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Technology In The Classroom Series. Technology In The Classroom. Why Use Technology in the Classroom?. From. We are experiencing a major paradigm shift in instructional methods that reflect the challenges present in today's society.

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Technology In The Classroom Series

Technology In The Classroom

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Why Use Technology in the Classroom?


  • We are experiencing a major paradigm shift in instructional methods that reflect the challenges present in today's society.

  • For a student to be competitive in a global market, teachers can no longer rely simply on traditional educational strategies.

  • To meet today’s demands, one must supplement and/or replace traditional methods of instruction with innovative educational experiences.

  • The most effective strategies for teaching science include cooperative, discovery and inquiry learning activities.

  • To facilitate these methods, schools must implement technology in the learning environment.

  • Technology and multimedia applications should be used as a tool to enhance a child's educational experience by creating a variety of methods to meet special needs, teach children how to manage information, and allow for opportunities to develop higher level thinking skills.

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  • Change in Student and Teacher Roles

    • When students are using technology as a tool or a support for communicating with others, they are in an active role rather than the passive role of recipient of information transmitted by a teacher, textbook, or broadcast. The student is actively making choices about how to generate, obtain, manipulate, or display information. Technology use allows many more students to be actively thinking about information, making choices, and executing skills than is typical in teacher-led lessons. Moreover, when technology is used as a tool to support students in performing authentic tasks, the students are in the position of defining their goals, making design decisions, and evaluating their progress.

  • Increased Motivation and Self Esteem

    • The most common, and in fact, nearly universal--teacher-reported effect on students was an increase in motivation. Teachers and students are sometimes surprised at the level of technology-based accomplishment displayed by students who have shown much less initiative or facility with more conventional academic tasks:

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  • Technical Skills

    • Students, even at the elementary school level, are able to acquire an impressive level of skill with a broad range of computer software. Although the specific software tools in use will likely change before these students enter the world of work, the students acquire a basic understanding of how various classes of computer tools behave and a confidence about being able to learn to use new tools that will support their learning of new software applications.

  • Accomplishment of More Complex Tasks

    • Teachers for the observed classes and activities at the case study sites were nearly unanimous also in reporting that students were able to handle more complex assignments and do more with higher-order skills because of the supports and capabilities provided by technology.

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  • More Collaboration with Peers

    • Another effect of technology cited by a great majority of teachers is an increased inclination on the part of students to work cooperatively and to provide peer tutoring.

  • Increased Use of Outside Resources

    • Teachers from 10 out of 17 classrooms observed at length cited increased use of outside resources as a benefit of using technology.

  • Improved Design Skills/Attention to Audience

    • Experiences in developing the kinds of rich, multimedia products that can be produced with technology, particularly when the design is done collaboratively so that students experience their peers' reactions to their presentations, appear to support a greater awareness of audience needs and perspectives. Multiple media give students choices about how best to convey a given idea (e.g., through text, video, animation). In part because they have the capability to produce more professional-looking products and the tools to manipulate the way information is presented, students in many technology-using classes are reportedly spending more time on design and audience presentation issues.

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Teaching Tools

Web Interactive Lessons

Web Visual Lesson

Web Sites

Data Sets


Science as Inquiry




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Web Interactive Lessons

  • Short Web Interactive "learning tools"  tend to be interactive lessons that cover one concept. The student, usually can adjust variables within that concept.

  • Long Web Interactive are similar to the above learning tool, however these tend to cover the concepts in more depth and are longer in duration. These simulated labs have a real place in the learning environment.

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  • Build a Fish

  • Using Electricity

  • Sodaplay

  • Wave on a String

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Web Virtual Lessons

  • Short Web Visual lessons tend to be more informational, not interactive, and relatively short in duration.. What distinguishes the visual lesson is a strong sense of design, relevant content, and appropriate level.

  • Long Web Visual lessons are covered in more depth than the previous learning tool. In some examples it may be an entire web site.

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  • Becoming Human

  • Educational Web Adventures

  • Robot Sumo


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Web Sites

  • Sometimes an entire web site is so good and fits so well with the concept you are teaching, it is useful to use the website in the lesson.

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  • How Stuff Works

  • Rough Science

  • MicroMatters

  • PBS series: Evolution

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Data Sets

  • Data and data sets are also important learning tools for students.

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  • Imaging is a "learning tool" that allows science students to learn science concepts in a new way, or takes a classic scientific tool and reshapes it with today's technology.

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  • Google Earth

  • Web Enabled Virtual Microscopy

  • Digital Morphology

  • Cassini - Huygens

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Science as Inquiry

  • Having students work on real world problems, collect & examine data, and draw their own conclusions is at the heart of inquiry. Science as Inquiry focuses on more than a one class project. It is Project-Based Science.

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Hardware Tools

Computers –

Toys Stores,

Hardware Stores,

Grocery Stores, -

Office Supply Stores,

Thrift Shops,

and More

Science Suppliers -

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Software Tools

  • Molecular Workbench

  • Science Shareware

  • Open Science Project

  • Science Dissemination Unit

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  • Technology Works in the Classroom

  • Technology is Important for Students

  • Technology doesn’t have to be Expensive or Difficult