Magazine article AMLE Magazine

In Every Issue: PERSPECTIVES

Magazine article AMLE Magazine

In Every Issue: PERSPECTIVES

Article excerpt

QUESTION

Every day, there seems to be a new technology tool or resource for teachers to consider weaving into their classroom instruction. What is your favorite technology tool and why?

Nancy Stone Penc hev

Tea cher

Miami, FL

iLike the iPad

The best tool I am using currently to reach my students is the iPad. Not only are my students excited to come to class, they cannot wait to get started working. So how do I get the learning into the fun? Here are a few iPad apps I recommend:

Educreations (www. educreations.com) is a free app that acts like a whiteboard. It allows the user to create a slideshow with text, pictures, and handwriting tools. The final product can be turned into a movie that can be emailed or posted online. My students recommend this tool for making science presentations and for recording lessons for students who are absent.

An amazing app that we love is called Word Lens. With Word Lens, users can immediately translate text into other languages using their iPad or smartphone. The app itself is free; each language costs $4.99. The languages include Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, French, German, and Italian. You can download it from iTunes or GooglePlay.

A new trend in education is the use of augmented reality. An app that uses augmented reality is colAR (www.colarapp.com). The colAR website and app work together. Users go to the website and print coloring pages, color the pages, then use the app to scan the pictures and upload them to the website, where the pictures "come to life." It's jaw-dropping amazing! Some elements are free; additions cost up to $4.99.

Another free augmented reality app is Aurasma (www. aurasma.com). This app allows users to create and read "auras" attached to specific items. The "aura" is similar to a QR code, but with more flash. My students say they could use this app to create reports on people, link videos to their projects, and create advertisements for their favorite books.

My goal with the iPads is to take a tool the students use for fun and games, and make it a tool they go to for learning and teaching... with a little fun added in. These apps with the iPad create excitement for learning and have kids begging for more!

Nancy Stone Penchev is a teacher and technology coordinator for the lower school at Samuel Sheck Hillel Community Day School, Miami, Florida.

*penchev@hillel.org

Jeffrey J. Kuntz

Teacher

Punxsuta wney, PA

Projections on the Whiteboard

When I first started teaching 25 years ago, technology consisted of an overhead projector, tape recorder, and, if you were lucky, a television with a VCR. Today I have access to laptop carts, iPads, a whiteboard with projector, a document camera, a cd player, and a television with a DVD player.

I use technology to write and save lesson plans, take attendance, track student progress, administer benchmark tests, provide opportunities for drill and practice, search for and create teaching materials, develop PowerPoint presentations to introduce vocabulary and content, film student-created videos dealing with bullying topics, share relevant video clips to enrich content, and provide students with opportunities that will help them become 21st century learners.

As I think of the many trainings I have attended regarding integration of technology into the classroom, the single message that has come out loud and clear is that we should not be using technology for technology's sake, but as a tool to engage students in the learning process. …

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