POSTED ON BEHALF OF MARIA SCHNEIDER
I myself am not someone who is fascinated by technology, nor someone who chooses to use it day-in and day-out. I am maybe one of the few people who still do not have a smart phone, an iPad or a kindle and there is something about not owning such devices that gives me peace. Ironic I know because I decided to look into using technology in the classroom as a way to increase peace in the learning environment and cater to learners with all different learning styles. I think that I don’t appreciate technology as much as others because I often do not know how to use programs, devices, websites etc. and that I become frustrated and stop using them altogether. My frustration however, might not be so strong if I was well versed in how to use programs effectively and incorporate them into different contexts; thus I decided to explore ways to incorporate technology into the classroom to build peace and a positive outlook on learning form the eyes of students.
The eLearn Magazine: Education and Teaching in Perspective http://elearnmag.acm.org/featured.cfm?aid=2047484 features several different blog postings about tools, methods, and resources for educators and facilitators in both informal and formal classroom settings. I found many of the articles to be interesting and provide information that I was preciously unaware of. The Top 100 Tools for Learning http://c4lpt.co.uk/top-100-tools-2012/ also provides a long list of resources that can be used to teach and enhance all different lessons for various age groups.
Though these tools can be used in any setting I think they would be the most beneficial in a formal classroom setting with middle, high school and/or college students, as there is more structure within the allotted time of the class/course. In addition, branching out with various tools and technology helps bring variety to enhance all learning styles and build intelligence in community building, emotional learning and life skills building.
I would use the Top 100 Tools for Learning in group projects, presentations, and as I lead class sessions. Being introduced to meditation and yoga in the classroom I think that Skype is one tool that could be utilized to hold a yoga class/meditation session, iMovie, Garage band and iTunes are programs that could be used to create movies and podcasts and share them with other students. I hope that by incorporating these tools more widely into the classroom that students are able to realize that learning does not occur simply from listening to the teacher, and raising your hand to respond but that it happens collaboratively in different ways that can be interactive and fun as well as educational and academic.
*[One precaution that needs to be taken is realizing that not all student may have access to internet resources outside of the classroom. Because of that it is important that you find alternative routes to using technology in the classroom, media center, renting equipment (high school/college), using community resources at public libraries and community centers. Incorporating these devices and technological programs can be done more often in the actual classroom to eliminate the opportunities for students who do not have access to computers to feel left out from those who do have access.]