Technology and Gaming in the Classroom
This is E-Woman. The Agents are characters available free for use in PowerPoint presentations. With script-writing software (some programs are free on the Web, but I purchased MASH from BellCraft for $25 individual user - it is superior and also available as schoolwide license), you may tell them when to appear, where on the slide to stay or move to, and what to say. They move and they speak. They make a ppt more interesting, especially to students.
One of the favorites of my students is Wartnose who taught Non-Renewable Resources. He looks like he belongs underground with the oil, coal, and natural gas. My kids loved how he would have temper tantrums because we are using so many of these resources.
How to remember the four stages to coal production: "Pete likes biting Anthony" helped my kids remember peat moss to lignite to bitumen to anthracite.
Want another memory hint? Everybody loves playing arcades! That represents a life cycle - egg, larva, pupa, adult.
I still remember the one I learned in elementary school for arithmetic - a rat in Tom's hat may eat Tom's ice cream.
Samples of technology I use in the classroom
This PowerPoint features some of the technology I have used in the classroom. It contains content that your browser may not be able to show properly. This presentation was optimized for more recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. It will appear with a list of slides on the left border. To view the PPT, click the list. The slides with no text are ones that contain photos. Please click those also. To view, click here.
Following are explanations of some of the technology that most students will enjoy. Many of these techniques I learned from classes offered by the Dallas ISD Instructional Technology department. Some I learned from work I completed through Region 11 for my Master Technology Teacher certification.
A free software program that allows you to use audio to create lessons. Access here.
This is a Macromedia software program available from Adobe that lets the user create animations. Usually, an individual needs some lessons in Flash before using. It is not free. Click here for more information.
Intel's Thinking Tools
This is free for teachers throughout the world to use. As mentioned on the Teacher Resource page, I found the Thinking Tools to be fabulous. The students loved using them. Access the Tools here (click on Thinking Tools)
If you use only one web-based activity in your classroom, may I submit that this one can make a major difference in helping student to use higher order thinking. The website has info on all three Tools and there are tutorials online.
You may view a PowerPoint I created for a graduate course at UTA. It better explains Thinking Tools. Please note this presentation contains content that your browser may not be able to show properly. The presentation was optimized for more recent versions of Microsoft Internet Explorer. If you would like to proceed, click here.
Intel's Journey Inside
This offers free lessons on how computers work. Visit the site here.
This can be used as an excellent research project for those students who finish tasks early. The lessons feature video available using Windows Media, Real One, or Quicktime. It is best to have high speed connection for watching videos.
PD Point is the Professional Development section of SchoolKit.com. Download the activBook Reader and use PD Point to access lessons on Microsoft Office software and many other topics in using technology. Dallas ISD Instructional Technology often offers a class in this.
All students should be taught to create presentations using this software from Microsoft. It helps them to plan, implement, and evaluate. In addition, they learn content and their peers typically enjoy leaning from students' PowerPoints. These are slide presentations. Audio and video can be added (see Producer). For more information, visit the Microsoft PowerPoint site.
This is another software product from Microsoft and lets you combine video with a slide presentation. The video appears on the left side and slides change to synchronize with the video. Slides appear on the right side. For more information, visit the Microsoft Producer site.
Troubleshooting Software/Hardware on a Personal Computer - a Staff Development class that was offered at Dallas ISD. I don't know if the class still is offered. However, in past years, I've recommended this class to many teachers. If you aren't comfortable with a computer, this will help you tremendously. Most large districts offer some type of troubleshooting course through the IT department. If your district doesn't offer this, ask them to consider it. You also can keyword "beginning computer" (or some other phrase) in your search engine. I'm sure there are many tutorials online about using and troubleshooting computer software and hardware.
I think every teacher should have a website. There are free hosting services (ISPs) available (use your search engine) and many districts have room on their servers for teachers to set up websites.
My classroom site included our curriculum for each 6-week period with details on homework, class work, etc. There was never an excuse for students to not know what we were doing (I also used a variety of hard-copy printed syllabi).
I advise you to NEVER use students photo (unless taken from behind the head) or first names (unless those students are no longer at your school). Certainly, we never use the first and last name for students. There are simply too many predators looking for kids these days and we cannot be too careful.
You also can set up a website that only students can access and that is with a username and password.
Software for websites:
There are free programs available on the Internet. Microsoft Word can be used. There also are website design programs.Macromedia's Dreamweaver (now Adobe) is a very sophisticated program. I find it to be complicated and that is after having taken classes in using it. It also is expensive. However, once learned and used, it probably is the best program for creating a website.
Microsoft's FrontPage (this is a support page for 2003 edition). FrontPage is very easy to use - very much like using Word. I love this program and used it to create the website you are on as well as all of our others. Unfortunately, Microsoft stopped selling this program and now (and probably NOT for too much longer) provides only support for owners of the versions through 2003.
I imagine their replacement program is more like Dreamweaver. Now they sell Expression for website design and another program Silverlight for interactivity between programs. I haven't used either.
If you want to write your own Hyper-Text Markup-Language (HTML) code, you can do that in WordPad. The program Cute HTML is an excellent program to use but its availability has been discontinued by the owners. You may want to Google the program and see if it is available somewhere on the web or Google free HTML program.
The University of Wisconsin offers a minor in game development for educational purposes. To visit their site, click here.
Mark Prensky's site has lots of excellent information. Click here to visit.
For information on the Summit on Educational Games, click here.
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