Friday, October 30, 2009

Journal: S'Cool Tools

"S'Cool Tools - 5 Great Tools to Perk Up Your Classroom and Engage Your Students" written by: Maureen Brown Yoder

As a teacher we are always looking for the latest and greatest tools out there to engage our students. This articles lists five technology tools that can benefit students from all ages. To determine these tools fit the bill they had answer a definate yes to the following three important questions:
  1. Does this tool have the potentil to enhance teaching in some powerful way?
  2. Is this tool easy to learn and well supported?
  3. Is this an innovative new tool or a substantial improvements on an earlier version?

Here is what the author of this article came up with:

Lego's WeDo - This peice of technology is a collaboration between Lego Education and MIT's Lifelong Kindergarten group. At a total cost of $299.85 WeDo comes with over 160 lego elements, a motor, a motion sensor, icon-based software,activities and instruction for 12 models, and teacher notes with cirriculum, objectives, discussion questions, and sugestions for extension activities. The technology supports integration of virtual and physical worlds where students work to make a final product.

Smart Table - This is much more than jsut an interactive whiteboard, it is a multitouch, multiuser, interactive learning center. It comes with customizable applications and ready-made lessons - which makes it easy for a sub to step in. The Smart Table allows up to 8 students to work together and encourages student collaboration. Currently a Smart Table costs $7,999, so it's pretty costly - but like all teachnology the price is sure to come down.

AVer Pen and AVer Plus - This pen and software is like an interactive whiteboard without the whiteboard, installation,calibration and alignment. It can write on almost any surface, capture images, record video, as well as several other activities. It runs on radio frequencies and can operate within a 100' radius. The starter pack comes with 1 teacher pen and 4 student pens at $799.99. You can purchase additional pens and registar up to 60 studen pens per one teacher pen.

Second Life Realities - These are educational based virtual worlds created in several forms. Students can create their own classroom world or join premade worlds that can further their education is numerous ways. The amount and types of world you creat are limitless. (Cost: Teen Grid real estate and some building materials need to be purchased, otherwise membership and participation are free)

Google Apps Education Community - Google has reached out to the educational community and provided tools to aide education. It designed to help educator be providing them with tons of resources and applications at their finger tips.

Overall, there are tons of S'Cool Tools out there, to make sure they will benefit you and your students remember the three begining questions. But get out there - and get techy!

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