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Showing posts from February, 2011

5 Technology Tips for the Not-so-Tech-Savvy Teacher

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The popularity of social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, coupled with high-tech video games and 21st century entertainment for our students outside of school is necessitating a change in the way we as educators prepare and present information to our students.  Gone are the days where we can get away with 50 minutes of lecturing.  Our students are watching engaging Youtube videos and reading Facebook statuses to get their information instead of reading magazines and waiting for their favorite shows to come on TV.  Today’s students want their classroom experience to be as engaging as their lives outside of school.  The only problem is that most of us did not grow up in the same technological age as our students.  Integrating technology into your daily plans can be a very daunting task for an educator who is not familiar with Web 2.0 tools.  Here are 5 tips that will help you start using technology in your classes. 

1- Get comfortable with one piece of technology …

Five Learning Activities to Increase Student Engagement

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Student engagement is a topic that is constantly being discussed by teachers, administrators, and parents alike.  While all of these stakeholders know what student engagement looks like, it is often times unclear how to get students actively engaged in a lesson. I am going to suggest a variety of activities to increase student engagement in your classroom using both modern technology and traditional classroom instruction.
 1 - Jigsaw Activities
After reading a story, article, or book, I split students into small groups and assign each group a concept to focus on.  After the students have discussed their concept, I split the groups up again so that each group has one member from each original group.  Each student will be responsible for sharing with his or her classmates what was discussed in the first group. The beauty of the Jigsaw Activity is that each student in the classroom is held accountable for disseminating information to other members of the class. 

2 - Dialectical Journals
  A …