These past few weeks have really opened my eyes to all the technologies available to classroom teachers. Webquest, Google Earth, primary sources, jing, and iClicker are all sources I plan on using when I become a teacher. The webquest is particularly helpful becase it incorporates higher order thinking skills as well as requires students to become familiar with navigating the web. For my webquest, I had students creating a monument for an Egyptian pharaoh. I could have had them look at books to complete this project, but making it into a webquest made it so much more interactive. They were able to go on online tours, watch videos, and had immediate access to a wide range of information. I feel that my students would benefit greatly from webquests and plan on incorporating them into my insturction.
Google Earth really amazed me in terms of what it had to offer students. There is so much information available at students fingertips on Google Earth. This is both good and bad. It is good in the sense that there is a lot to explore and choose from when planning lessons, but it is bad because students may get lost, overwhelmed, and confused when working with Google Earth. That is why I think it is so important to create a recording to show students exactly where they will be going and what they will be doing. This eliminates confusion and provides clear direction to students.
Primary sources, jing, and iClickers are all excellent technologies that will be beneficial to me as a teacher. I liked primary sources because students get to work with real documents, letters, and sources that affected history. I believe that primary sources have the power to have a real affect on kids, especially in social studies. Jing is an excellent writing tool that I would most likely use if I taught older students. Elementary students typically do not submit papers electronically or type them out, but if they did I could see this tool being very beneficial. Finally, I liked iClickers because they have the ability to provide immediate feedback and encourage all students to participate. Too often students do not participate because they are embarrassed about not knowing the answer, but with this, no one has to know how others responded.
I am so glad to have learned about these technologies. It is so much easier incorporating technology into the classroom after you have a firm understanding of how they work. It is nice that I am getting this knowledge now as a pre-service teacher instead of having it all thrown at me my first year of teaching.