New Teacher Advocate Spring 2013 : Page 3

www.kdp.org BY ChRISTOphER h. TIENkEN S Students naturally gravitate to computers in the classroom; they know that technology can help them learn. It’s up to teachers to use computers to enhance instruction and raise achievement. Well-planned use of the Internet can provide stu-dents a gateway to authentic learning experiences while meeting mandated standards. The No Child Left Behind Act (section 2402.4) clearly stated that technology should be integrated into the classroom curriculum and used to increase the academic achievement of students. Great lessons don’t just happen. As you develop lesson objectives, you can plan lessons using computer technology to give students access to interesting, high-quality information such as primary source, or firsthand, accounts. Online diaries, journals, speeches, e-mail, and videos offer opportunities for students to learn from primary sources. For example, if a middle school social studies class is studying the Amistad case, why not de-sign a lesson that includes actual court documents to design their own cases or support their positions? They are available, along with lesson ideas, at the Library of Congress website, www.myloc.gov, in the American Memory section. The National Archives site, www.nara.gov, is a great site to access primary-source documents, such as the actual letter Dwight D. Eisenhower scribbled in case the D-Day invasion of World War II failed. That and hundreds of others can be found in the Digital Class-room section of the site. The United States Holocaust Museum, www.ushmm.org, has an online journal of a Holocaust survivor, complete with translations. High school science students may even conduct genetics experiments with students around the world via e-mail and the Internet! Commercial sites like www.epals.com are free e-mail hubs that teachers and students can use to connect with other teachers and students worldwide. Imagine teaming with students in Singapore, Italy, Australia, or China. Language barriers aren’t problems because such sites also translate. Think how education-based e-mail sites where students communicate with native-speaking students in another country could benefit foreign lan-guage classes! Student interest increases using these sites because the process of accessing information is motivating and memorable. At first, the teacher acts as a tour guide, walking students through lesson-appropriate websites and the processes of accessing and analyzing informa-tion. As students become familiar with the process, they assume control of their learning. Acting upon information is an empowering experience that builds upon itself, leading to more interactive learning. Email sites allow students direct contact with other students and teachers. As these exchanges often take place in real time, students actively experience and create content, rather than passively receive it. The goal is to infuse technology effectively into the curriculum, and to help your students access high-quality, primary-source information. Do not waste pre-cious class time on inferior sources. Preview sites and evaluate the information. Many sites include lesson ideas and teacher tutorials. Take time to plan comprehensive, technologically-infused lessons, and the students will benefit exponentially. Reprinted from New Teach-er Advocate , Winter 2003, with links updated. During 2013, the 20th anniversary of the NTA, select articles from previous years are be-ing reprinted to encourage fresh reflection. Dr. Tienken is an Assis-tant Professor at Seton Hall University in the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy. He is a former public school teacher and was the Prin-cipal of the Emma Attales Middle School in Absecon, New Jersey when he wrote this article. He is currently the Academic Editor of the Kappa Delta Pi Record. New Teacher Advocate • Spring 2013 • 3

Tech-Mix Learning

Christopher H. Tienken

Students naturally gravitate to computers in the classroom; they know that technology can help them learn. It’s up to teachers to use computers to enhance instruction and raise achievement.

Well-planned use of the Internet can provide students a gateway to authentic learning experiences while meeting mandated standards. The No Child Left Behind Act (section 2402.4) clearly stated that technology should be integrated into the classroom curriculum and used to increase the academic achievement of students.

Great lessons don’t just happen. As you develop lesson objectives, you can plan lessons using computer technology to give students access to interesting, highquality information such as primary source, or firsthand, accounts. Online diaries, journals, speeches, e-mail, and videos offer opportunities for students to learn from primary sources. For example, if a middle school social studies class is studying the Amistad case, why not design a lesson that includes actual court documents to design their own cases or support their positions? They are available, along with lesson ideas, at the Library of Congress website, www.myloc.gov, in the American Memory section.

The National Archives site, www.nara.gov, is a great site to access primary-source documents, such as the actual letter Dwight D. Eisenhower scribbled in case the D-Day invasion of World War II failed. That and hundreds of others can be found in the Digital Classroom section of the site. The United States Holocaust Museum, www.ushmm.org, has an online journal of a Holocaust survivor, complete with translations. High school science students may even conduct genetics experiments with students around the world via e-mail and the Internet!

Commercial sites like www.epals.com are free email hubs that teachers and students can use to connect with other teachers and students worldwide. Imagine teaming with students in Singapore, Italy, Australia, or China. Language barriers aren’t problems because such sites also translate. Think how education-based e-mail sites where students communicate with native-speaking students in another country could benefit foreign language classes!

Student interest increases using these sites because the process of accessing information is motivating and memorable. At first, the teacher acts as a tour guide, walking students through lesson-appropriate websites and the processes of accessing and analyzing information. As students become familiar with the process, they assume control of their learning. Acting upon information is an empowering experience that builds upon itself, leading to more interactive learning. Email sites allow students direct contact with other students and teachers. As these exchanges often take place in real time, students actively experience and create content, rather than passively receive it.

The goal is to infuse technology effectively into the curriculum, and to help your students access highquality, primary-source information. Do not waste precious class time on inferior sources. Preview sites and evaluate the information. Many sites include lesson ideas and teacher tutorials. Take time to plan comprehensive, technologically-infused lessons, and the students will benefit exponentially.

Dr. Tienken is an Assistant Professor at Seton Hall University in the College of Education and Human Services, Department of Educational Leadership, Management, and Policy. He is a former public school teacher and was the Principal of the Emma Attales Middle School in Absecon, New Jersey when he wrote this article. He is currently the Academic Editor of the Kappa Delta Pi Record.

Read the full article at http://digital.watkinsprinting.com/article/Tech-Mix+Learning/1317910/146896/article.html.

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