Tech resources abound on the internet and like the presentation site Prezi, I highlighted the other day. I tried a new web-based presentation site called sliderocket.
Technology is a tricky thing as you have to take a chance and try it out and the learning curve can be steep for some things, but eventually it only takes minutes and the results can be quite good. Sometimes, it’s best to abandon the idea altogether with some sites. It’s hard to sift through all the stuff that’s out there (some for free), but if one takes the time, it’s amazing what one can find out there.
I was able to create a few slides using this website for the first time in about 30 minutes for a Second Step lesson on Peer Pressure. The curriculum would have you read the script from the back of a card with a fairly dull black and white photograph. One of the things I’ve been trying to do is make it a little more appealing to the kids.
You can click here to view the presentation. I don’t know if I’ll use it again, but it’s better than powerpoint 2003.
Here are some other great web resources for teachers.
wikispaces It’s a great way to create a group that can share what they’re learning in multiple ways. It’s a little tricky with 2nd graders, but I’m thinking of possibly having them share what they’re reading and write short book reviews. This of course can all be moderated by the teacher as well. Wikispaces would be a great site for an organization too to communicate and collaborate through various projects. And it’s very easy to use and learn.
Dabbleboard is a great online collaboration tool that allows users to use drawings as well as text to communicate their ideas.
Of course Microsoft and Google have their free Apps for Schools program that are both great (especially for kids and allowing their files to be stored in the cloud).
The list keeps growing as tech tools continue to proliferate on the web. Which ones will last and which are fads are hard to tell. But you need to try and play and some of these things will enhance your lesson significantly. Again, if it doesn’t enhance your lesson, engage your kids, or meet your objectives, don’t use the technology. Know your students and they will easily guide you as to their needs.