Teacher Feature

Fall Teacher Feature - Cathy Callahan

posted Aug 13, 2013, 4:16 AM by Betsy Hood   [ updated Nov 5, 2013, 8:50 AM ]

Cathy offers some great advice about how to manage the use of technology in the classroom and shares some of her current favorite tech resources that she is using to enhance teaching and learning in her classroom.  

What technology/tools are you using in your classroom? 

Currently I am using Voki, Glogster and occasionally Socrative.  (Voki is a free tool to create speaking avatars.  Glogster let's you create free online media posters.  Socrative is an online assessment tool, also free.)

What is your favorite tech/tech tool and how have you used it in  your classroom?  

I have always liked using Glogster for online poster presentation, but this year I am trying to incorporate some quizzes or reviews using Socrative.  (Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t)

How has tech impacted student learning in your classroom?  

The kids seem to enjoy using the technology because it breaks up the learning process. It gives them a new avenue to use to present their findings, as long as it’s not done ALL the time.

What advice would you give other teachers in regard to using technology?  
My advice to other teachers, especially this year, is to be as patient as possible and don’t give up if it doesn’t work the first time. With all of the added pressure around us this year,  
I know it’s hard, but what I’ve found is that by trying new things, even if it’s one new tool, it keeps me a little more “fresh” with
 my teaching.  Being someone who’s been teaching for a long time, I’ve seen a lot of techniques that use to be “on the cutting edge” go by the wayside, so to be able to have access to these new tools is kind of exciting.  Don’t try to do everything at one time. Pick one or two new things and try them out.

Mrs. Moore: Tech Integration for 8th Grade ELA

posted Feb 4, 2013, 6:41 AM by Betsy Hood   [ updated Feb 14, 2013, 7:13 AM ]

What technology/tools are you using in your classroom?  
Google Docs, Forms, GMail, etc., Classtools.net , Triptico Desktop Resources  (www.triptico.co.uk), my class web page, Glogster, Prezi, Flovabulary, YouTube

What is your favorite tech/tech tool and how have you used it in  your classroom?  
I have two favorite pieces of technology.  I use my webpage every day.  I write my agenda and learning targets on a Google Presentation and have it embedded into each class on my website.  Absent students can easily see what they missed, and students know what to expect for the day.  Triptico has many "apps" that help make life easier - from selecting students and groups to easy games to create.  

How has tech impacted student learning in your classroom?
Technology is the medium that students are immersed in, so it does help connect their learning to their life.  I would like to think that technology makes my students better learners because they are more likely to attend to the task at hand.

What advice would you give other teachers in regard to using technology?
Make sure the technology you choose actually fits your learning targets and goal; a poor lesson is a poor lesson whether you use technology or not!

Lisa Smithmeyer talks Tech + Math

posted Sep 20, 2012, 7:40 AM by Betsy Hood   [ updated Oct 26, 2012, 5:30 PM ]

I mostly use my Smart Board and the math tool with the the board to explain concepts.  I still use the old fashion calculator and of course my NEW web site.  I update it daily and this takes up more time then you imagine.  My web site has links to videos of my personal lessons and videos online reteaching concepts explained in class.  I also have developed a Symbaloo (web mix), bubble.us (graphic organizer) and Wall Wisher (virtual billboard) on my site.

What is your favorite tech/tech tool and how have you used it in your classroom?  
Hard to believe I'm saying favorite, but technology does grows on you.  My favorite technology/tool is my web site.  When students are absent they can print out notes, worksheets, and watch videos so when they return their work is done correctly and are not behind or playing catch up.  I love all my gadgets, links, documents, and PDFs I have embedded into my web site.  I use my site to show students how to help themselves when they struggle with concepts outside of class.  

How has technology impacted student learning in your classroom?

Technology has impacted my students positively. (No point intended!)  It gives them another avenue to explain a concept they did not understand the first time. When they are absent the students can stay on top of class work.  The heavy weight has been lifted off their shoulders and when they return they are not overwhelmed.  

What advice would you give other teachers in regard to using technology?

The advice I would give other teachers is don't knock something until you try it.  BELIEVE you can do it!  Be open minded and think about what you can do with technology instead of what you can't do.  Technology is a learning process by doing.  You will have good days and bad.  But remember the good days out number the bad and it will pay of eventually.  For example, when a student comes to you after missing 2 or more days of school with all the notes and work done correctly and a smile on their face.  When homework requests are no longer asked for in your class or when a student informs you they will be missing class and will look on the website for the work.  That is the PAY DAY!!!

We have fantastic resources right here in our backyard...it's YOU!!!

These spotlights will demonstrate how content, technology and instructional design can weave together to generate effective, interactive, student-centered learning opportunities.  

We are seeking out teachers to feature...we will find you!  Please contact Betsy x1192 bhood@eastwoodschools.org to share a favorite lesson or recommend a colleague to be spotlighted.  We need to share how Eastwood teachers are creatively weaving all sorts of tech tools into their lessons!

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