- Add 1 New Thing
- Rather than trying a
bunch of new things, try one new technology skill and
one new thinking skill. Your technology skill might be
1 slide, 1 picture, or 1 new idea or software feature.
Ask students to work in pairs or threes to learn the
new skill, then each student can add their own idea.
Your thinking skills could be something that enhances
a technology project. Maybe students could create
question and answer slides or create a Powerpoint
debate. Some children in California did a
project on Alaska.
- Connect to a book
- Books and technology
make a great combination. Use a book as motivation or
a prompt. For example, choose a predictable book such
as Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You
See. Then ask students to create their own
book in software such as Appleworks. To save time, add
a series of thematic photographs such as baby animals
and as students to write the story.
- Use Templates & Prompts
- It can take students
lots of time to get a project started. Consider
helping students with templates, prompts, and other
starters. A template is a project such as a document
that students fill-in and save. For example, you might
provide the outline of a letter that students can
complete. A prompt is a starter or set of options to
help students get started. For example, you might
provide writing prompts in a word processor or a
folder containing thematic clipart. "Read Mades" are
activities that are ready for students to complete.
Some software packages come with templates, prompts,
and read-made activities. You can also do an online
search for the title of your software to find
templates and other helpers. It's also easy to create
your own. Be sure to save it as a template, lock the
file, or save copies for each student so you don't
ruin your original activity document.
- Simple Activities
- Look for interactive,
If it's not
interactive, why not print it out? Scholastic contains
lots of examples of things that are good for printing
as well as good online activities. Check out the
- Limit the Words
- Students can spend
lots of time copying and typing on the computer. Think
of high impact uses of your computer that go beyond
sentences and paragraphs. Ask students to focus on
ideas, not words. For example, use your word processor
for brainstorming and reflecting. Use software such as
a word processor or Inspiration for KWL and 5Ws
- Emphasize Visual Literacy
- Although text
literacy is important, visual literacy is also
important. Incorporate projects that involve drawing,
painting, photographs, scanners, and
- Track Student Progress
- Use technology in
assessment. Multimedia portfolios are a great way to
create a broad view of a students skills. You could
ask students to create an audio description in Kidpix,
write an e-journal in Kidspiration, or videotape
reading samples. Start with one project, then repeat
the project throughout the year with different
examples. This is a great way to see how students
progress through the year.
- Use Utilities
- Save time with
teacher utilities such as web page makers, quiz
makers, and rubric
project is a great place to start.
- Create Activities
- Build simple
activities that support student learning.
web worksheets or
webquests to support learning.
- Stress Screen Skills
- Stress the importance
of online reading, scanning, and skimming by focusing
on one site and one task. For example, your students
might read online
- Adapt Activities
- Take an traditional
product and enrich it with technology.
- Keep it
You Jump In... Check it Out!
of Project Complexity