You can use almost any educational software or Internet
sites from the front of the classroom to guide and direct
student learning and to inspire discussion. It helps to
create roles for the groups so each person has a perspective
to help guide the discussion.
- Decisions, Decisions series
and the Choices, Choices series from Tom Snyder
Productions at http://www.teachtsp.com
or (800) 342-0236.
- Internet Projects
can be done with one Internet connection in the school.
Even teachers with an Internet connection at home only
could do many of these projects.
- Internet Projects can also
be done by kids working in teams. When I taught, I had
my 5th and 6th grade students team up with the Kindergarten
students to draw a picture and write a sentence about
it. Simple paint programs such as Windows Paint or KidPix
can be used for this. I emailed the files to a teacher
in California who posted them on a web page.
for large group presentations
- Scan converters
- Converts computer video signal
to NTSC video
- Computer must have an external
- Use with large screen monitor
(27" or larger"
- Do not always work with Mac
- LCD Projection panels
- Most common computer projection
- Many different models from
- Wide price range
- Insist upon color, active matrix
- Usually can be used with Macs
and PCs - different cable.
- May need a splitter cable for
- Some allow other video sources
to be connected. (VCR, Video disc, etc.)
- Some have built-in audio.
- All require a high Lumen overhead
(see next column)
- Good all-around classroom device
- Overhead Projectors for LCD
- LCD Panels should be used only
with overheads that have a transmissive optical
- Must have a fan
- Must output 3,500 - 6,000 lumens
- Multimedia Data Projectors
- Not all projectors are data
projectors - check
- Look for 650 ANSI lumens of
- Image size - 21" to 300"
- Zoom Lens is nice
- Bulbs can be expensive - check
- Check for Mac & PC compatibility
- Splitter cables for simultaneous
monitor viewing can be expensive
- Remote control is nice
- Most have audio amp. &
accept other video sources
- Hints for selecting presentation
- Buy the best you can afford
- If purchasing LCD panels, you
must also have high lumen overhead projectors
- Never use less than a 27"
monitor in a classroom
- Whatever device you choose,
make sure that all the cables you need are provided
or you purchase them
- Before you buy, make sure your
computer has an external monitor output terminal.
Be from Missouri: Try the equipment in the places
it will be used most. Try it in the room that you
think will be most difficult.
-details on display
devices by Jim Bembenek
Bible/Worship Center: Praying
for the 10/40 Window or Misson
This is a web site that I created this as part of an independent
study one summer. The main section lists the countries
in the 10/40 window and includes Internet activities in
Social Studies, Language Arts, Bible, and Math (and sometimes
other content areas). It is appropriate for approximately
KidPix Studio as a learning center
KidPix Studio lends itself to great 5-10 minute activities
for lower elementary classrooms. This KidPix
site has 101 activities for KidPix Studio in language
arts, social studies, and other areas, plus many other
helpful hints.Here's a sampling of the ideas:
- Have students draw a map of the
classroom during orientation in the fall.
- Write a rebus story.
- Tell main idea of a story with
- Use stamps to illustrate place
- Have students sort stamp objects.
- Create an alphabet book on a topic
- Make a slide show of the students
in the class for Open House in the fall.
Teacher Created Materials http://www.teachercreated.com/
or 1-888-343-4335 now offers 12 KidPix Activity Kits that
are very inexpensive. They cover topics such as Weather,
Seasons, Creepy Crawlies, My Country, Native Americans,
Plants, Animals, and more. The KidPix Software is included
in the kits.
Neighborhood Map Machine and
its companion Community Construction Kit from Tom
Snyder Productions at http://www.teachtsp.com
or (800) 342-0236 and other such software can also be
used with teams. This software allows students to explore
map skills and create maps of communities. You can also
print buildings and place them on large maps (6x6).
National Inspirer is another
great title for Social Studies from Tom Snyder Productions
or (800) 342-0236. Students plan trips around the US and
practice map skills while collecting natural resources.
- Use Word drawing tools to create
a Venn diagram and compare.
- When researching on the Internet,
use Word tables to keep track of information from the
Internet (URL, date downloaded, author, date published,
- Make a greeting card in Word to
or from a historical person.
- Create a poster or sign advertising
something or a happening at school; supporting or opposing
a historical issue or current event issue; giving weather
information; about an issue, etc.
- Use Word to create a newsletter
featuring the current topic of study.
- Create an acrostic as a review
on unit of study.
- In Excel, students create a grade
sheet to keep track of their grades. Teach averages.
- In Excel, students create a word
search, using a cell for each letter. Change font to
Here's a brief sample lesson using ideas from the Chocolate
theme book from Teacher Created Materials http://www.teachercreated.com/
or 1-888-343-4335. This lesson structure was adapted from
an idea from Kathleen Johnson and TIES of Minnesota. Teacher
Created Materials makes other Technology theme books that
are excellent resources.
Divide students into 5 groups based
on the goals of the topic and create at least 5 stations
or tasks. These could be projects, worksheets, hands-on
activities, reading, and more. If you have one computer,
one of the activities will be on the computer. If you
have more, change the activities to match your situation.
- Group 1 reads books on Chocolate
such as Chocolate by Hershey by Betty Burford, or Chocolate
Dreams by Arnold Adoff and writes chocolate poetry (cinquains,
similies, equations, 5 senses poems, and other kinds)
and the ultimate edible paragraph (a wonderful paragraph
writing activity from TCM's book listed above. (These
could be wordprocessed on the computer.)
- Group 2 tests various hot chocolate
drinks for dissolving ability and taste. Data should
graphed and the results written up in a lab report.
- Group 3 reads about the science
of chocolate and uses the information to do a chocolate
- Group 4 takes class survey information
(the survey would have to be done as a class before
breaking into groups) and creates bar graphs on favorite
chocolate bars and other questions answered by the class.
This could be done with Graph Club from Tom Snyder
Productions at http://www.teachtsp.com or (800) 342-0236
or any spreadsheet software. The class would need previous
instruction on how to use the software.
- Group 5 researches a country where
cocao trees grow and prepare a travel brochure advertising
the country. (This could be done on the computer too).
- Another group could look at previously
bookmarked Internet sites to find information about
chocolate. Another group could read print-based info
and create a graphic organizer that has a focusing question.
The teacher floats from group to group
as facilitator. Groups can remain stationary for a set
amount of time, or could move to the next group each day
until all tasks are completed. Not all groups would do
all 5 tasks but all groups would have had technology use
as least one day.
Units I have that could work with
Inspiration from Inspiration at http://www.inspiration.com
or (800) 877-4292 can be used to brainstorm a story, essay,
or topic with students. You can then easily make it into
an outline, or print the web/graphic organizer for students
to write from or to guide their study.
Slide shows can be created
in ClarisWorks, KidPix Studio, Microsoft PowerPoint, Adobe
Persuasion, or Corel Presentations. These can be student
created to supplement reports, or lecture supplements
for you as teacher. Slide shows with student work or important
information can also be automated and running at parent
teacher conferences or open house.
Web Tales is another software package/Internet
site that can be used from the front of the classroom
to give practice with parts of speech. Created by Houghton
Mifflin at http://www.eduplace.com/
or 1-800-733-2828 and available for $15 for one computer
or $35 for your whole building.
Daily/Weekly Routine Internet Activities:
Visit a site a day or each week - build time into schedule
for one short activity like the following suggestions.
Make it a whole class activity. You could even have this
routine be one of the weekly chores in your classroom.
Technology Curriculum Integration
Quality Instructional Sites Listed
by Content Area
You can find some excellent technology integration lesson
plans at this site:
Technology Integration Units
These are created by teachers as final projects in AVLN
- Have students plan their use of
the computer before they get on it. For example, they
should plan searches (write down key words, etc.) before
getting on the Net and create storyboards of their HyperStudio,
KidPix Studio, or slide shows before creating them.
- Teach students new software by
assigning small activities that use just a few of the
tools. Gradually increase their knowledge this way.
- Plan carefully for the time in
the computer lab each week (if your school is set up
that way). Teach kids as much as possible before going
to the lab so that the time spent there is as efficient
- Show students the activity as a
whole class demonstration using the computer and TV
before sending them to work alone at the computer.
- Design projects to be completed
in small parts, so that directions do not become too
complex. Have instructions clearly spelled out and in
- Create templates for projects so
that independent work can occur.
Pair Kids at the Computer
- Use the one computer as a station
with pairs/groups of kids. This works well if you are
doing projects or problem-based learning. Students work
on the project, and the computer is one of many activities
to solve the problem or do the project.
- Pair students at the computer.
K-3 Have one use the mouse and the other use the keyboard.
The next time they use the computer they switch roles.
4-6 Have them switch who uses the computer by dividing
up the tasks.
- Most kids are so fascinated with
technology that they'll teach themselves just about
anything you can load on them, as well as work peacefully
together for fear of losing computer time. A small team
of kids can have a corresponding team that works with
them, with each team sharing with the other what they
learned while the other was otherwise occupied either
at the computer or with conventional classwork.
Creative Sharing of a Limited Resource
- Use the computer for whole class
demonstration or as a lecture supplement. Tom Snyder
software is created for this plan. Net sites can be
used this way as well. You'll need a projection device
such as an LCD panel for this. If you have a parents'
group, explain to them the purpose of the LCD panel
and they may help raise the money for it.
- Put the computer on a cart and
share with the teacher next door. This works well if
you are team teaching. Be sure you have time to talk
and schedule the computers.
- Think about how you schedule time
on the computers. Remember equal opportunity. If you
let the students who finish work first go to the computer,
the students who are kinesthetic learners and need to
be on the computer don't get the chance.
- Put a timer and a student roster
next to the computer. Teach the students how to set
the timer for 15 minutes and to tap the next person
on the shoulder when they are done.
- Have a class schedule posted where
students rotate at 15 minute shifts all day, even during
direct instruction. This schedule is at different times
during the week, so students don't miss the same class
instruction each day (Student A starts Monday at 8:15,
Tuesday at 10:00, Wednesday at 12:30, Thursday at 1:45,
and Friday at 3:00). Since they are in the classroom
while working on their assignments, they still hear
all the necessary instruction.
- Here's an idea from another teacher:
I have three computers in my third grade classroom.
I use "blind mice" to rotate students to the
computer. The mice were once candy holders that were
given to me (found at K-Mart). I introduced the mice
and explained the procedure for using them. I then have
task cards at each computer so the students know what
to do when there. I also have a list of students with
the task card. The list of names allows the student
at the computer to know who is next. If a question arises,
they are to go to someone who has already completed
the task first. If that person cannot answer, then I
will help. I try to put a student who is fairly computer
literate as the first person so I know there will be
a reliable helper. By Michelle McComas, Michelle_McComas@tiffin.k12.oh.us
- Have a different student each week
who serves as Computer Assistant or Tech Buddy. If students
have a question, they are to go to the Computer Assistant
for help. If the Assistant doesn't know, then they can
ask the teacher.
- Use peer teaching. Each week have
a different student in charge of the computer. They
should have learned whatever program is used that week.