Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Blog Post 13

Box of Tricks

In Top Ten Tips for Using Technology in the Classroom Jose Picardo lists and briefly describes ten ways to incorporate beneficial technology and tools into the classroom. They are as follows: 

  • Streaming video 
  • music
  • teleconferencing
  • interactive exercises
  • interactive whiteboards
  • podcast
  • blogs and wikis
  • social networks
  • internet tools 
  • gadgets

Streaming video, such as YouTube is a key concept because it allows teachers and/or students to get on the internet and view others thought and ideas. This can allow students connect with the world by viewing others actions, beliefs, and more.

Music, like ITunes as Jose mentioned, can play a great role in student’s life and learning. Through ITunes you can relate to students with music. You can also upload lectures and etc to the ItunesU. This would allow students that may have to miss class an opportunity to catch up on what they missed. This would also help students that need a “refresh”. What I mean is it would allow students to listen to the lesson one more time and “refresh” his or her memory. Another plus side to ITunes is many students own devices such as mp3 player’s or IPods and are already familiar with the tool and its uses.

Teleconferencing tools, such as Skype, are very handy. This tool will allow you to communicate with students around the world. The possibilities are pretty much endless with Skype. I believe this would allow students to have a “study group” without ever leaving the classroom. It also allows the exploration of other people from different cultures.

Interactive exercises and interactive whiteboards pretty much seem to go hand in hand with me. “Tailoring” to the students needs, as Jose refers to it, will allow students to excel in areas. Also, having a board capable of doing so many neat things that students will be able to interact with and have a hands on learning experience should motivate the students to participate in in-class projects and or lessons.

Podcasting seems to be an effective way to allow students to work on their skills of reading aloud or public speaking. Podcasting seems to also be a great solution, like ITunes, to allow students to “refresh” what went on that day or to broadcast their opinion.

Blogs and wikis seem to be a great way to track progress of your students. It also allows like a “portfolio” of what has been happening in the classroom. It allows student, parents, and administrators to track their status or shall I say “performance” in the certain class. Blogs also could play as a calendar. A class blog could be set up in order for students to keep track of what is due and when.

Social networks may be a touchy subject. I personally think it would be better to stick with blogs and wikis that can be viewed publically instead of setting a “private” group on Facebook.

Internet tools and gadgets are great motivators in teaching.  Most of the time gadget and tools are free or students already have access to them. As a matter of fact, most students probably own an IPod or MP3 player. This could allow them to explore educational opportunities right at their fingertips.  

I believe technology is growing and education will always be here. Now we have to make the decision if we will use the tools available to enrich our ways of learning, growing, and teaching or, if we will deny technology’s growth and pretty much “shun” it from our kids. As a child exploring the world it will make you grateful for what you have, respectful of what others do, and more understanding as to why things work the way they do. So, I believe incorporating all of the above ten tips discussed by Jose into classrooms would be the smartest thing we could do for our future children and our future America. 


  1. Heather,

    You did a great job outlining Jose Picardo's
    video. Did you ever check out his blog? It's really good too. It’s so nice to know that we have been equipped this summer to incorporate all of these tools into our classroom. At the beginning of the semester, I was a little overwhelmed. Now that we are at the end, I am so thankful that Dr. Strange pushed us to learn as much as we could and has instilled in us to strive to learn even more. I have really learned a lot and I can see that you have too!

    ”As a child exploring the world it will make you grateful for what you have, respectful of what others do, and more understanding as to why things work the way they do.” I love this!

    Pointing this out has taught me something this morning. Presenting technology to students is a great way to build their character. I had never thought of it that way. By allowing them to explore, as you said, will open their eyes to the world around and can teach valuable lessons. When the tornado hit Tuscaloosa, I pulled it up on the internet to show my children and they just couldn’t believe their eyes. I talked to them about being thankful for our safety and taught them to think of others. I have never thought about how I could do that in a classroom. Thank you for teaching me something.

    Your blog looks great! Keep up the fantastic work!


  2. I share your reluctance to use Facebook but many teachers report they use it successfully. Some even report it is the best way to connect with parents!

    Put these tools to use when you start teaching!