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Educational Technology

Educational Technology for the Classroom

Categories of Technology Available for the Classroom

It's a mistake to relegate computer use in the schools to occasional special visits to the computer lab.  Integrated use of educational technology across curriculae helps advance education itself while increasing affective interest in content-area learning, and makes students stronger potential employees and lifelong learners by improving their ability to access information and to utilize frequently-used business technology in a constantly changing world.


Tools help you create something original or accomplish a task.  Some examples include:


                Digital cameras, scanners, printers, video cameras, CD burners, DVD players, etc.


                  Word Processors, Spreadsheets, Presentation Software, Web Page creation software, etc.

This site is a wonderful tool to help you create all kinds of word puzzles and mazes.
This site provides free web page hosting space and also gives you all the resources you need to create web pages, even if you are a novice.
This web site lets you create free greeting cards that you can send to a person’s email.
At Kodak’s Picture Playground you can take scanned or digital images from your hard drive or from the Internet and manipulate them or even get rid of that pesky red-eye.  Then you can email your creations to your friends and family.
At Filamentality you can create your own online activities and it will even publish them on the web. Better yet, this site is free!  We will explore this one a bit…
At Backflip, you can create your own bookmark tool that is housed on the Internet.  Now you don’t have to worry about which machine you are on, your bookmarks follow you!
This site will allow you to create a quiz, it will grade it for you after the students take the quiz online, and then send it to your email.  The site itself is a bit busy looking with a lot of advertising, but this could be a handy tool.  You can even choose to show the feedback to the students or not.
This is a free site that will allow you to create a survey that students could fill out in order to find out their opinion about an idea - such as the opinionaire we did in class.  The survey only lasts 30 days.
Magnetic poetry online using Shakespeare’s words.
Educational site that allows teachers to create their own web sites for their classes.



Resources are sites that provide information, but are not comprehensive.  They usually focus on a specific type of topic.  Hotlists, which are websites that list links about a specific subject would be included in this category.  There are tons of these sites on the Internet; here are just some of the examples:


                        CD programs that focus on one subject, DVDs, etc.

The news channel -- online.  This one includes lots of data and interactive searches.
This site is again sponsored by the Biography channel and it has an exhaustive list of biographies from anciently dead people, to people still alive and kicking!
The Amazing Picture Machine provides free, stock photographs that you can use without worrying about copyright infringement.  It also helps you to pick just the right picture.
Website that has links to webcams all over the world.  This could be used to talk about setting and to reinforce the core-curriculum standard of viewing and interpreting.
A search engine that looks for titles of pictures and then shows all the pictures that come up for that search word.  A graphical search engine.
The Washington Post's site for photos.  This site is excellent for viewing activities or for students to create a scrap book.
Search engine that focuses on all of Shakespeare’s works or a specific play for words.  Excellent for focusing on motif or language use.
At Ask A+Locator, you can find an expert online for just about any topic.  Again, this is free.  This is an excellent resource for email and discussions with classes.
This is an American Literature website that includes resources, lesson plans, activities, collaborative projects, databases, and more.  It is created by teachers for teachers.
The Library of Congress' site for the American Memory project.  Tons of primary source information, pictures, old movies, music, stories, etc.  An exhaustive site!
A database of poems -- all kinds.  Good for students to be able to search for different types of poems, etc.  Also has a rhyming dictionary online.
Web site created by Robert Pinsky to collect Americans favorite poems read by Americans.  Very extensive!
Touted as the Internet’s largest searchable cartoon database and the only online source for New Yorker cartoons.
This is an incredible hotlist of educational bookmarks.  I am talking – huge!
Kathy Schrock has been doing this a long time… and she has the site to show it.  Her site focuses on education-related sites on the Internet including an exhaustive list of lesson plans!
This site is like a search engine but it has real people who create hotlists on their specialties.  There are hotlists for just about any topic you can possibly imagine.  A great example would be


Search Engines
Monitored search engine.
Meta-search engine – lots of hits, but requires a lot of sifting.
Monitored by cyberguides.  Subsites that focus on specific issues.


Communication Tools

There are tons of free sites that will give you a web address where you can send and receive messages from anyone who has an email account and your address.

Real-time discussions using text (usually).

Like a beeper for the net.  Also provides ways to transfer files, chat with text and often voice, and find out if your friend is online.

These are moderated discussion groups that are done over the email format.  You can choose to just watch the talk, or you can choose to join in.  Just search at one of the search engines for listservs and the topic you are interested in.



References provide comprehensive often exhaustive and sometimes even unbelievably detailed information.  This category would include:


            Encyclopedia Software, Reference CDs, DVDs, etc.


         Merriam-Webster’s dictionary online.
Britannica Encyclopedia online… huge and free!
This is the Internet Library online.
Internet Reference Desk online and extensive.


Online Lessons / Tutorials

These are usually active learning experiences with goals and outcome focused.  Besides this website, this category would also include:
This site has online tutorials for the steps to tying a tie to how to create a web page.
Web based tutorial on evaluating Internet resources.
A site that reviews information about grammar and then provides online quizzes for students to test their knowledge acquisition.
OWL - Online Writing Lab from Purdue University has lots of information on the "stuff" of writing.  Handouts, exercises, etc.



Activities are active learning experiences with broad goals and outcomes.  They are usually short in duration (1-3 days).  Some examples include:
Another wonderful site sponsored by Pacific Bell.  Here are many excellent activities and projects created by teachers to help students learn using the Internet.
This web site uses images from the Museum of Modern Art that students can view and then write stories about.
"Deep in the Bush, where people rarely go" is a site that students and teachers can use to investigate folk tales about Africa.  Created by a Peace Corps volunteer from his stay in Liberia.


Projects are similar to activities in that they are active learning experiences with broad goals and outcomes, but they are usually of longer duration (several months).  Some examples would include:
This is the premier site for providing excellent online projects and activities that were created by students and teachers.  This site also includes a contest where students and teachers can try to win top site!  Resources are free and the site also includes lots of information.
This project was to investigate the Southwest of America.  The students can help direct the course and there are a lot of facts.  This project is geared towards elementary students, but it gives an idea of what a long-term project could be like.
A wonderful site where students are taken step by step through Joseph Campbell's framework of the hero story.  The students learn about the steps, see comparisons with famous stories and then create their own hero story that is online.  A new twist on the writing workshop theme.



Educational On-line Formats

These are most of the general formats currently being used in classrooms.  Of course, this list is not exhaustive… but definitely a good start.

The information concerning the various categories was mostly garnered from


Hotlists are web-based lists of links that focus on a particular subject.  Students use these as a source for more information.



Scrapbooks are similar to hotlists, but they gather multimedia web sties that have photos, graphics, text, facts, sound, video, etc. around a particular subject.  Students use these to create a focused collage, presentation, newsletter, bulletin board, etc.  They find the multimedia objects that they want to include in their product, save them and then insert them to their product requiring synthesizing of the information they have discovered.

Treasure Hunts

Treasure Hunts are activities that have 10-15 links (specific pages) which each have a key question.  The students have to answer the questions, which culminate to the synthesizing of the newly acquired concepts into an answer to a “big idea” question.  Students gain solid knowledge about topic.


Subject Samplers

Subject Samplers connect students to the topic and builds up their interest in the topic.  They are similar to treasure hunts but instead of focusing on new knowledge, they focus on the students creating and building their own connections with the ideas through questions that ask for their opinion or for an experience that relates to the web resource.  These usually have only 6 links.


Web Quests

Web quests allow students to focus on the hard questions about topics and concepts such as the reasons behind different perspectives or their opinion about an idea through the investigation of the topic where they can then draw their own conclusions.  Students are faced with a problem, task or scenario.  All members in the group share background knowledge and then break into smaller groups.  Each member of the group takes on a different role in the group with a different task to focus on.  Then the students create a summary or solution to the problem and publish or present it to a wider audience.  Let’s look at the steps of creating a web quest.

Example of Web Quest


Templates for Web Quests

Prewriting Web Quests

Creating Web Quests