Teachers Using Technology

               Yes, it’s already November and the year feels like it’s flying by (or is it just me?) I’ve been talking to many teachers and listening to how they’re using technology to improve what they do in the classroom. I was an early adopter of computers in the classroom, even when it meant having one single computer with a modem and only gopher or Mosaic to navigate through the bulletin boards that made up the web back then. Those were the dark ages of the modern connected era, and still it was exciting getting e-mails from pen pals or finding cool pictures of mars in the nasa.gov files.

               So of course, I am always excited to learn how teachers are using technology today to extend or supplement what they do at school; especially if it’s something they can share with everyone else. One place that you can find several HHS teachers online is at SchoolNotes.com. To find your teacher all you have to do is find your school, which is easy to do by using the various drop down menus. With just a few clicks of the mouse, I was able to find and view Ms. Giampa’s AP Statistics and Senior Math page. I also found Ms. Begley, Mr. Brown, Ms. Jones, Mr. Kaste, Ms. Laws, Mr. Levine, Ms. Mistretta, Ms. Ruddock, and Ms. Wilczynski. SchoolNotes.com allows teachers to post assignments, due dates, reviews, and just about anything they like online.

               Another way that teachers are using technology is by maintaining a blog, such as the eponymous Mr. Lavieri’s Blog. As a recovering English teacher myself, I understand how difficult it can be to get students to write anything, especially book reviews. Mr. Lavieri had students use MS Publisher (with a template) to create short reviews, similar to those you might find at Amazon.com or Barnes & Noble.com. Students even included the now familiar, “If you liked this, you might also like…” recommendations. The color printouts of the book reviews are being used in the library as posters to decorate and instruct.

               Mr. Thakkar, who teaches math, has a web site at google where he posts assignments for his algebra, geometry, senior math and statistics classes. He even has several forms in English and Spanish and the site allows you to either view or download the documents and forms available.

               I’m sure there are plenty of other teachers who are also using other sites such as Moodle or Blackboard.com to post assignments, quizzes and tests and to communicate with their students. During the in-service training day, for example, I watched and listened as Ms. Cardonna introduced teachers to a creative site called Wordle. What it does is create “word clouds” using text you provide, but what you can do with it, is up to your imagination.

               Hope you find some inspiration and thank you for stopping by.

Copyright © henry toromoreno, 2009. All rights reserved.