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Technology Review Assignment-1 (2)

Using Technology to Plan, Teach and Engage Students
Technology Review Assignment
Directions: Using the internet research 3 websites, blogs or app related to your area of
expertise, which could be used to plan, deliver content and motivate students. For each site
researched provide the following information: the URL address or name of the app, a brief
abstract of what the site has to offer, how you plan to implement it in your classroom and the
possible benefits for your students.
Grading will be based on a 50 point scale as follows:
Points Possible
URL Address/name of App
4 points/site
Brief abstract describing the
4 points/site
Explanation of
4 points/site
implementation in classroom
Benefits for students
4 points/site
Possible challenges/concerns 2 points
50 points possible
Points Earned
Points Earned ________
1. To create effective classroom presentations (teacher directed lessons)
2. To modify instruction for students with special needs
3. To create engaging lessons and student activities for a particular content (student centered
URL Address/name of app: thesciencespot.net
Brief Abstract: This website includes several different tools to assist with planning science
lessons at the middle school level. There are pre-made projects based on various topics, daily
science trivia, warm-up activities ideas and questions and even an “idea factory” for teaching
tips. The site is broken down into different searchable categories and you have the ability to
search by a specific content topic. In addition to actual lessons that can be modified to use in the
classroom the website owner has posted technology tools and tutorials for technology that can be
used in the classroom.
Implementation plan for the classroom: I plan to use the project ideas to create a menu board for
students to complete as a culminating activity at the end of a unit. Also, I plan to use some of the
tips from the classroom management section of the website. One of the many strategies that I
saw was the “Do Now”, which the teacher uses at the beginning of the class to get the students
started and direct them to what they should be doing when class begins.
What are some of the possible benefits for implementing this site in your classroom? If I use the
menu board idea by incorporating some of the pre-made projects that I am able to create a more
student-centered classroom in which the students are working to create something to demonstrate
their mastery of a standard. The menu board will also give my students choice, which will
support my diverse group of learners.
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Site #1:
URL Address/name of app: https://www.explorelearning.com/
Brief Abstract: Teaching Scientific Inquiry with Gizmos prepares teachers to use the inquiry
process and Gizmos to support the development of deeper student understanding of important
science concepts. The instructor models best practices for teaching with Gizmos in science,
demonstrating a progression of inquiry that develops students' scientific inquiry skills. Teachers
become more skillful in using inquiry methods of instruction, which encourage students to ask
questions, make observations, and construct reasonable explanations.
Implementation plan for the classroom: Once I find the right Gizmos for my class based on the
topics I will be teaching; I can devise a way to individualize students' inquiries. Since most of the
Gizmos have multiple variables to manipulate, every student in the class can design his or her
own investigation. In "Rabbit Population by Season," one student could examine how land area
impacts a population; another might choose to look at the impact of a harsh winter. This
experiment would be impossible given the traditional constraints of most classrooms, but
ExploreLearning removes these barriers with an innovative way for kids to experiment. The
science Gizmos also provide scaffolding to help kids learn how to interpret data. The
Photosynthesis Lab could seem overwhelming at first, but it works well if I assign each pair of
students a different set of variables to explore. Since the Gizmo produces a graph for them,
students can simply focus on figuring out what their data means. Each pair could then share their
results with the class. This gives everyone a chance to build understanding about photosynthesis
together, modeling collaboration within the scientific community.
What are some of the possible benefits for implementing this site in your classroom?
I find Gizmos to be a good time-saving alternative to some of our more time-consuming lab
activities which illustrate simple concepts which we do not want to spend multiple days laboring
over. Gizmos are also designed to be user-friendly enough for students to explore them with
minimal guidance, and the act of clicking around and figuring out how the Gizmo works is part
of the learning process. They provide great animated visual representations of concepts and
activities which we cannot easily recreate in the classroom, such as heredity, and visualizing the
kinetic energy of molecules and atoms.
Site #2:
URL Address/name of app: https://www.nationalgeographic.org/education/
Brief Abstract: The National Geographic Education website offers extensive, high-quality,
standards-based resources relating to geography and other topics, such as world history, biology,
oceanography, ecology, engineering, cartography, and current events. It focuses on classroom
resources, but also includes sections for teacher professional development and special student
challenges and experiences, such as the GeoBee and GeoChallenge.
Implementation plan for the classroom: I use the National Geographic Education site as a trusted
resource for geography-based lessons, as well as lessons for other subjects that can be rooted in
geography, such as weather, animals, history, and culture. Resources are available in formats
such as activities, videos, photos, interactives, maps, educator guides, and more. I am able to use
the pre-planned activities as lesson plans to cover topics in the curriculum. I use the photos,
videos, and interactives to supplement lessons. I can also design entire individual or group
projects around the MapMaker Interactive option. It's a powerful and captivating format for
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telling stories about places, travel, natural and human resources, and change over time. I can also
use the one-page maps for quick homework assignments, asking students to map locations,
resources, or routes throughout the world. The website is great for homework help as well
(vocabulary and encyclopedic entries provide reference information) and free exploration.
What are some of the possible benefits for implementing this site in your classroom?
There are amazing videos and mesmerizing photos of animal life, natural phenomena, world
events, and more that give students a firsthand look at the world and make learning come alive.
They won't just passively read dry text here; lesson plans, online games, and reference materials
support learning in a variety of ways and give teachers creative ideas for constructing learning
units. There's also an important and inspiring overall message encouraging kids to learn more
about the world, becoming responsible, "geo-literate" citizens.
Site #3:
URL Address/name of app: https://www.biointeractive.org/
Brief Abstract: BioInteractive brings biological research to life through award-winning videos,
simulations, data points, virtual labs, classroom activities, and more. The Howard Hughes
Medical Institute has paired high-quality multimedia resources with comprehensive teacher
guides written by actual classroom teachers. Through these rich resources, kids can learn about
topics such as evolution, ecology, genetics, biodiversity, and human health. Activities are based
on actual research, such as using data from the trail cameras in Gorongosa National Park to build
biomass pyramids.
Implementation plan for the classroom: BioInteractive is incredibly well thought-out and well
resourced. Teachers are provided with free tools as well as the supports to help best
use them. While many of the lessons center on quality short films, there are plenty of
places for teachers to extend learning. The activity, Human Feet Are Strange, builds on
the film Great Transitions: The Origin of Humans, which introduces the Laetoli trackway,
a fossilized set of hominid footprints. Students make a trackway by painting their feet
and walking on large paper. Then they compare measurements of their own footprints
with actual data from the Laetoli Trail.
What are some of the possible benefits for implementing this site in your classroom?
Though at first glance the handouts may seem like traditional worksheets, the questions posed
offer opportunities for kids to think deeply about the nature of science. One of the biggest
strengths of BioInteractive is its focus on actual scientific research in a way that's relatable to
kids. CSI Wildlife, based on recent elephant research, has students using genetic fingerprinting to
solve cases of poaching. While looking at the link between sickle-cell disease and anemia,
students also learn about how Dr. Tony Allison made this connection by building on the work of
others, highlighting the social nature of science.
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What are some concerns/challenges that you foresee with using technology in your classroom?
My only challenge when I use technology in my classroom is that I do not have enough
“working” computers in my room for all 35 students!
What are some possible solutions for the concerns/challenges that you mentioned above?
The schools need more funding to supply enough computers for every student in the class.
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