Benefits of using ICT in the classroom

As a wrap up to EDC3100 I have listed a number of points that I learned throughout this course regarding why teachers should integrate ICTs into their lessons:

 

  1. Teachers can personalise the learning experience by using websites, apps, learning games, e-books and virtual tutorials to meet the students learning needs.
  2. Instant access to knowledge and information that is not available when using textbooks.
  3. Students prefer to use ICTs such as computers, tablets, smartphones and the Internet.
  4. Students who use ICTs in the classroom will be ready to use ICTs in their future workplace enhancing their workplace readiness.
  5. The use of ICTs increases student engagement.
  6. ICT hardware and software is always improving.

ChoiceWorks App for students with Autism Spectrum Disorder for the classroom

Many students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) learn best when the classroom is structured with routines and often find transitioning between activities or areas such as to another classroom challenging.  As I am specialising in special education, I am interested in ways that may make transitioning easier for students with ASD as well as ways to create simple, visual routines.  I found came across an app that can be for iPads and iPhones called ChoiceWorks by BeeVisual LLC for $10.99 from the iTunes store.  ChoiceWorks is targeted at younger students and allows the teacher to create visual timetables quickly using photos and videos that come with the app or photographs that the teacher takes and then imports to the app – making it customisable to suit the needs of a specific student.Screen Shot 2017-10-17 at 8.55.03 pm

Apps for teachers

I was searching for some useful apps and came across the below infographic.  This infographic provides numerous apps that teachers need to understand and be able to use effectively to meet the learning needs of students today.

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Technology transforming the classroom

21st century classrooms are student-centred with teachers using a range of ICTs such interactive whiteboards, tablets computers, smartphones, data projectors, digital videos and games to help students learn.  Teachers can utilise student response systems to engage students who don’t put their hands up to answer questions.  Teachers can use an iPad or tablet computer with the information being projected on the screen or directly to students’ devices as they move around the room.  Students have access to more information than ever through the Internet that can help increase their knowledge.  There are a multitude of teaching and learning tools that can be utilised to make lessons interactive and interesting such PowToon to create web-based animations; Toontastic 3D where students can draw, create and narrate their own cartoons for storytelling; Piktochart that enables students create infographics and digital posters; Diigo to curate, organise and share digital information and resources and Flipquiz to create fun and engaging quiz assessments.  This is only scratching the surface of how ICTs can be used to transform the classroom…

What’s the weather?

I recently visited a high-functioning junior secondary classroom at a special school, where every morning as part of their morning routine they spoke about the weather and what the weather would be like on that particular day.  I thought about how, if I was the teacher, I could integrate ICT in a morning routine such as this, I came up with accessing the Bureau of Meteorology website where we could discuss the local weather, look at the radar and satellite images and daily forecasts, as well as future forecasts.  To take it one step further, I thought I would be able to look up the weather in other parts of the country as well…. When it’s my turn to run morning session, I’m going to give this a try.

 

Competitive, collaborative story writing

I was reading the Decoding Learning Report on StudyDesk for examples of ICT use in the classroom and an app called StoryWriter, which is part of BoomWriter series of apps, caught my attention.  This app is interactive group-writing tool designed to help enhance writing and storytelling skills.

The idea is that to create a story or a book each student or group writes a section or chapter, say chapter 1, then submit it to the teacher online for review.  Once all the submissions are reviewed then all the the students can read and vote on their favourite, with the winning chapter then becoming that chapter.  It is important to note that when students are reviewing each others submissions the writers are anonymous meaning the only thing being judged is the writing.

I think this app is fantastic, it’s fun and engaging, and the competitiveness will motivate many students to write.

Take a look at https://www.boomwriter.com/Home/Tools.