Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Wonders of Integrating Technology

I have been talking with some teachers over the year about their new ActivClassroom and what they have been doing to integrate the new technology into their instructional day. Most of the responses I have gotten are that the students are interacting with the ActivBoard and the software for their daily lessons and activities designed around the SCOS for NC. They have told me that they are also using the voting devices and ActivSlates with the students.

So.. I have a couple of co-workers in my office that told me about a new website they discovered a few months ago called Wonderopolis that offers, each day, a brand new Wonder of the Day for you to ponder about. I think it is a great site and there are a lot of "Wonders" that I find myself saying, " I really did not know that" or ".. I never even thought about that in that way."

Now in passing I have been mentioning, to those same teachers, about the Wonderopolis site and how great it is. I have talked about how engaging the site could be for students. How, as teachers, they could use the site as a connecting activity for the subjects they are covering in class. Now I am not saying that this could take the place of teachers Essential Questions, but it could be a great morning activity to help the students focus and get ready for the day.

Well today things changed a little bit. I was contacted by one of the teachers whom I have been discussing technology integration throughout the year. She told me that she had been to the Wonderopolis site and really liked it. In the conversation she told me about how she went into the archive to see some of the past Wonders and found a few that she liked. This led to her creating an ActivInspire flipchart around four wonders, which she liked, to share with her students.

When I heard this and saw the flipchart I went to Melissa Edwards, in our office, and let her know about what was going on and to show her flipchart. Well she thought that it was great and wanted to share the information with the people at Wonderopolis. So she, Melissa, contacted Shannon Kohn, the Wonderopolis Community Manager, and gave her the quick story on what was going on. Her response:

"How AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing this, Melissa! It is so great to see the Wonderopolis connections being made and passed on from educator-to-educator and then educator-to-student!"

The flipchart demos the following Wonders: if you would like to download the flipchart click on this link
How long would it take to travel to Mars? #215
Can you really cook an Egg on the Sidewalk? #243
How does 3D work? #242
Why are School Buses Yellow? #129

All I can say is that I am very happy that our teachers are "Getting It" and "Getting Inspired" to create their own materials that showcase the features of the technology that they have access to in their classrooms. From what the teacher has shared with me, her students really enjoyed the site. Note: in the wonder information there were some words that they were not familiar with that then led to another discussion on vocabulary. This just shows that it only takes something simple to start a great conversation with your students.

No comments: