Sometimes the technology can get the better than us. Whether it be an updated system, or the latest installment of an app, or maybe there is a new program that is better than the one you just started using. It is OK. You are not alone. So many teachers, parents, and even students experience the same feeling. It is just too hard to keep up, especially when the school systems are requiring that we (as teachers) use more and more technology in the classroom. Well here are a few easy tricks to get the technology in there, without having a learn a whole new way to teaching.
1) PowerPoint game/quiz review shows. Face it, reviewing a lesson before a test can be boring, here is a chance to make it fun. Teachers have been creating reviews lessons using PowerPoint to mimic popular game shows like Jeopardy, Who Want to Be a Millionaire and Are you Smarter than a Fifth Grader? There are free templates online for you to download and make it your own. This is a great way for those who are not too tech-savy to use an already established program. I have done this many times, and have even used Prezi to create a few review games.
2) Just Tweet It! Students mission, to summarize a lesson in 160 characters or less. Not only does this avoid having students repeat themselves over and over and over again, but it forces them to get at the real core of the lesson and what is being taught. This is good for end of the unit/lesson discussions, but also for a quick book review. You have came them break up the main points of the standard book review to individual tweets (ex. main character, plot, etc)
3) Blogging from a characters perspective. This is a fun one. If you have ever had students write letters from the viewpoint of a character you have multiple options now to incorporate technology. The most popular choice being Blogging. Instead of letters, the students will post, and can add images and videos as well to enhance the post. There are blog sites that can be used specficially for the classroom that protects the students from unwanted attention.
4) Surf the Web. This is an oldie but a goodie. Webquests have been around for a while, and ultimately what it does is guides students to search the internet for specific information. An idea is have students become curators for their own museum on a particular topic. But since it is for a museum the students must determine what artifacts belong in their museum. This hits many common core areas of study but also touches on technology and digital literacy since they must evaluate the sites for validity.
Again these are just a few options for you to ponder while you try to find ways to get that technology in the classroom.