Thursday, November 7, 2013

ELA & Tech Integration: Go Big or Go Home?

An observation: teachers sometimes put undo pressure on themselves looking to create complex, long-duration, multiple outcome projects when adding (effective) technology to curriculum. Something to consider - the sweetspot is probably just the opposite:  ongoing, consistent use of technology to augment instruction, and perhaps not the Giant Project from Heck. When done well, project-based, tech-infused big-learning, higher-order thinking projects are awesome. But, it's not the only way, especially if you and/or your students are just getting your feet wet with technology. This certainly holds true in Language Arts. 

Whether students have access to a computer lab of desktops, a cart of Chromebooks, netbooks, iPads, or, dare I say "Android Devices" (gasp), ReadWriteThink is a go-to site. Many of the resources there lend themselves to small to medium sized assignments, some of which (for older kids, anyway) can get done in a class period.

ReadWriteThink also includes lesson plans, professional development, and some interesting 'at home' resources, too. The searchable Student Interactives  has many  fun, engaging, easy to use tools.  Check out Comic Creator, an all-time favorite. It does require Flash, and students need to get 'done' in one sitting to save results for sharing (not necessarily a bad thing...)  Many of the tools include some lesson plan ideas, too, by grade.

For the ipad, here are some great suggestions about apps for the Language Arts classroom.

You can see more resources and ideas about (effectively)  infusing technology into the Language Arts classroom in this post, too.

One last thought...Google Apps for Education is a phenomenal suite of tools. I'll circle back sometime soon with more details about what "GAFE" brings to the student learning table for you and your students.

There are TONS of 'quick hitter' options to apply to the classroom. What are some of YOUR favorites?

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