Keeping kids engaged seems to be getting more difficult every year. Children are exposed to more and more technology on a seemingly daily basis and, as teachers, it’s our job to keep up with them. Every school district has different resources available to teachers and students. Some with ample training; others with limited resources and training for the resources they do have.
So what’s available out there? What should you be asking your administrators for? I’m not as tech-savvy as some of my coworkers, but I love to learn new things and I’m always looking for new ways to engage my students. Here are just a few of the technology pieces I’ve used or learned about:
- Document Imager. This is a huge step up from the typical overhead projector. In the age of limited paper and photocopies, the document imager allows the teacher to project a plain piece of paper or manipulatives for the whole class. Not only do you save paper, but no more buying those pricey transparency sheets either!
- LCD Projector. Want to show a short video or a PowerPoint presentation from your computer? This is the way to go! The projector hooks up directly to your computer, allowing you to use a wide variety of interactive computer programs with your students.
- SMART Response. The SMART Response system allows each student in your classroom to respond directly to specific questions throughout a lesson using individual remote controls, ensuring that every student is engaged in the lesson. And embedded quizzes and individual student reports make it easy to modify your instruction to benefit every student.
- AirLiner Wireless Slate. You know you need to move around your classroom throughout your lesson, but it’s difficult when you need to manipulate a SMARTBoard. The AirLiner allows you to do whatever you need, from the back of the classroom if necessary. And with more than one slate, multiple students can interact at the same time.
There are many, many more technology pieces available for classrooms. But many times these are not available because of limited budgets. So look for a grant! Search the Web for technology grants or check out Technology Grant News, Teachers Network, or Engaging Technologies. Local banks, power companies, and other businesses often offer technology grants to teachers as well. Join the 21st Century and apply!
I’m very interested to find out what technology resources you’re using in the classroom and whether you’ve found them effective. Please share!