Enter D'Apps I'm using this site to gain competence with technologies that I intend to utilize in the classroom. My college is doing a pretty good job teaching traditional methods, however, I only have one instructional media class and I believe that 21st century students should learn with 21st century technology. When I begin my teaching career, I want to integrate technology starting on the first day, and the only way I'll be able to do that is to start practicing now. I'll use blogs in the classroom for communicating with parents and daily roving reporting by students. Students will also have the option to write on their own blog. Over the next couple of years I'll model how I'll use use blogging in the classroom on this site. Please check out my other sites concerning Handhelds and Podcasting.

Monday, June 12, 2006


Handheld Presentations

I've now facilitated three presentations concerning the use of handhelds in schools. The audience in each of the presentation consisted of preservice teachers with little or no knowledge of handhelds. The first two presentations were conducted for a "Instructional Media" class, while the third was for a "Math and Technology" class.

I really liked what happened in the third presentation, and hopefully I can recreate the situation. Prior to this I had simply passed the handhelds around while I gave the presentation. The "Math and Technology" class was really small so each student had an individual handheld (which I brought), and I gave a few minutes of direct instruction on how to use the handheld before going through the math applications.
For larger classes, I think I'm going to group the students, provide some direct instruction on handheld usage, and then go through my presentation with the students in their groups.

The web page for the first presentation is linked to left, I have a Podcast from the second presentation, and I'm working on a podcast from the third presentation. I'm really enjoy these presentations, and I'm learning a lot. My instructor says she'll have me in for the two "Instructional Media" classes she's teaching over the summer.

I'm impressed with your adventurous spirit. I think it's great you're working to develop some expertise before actually using them with a classroom full of students. I would love to have one of you in my area, as I have a set of 17 handhelds, but no teacher ready to take up the challenge of using them in a classroom. I tried with one teacher last year, but they didn't put out any extra effort after school to learn the skills they needed to move the students forward. It takes that kind of commitment to pull it off. You have to be what I think of as a little "over the top" in your technology use, i.e. have a strong desire that matches up with extra effort to learn and use technology as a tool. In N.CA. where I'm now a technology integration specialist, few see the potential of handhelds as a learning tool. Keep spreading the news! I'm doing a seminar at the end of July with a group of about 10 teachers. I was a classroom teacher the year before last, and had a great time pioneering handhelds. They're addicting to the teacher and the students when you can create a collaborative environment. My students loved their handhelds. Alas, I needed a change and left the school to work as a tech. integr.specialist, which I will do again this year. I'm hoping to take the set of handhelds I got through a grant and work with at least one 3rd grade class and introduce them to a 4th grade class, as well. Well, I've rambled enough. I appreciate your posts on Tony's blog and enjoy your own blog. I'm learning some new things :) God bless.
I've been really impressed with the teachers in the handheld crowd. I like their enthusiasm and willingness to embrace new teaching methods and ideas. That's how I want to be as a teacher.

""I tried with one teacher last year, but they didn't put out any extra effort after school to learn the skills they needed to move the students forward. It takes that kind of commitment to pull it off.""

I think this type of training should begin with the pre-service teachers in college. In my opinion, students in my peer group should be required to place elements of the digital age in their presentations, lesson plans, etc. Fortunately, most of my instructors have allowed me to present my work in digital and alternative formats.

I believe young teachers coming out of college should have a "digital" (podcasting, blogging, etc) mindset when it comes to their practice.
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