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How We Use Technology In Class

May 30, 2011

On Friday morning, I got an email from Teresa Nickell (@tnickell) asking if my class could help her with a presentation she’s doing on Thursday. Teresa teaches in Texas, and she wanted my students to Skype into a session she’s doing on using Web 2.0 tools in the classroom. The problem is that I’m not in class on Thursday. I offered to have my students create a video showing what tools we use in the classroom and how we use them. Teresa was excited by this idea, and I was too! Today my students created these two videos:

As a class, we brainstormed a list of six different tools that we frequently use in the classroom — a SMART Board, computers, PALM Treos, Livescribe Pens, iPod Touches, and iPads — and we listed some ways that we use these tools. Students then got into partners and decided what they were going to talk about. The groups had about 20 minutes to prepare, and then the filming started.
It was great to see what the students did, and even more exciting to hear what they said. They really understand how to use these tools, and more importantly, they understand why they are using these tools too. I also learned a lot about myself too, and about what I need to work on in future videos:
1) I say, “excellent,” way too much. I was so thrilled with what the students shared that I think I got caught up in the excitement of the moment. I need to think about exactly what I’m going to say and make my words count.
2) I sometimes forget to give enough “waiting time.” I know about the importance of waiting time, but when the minutes count and the responses seem to be delayed, I often follow-up with more questions than I need to. I need to remember to give students lots of time to think.
3) I do not multi-task well. I find it hard to control the camera, ask the questions, and see everything that’s happening around me too. I need to hand the camera off to students. Usually the children are the ones that do the filming in the classroom, but since I wanted to create a seamless video and not short little segments, I thought it would be easier for me to do the filming. The next time, I will give up this role to the people that do it better: the students.

I hope that you enjoy these videos, and a special “thank you” to Teresa for pushing me out of my comfort zone and trying something new with my class. This was a great oral language opportunity, a fun media literacy activity, and a wonderful way to give students leadership in the classroom. I feel confident in saying that this is only just the beginning in more videos to come …

What are some videos that you’ve made in the classroom with your students? What are some things that you’ve noticed about students and about yourself when creating these videos? I would love to hear your thoughts!


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  1. Thank you, for sharing your technology and your classroom. If you could only have 2 of those pieces of technology, which ones would be the most important to you?

    Thanks again!

  2. Aviva, thanks for sharing the videos. It is interesting to see how producing them came about from a Skype request that you turned into another medium. How clever. Here's the link to the video I posted on my Computers in the Classroom blog to get teachers excited about using tech in their classrooms based on your students' comments and teaching.

  3. Fran and Judy, thank you both for the comments! My students seem to like the computers and the iPads the best. They can access all that we do from these two devices, and they use these two devices very frequently too. Judy, thanks for sharing the link to the video on the Computers in the Classroom Blog. I really appreciate that! I hope that your students enjoyed it.


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