle, Pageflakes
9. Presentation – Prezi, Microsoft Powerpoint, PageFlakes, Protopage
10. Word Processing – Microsoft Word, Microsoft OneNote, GoogleDocs, SMART Notebook
11. Streaming Video – YouTube, SchoolTube, TeacherTube, Teachers.TV
12. Images – Flickr, Google Images, Bing Images
These tools have multiple learning components and provide engagement that builds 21st Century skills and literacies.
These questions are used when thinking about applying a new tool into our school/classroom:
- How will it increase learning?
- How will it improve student engagement?
- Will it save time?
- Is it free (or real close to it)?