Thursday, January 31, 2013

What Do I Use?

I have been asked this question quite a bit lately so I thought I would break down the classroom technology that I have and how I use it.

Interactive projector - I have an Epson BrightLink projector with an interactive pen that allows me to use anything on my computer in front of the classroom. This gets you up and out away from the desk and interacting with students. I try to find interactive websites like Learner.org/interactives and Quia.com to create interactive activities for my students. Quia lets me make challenge boards (jeopardy), matching, rags to riches and even battleship games, which the students love to play and come to the board.

4 student computers
Document camera
Webcam
Small iPad cart (11)
Big iPad cart (20)

My Big Campus - This is the Learning Mangement System (LMS) that is adopted by my district. I started out last year using a free trial of Brainhoney, but it was greatly lacking in features and functionality. My principal turned me on to edmodo, which we used with moderate success for about half of last school year. Then our tech guy told me about My Big Campus and it was a no brainer to make the switch. My Big Campus offers SO much more functionality that edmodo simply didn't have. One of the biggest problems we had with edmodo was the fact that Youtube videos would come up blocked on the site. Because My Big Campus is part of our Lightspeed system we get access to videos and content that we otherwise had problems accessing with edmodo. 

Discovery Education

LEGO Mindstorms kits - Who doesn't love STEM learning? With a class set of LEGO Mindstorms kits, students are able to explore real-world concepts. When we studied alternative energy sources, students were able to build working wind generators and solar panels. This hands on learning is the key to students success in Science.

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