Ed Tech – What actually works in the classroom?
I asked a simple question on twitter and reddit – and was amazed at the number of responses!
I was interested in what people thought made the use of Ed Tech worthwhile, and any stories that came about from the use of technology in the classroom. I’ve put a list of any mentioned resources and devices at the bottom of the post!
I have organised this in five key areas – it’s worth mentioning though that this is quite loose! It is interesting though that whilst these areas were mentioned in a variety of ways, I didn’t hear much about ‘engagement’ or ‘motivation’ – areas which are traditionally signalled as reasons to get technology in the classroom. I’m actually pretty pleased about that!
Without a doubt the top outcome that was mentioned. Collaboration seems to be key. And with all interested parties. Collaboration with parents, with other schools, with ‘hard to reach’ parents (for whatever reason). Collaboration with an ‘end purpose’ and, of course, pupils collaborating to create. Blogging, using various platforms, was mentioned as was cloud services such as Google Drive. The technology varied, from online creation such as Book Creator to the use of ‘portable’ devices which would support collaboration. Teachers seemed to value the possibilities.
Access and Special Needs
I have talked about how great I found the iPad for Educational Needs so it came as no suprise to read all of the great stories about how we are using technology in the classroom to adapt it to the needs of our learners. The trusty Smart Interactive Whiteboard was mentioned here, both for the use as an interactive and accessible screen and also as a display mechanism for images and video. The use of images and games for areas such as Vocabulary, Social Stories and supporting specific needs. Capturing non written evidence and sharing achievements was also mentioned.
Feedback and Guidance
The feedback and ‘immediacy’ of using technology was also mentioned, cameras in the classroom for evidence, screencasting using apps such as Explain Everything. The classroom Visualiser was mentioned as an excellent way of sharing work and offering up feedback (including group work). Flip cameras were mentioned, as well as the use of photographs for evidence.
Accessing other resources
Technology as a gateway to a whole range of other resources was also mentioned by many – authentic foreign language resources for example, websites such as the science PHeT site which provides video and virtual experiments. Resources and ideas that just wouldn’t be available otherwise. It’s worth considering that the ‘internet’ as a gateway was mentioned – a decent bandwidth was mentioned by some – how often do you rely on the internet in your classroom?
What did people mention?
Google Drive – mentioned by many!
Book Creator (iPad)
Explain Everything (iPad)
KidBlog Dot Org (blogging platform)
Scribblenauts (iPad game – used for vocab)
Mentioned devices: visualisers, smartboards, flip cameras, iPads, portable devices, Chromebooks
A huge thanks to all who answered my questions, retweeted by tweets and generally got invovled! Definitely for me one of the biggest reasons to get involved in technology for educational purposes!!
It will be interesting to redo this small survey next year and check out the changes!
Thanks for reading – feel free to leave your comment – I’m sure things have been missed!