Top Budget-Friendly Ways to Include Interactive Technology in the Classroom
Inspire student achievement and participation with multimedia activities.
By Andrea Ferrero
There are examples of technology all around us, and the ways we approach tasks are constantly changing. The classroom should be a place in which students can explore and embrace these new developments; advances in technology can be used as a way to supplement curriculum and enrich the learning environment. My students have always loved to try the newest gadgets and online educational resources. With so many technological advances, but finite resources to access them, it is important to know about the best free resources and classroom applications.
Creating Interactive Stories
With the advent of computers and the Internet, a whole new world of reading has opened up for students. Books are no longer their only choices for reading activities; they can tap into computer and website-related reading resources, like hybrid-interactive stories. These can be accessed easily online and have a range of fun features. Some stories include features to help students read, like highlighting words as they progress through the story. Other resources give students the chance to create and read their own tales.
Virtual Learning Experiences
When time or money don't allow for a real journey, why not take your students on a virtual trip? They can view monuments, museums, and much more from the comfort of your classroom. Virtual field trips or tours are provided by many organizations, museums, and major companies. While teaching in Arizona, I used to love using the Monterey Bay Aquarium's webcam as a way to augment our explorations of ocean life.
Online Interactive Manipulatives
When resources are limited, do not worry! You can always look on the Internet for free online manipulatives. You can find virtual scales, rulers, and blocks for your students to use. These tools can be utilized by students while completing a group lesson, or for practice during their free time.
Music From Online Sources
Music has the power to grab students’ attention. It can be used to inspire creativity, to set the atmosphere in the classroom, and as a supplement to the content being taught. There are many ways to access free songs or lyrics to share with all grade levels. There are programs to help students create their own songs as well.
Interactive Videos Can Augment Curriculum
Movies have gotten a bad reputation as the lazy way to access content. Although movies can certainly be used incorrectly, as a time waster or as a substitute for curriculum, there are a wealth of amazing multimedia videos that can support and promote learning. One of the main attractions of interactive videos is the fact that they include an element or feature that pulls in the viewer. Students might be asked to stop and share, or to respond to an onscreen prompt. These types of activities can be used with the whole class or at a learning center. It makes learning more interesting and personalized.
What follows are more technology lessons and activities.
Innovative Technology Lessons:
Technology that Makes Phonics Fun
This lesson shares a number of activities involving different free phonics software programs available online. Students are able to do everything from creating mind maps to reading along with favorite storybook characters.
This lesson explores how to set up a virtual partnership between high school students and professionals in the world of architecture. Students build problem-solving and life skills while working with varied technology resources.
Students use the software Timeliner to create a personal timeline, including seven important events from their life. The lesson includes samples of students work, and the software program can be downloaded for free online.
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