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Educational Technologies

April 19, 2012

The first item I think is a useful piece of technology is Edublog.  Anything posted on this blog is easily manageable from school and home.  Students are easily able to respond to blogs posted using Edublog and it allows for collaboration among teachers and students.  This technology allows for images and designs making learning much more enjoyable and engaging.  Edublog also makes it easy to post class information to allow students to stay up-to-date with their assignments.   This technology also takes away photocopying and is environmental friendly which can suggest it is much more efficient to type, post, and publish work rather than for a teacher to shuffle through papers and be able to give genuine feedback.  This is apart of Higher Order Thinking model because it allows students to be creative through not only translating the way they understand material but also to utilize videos, podcasts, and the like in order to give more visual aide and as a way to keep the audience more responsive and more in-tune to what they are viewing and learning.  For example, in a 7th grade social studies class studying the Roman Empire, Edublog could be used for the teacher to post questions and open up for discussion.  The teacher can also post videos for his or her students to watch and then students can summarize what they watched and then students can evaluate each other based on what they learned  and finally the teacher can correct any misconceptions in the discussion so that the students may further understand the material.
The next tool that should be focused on is Wikipedia.  According to the site I found, Wiki in the classroom “is used for pedagogical, administrative and social goals.”  This tool can be used for brainstorming and posting ideas which are also backed up with reliable information.  The teacher can also use this tool to ask questions to get students to think about other aspects of the material and evaluate their understanding.  Wiki also allows for student portfolios which can help with peer editing and improvement of writing skills. Incorporating this into the lesson for studying the Roman Empire could be the following: Brainstorming and then research reasons as to why you think the Roman Empire became so powerful as well as backing up their information with reliable sites to avoid the pitfalls of source inaccuracy that Wikipedia is often aligned with.  Then once the students answer the questions as to why the Roman Empire became powerful, the teacher can open for discussion in-class and come to a consensus as to narrow down some of the major reasons why the Roman Empire became so powerful. This type of learning process is connected to Higher Order Thinking in the following way: Through brainstorming and then discussion, students can see for themselves how close they are to more accurate answers and narrow down and keep those precise ideas.  Finally, this process allows the students to get their ideas out in the open and be evaluated in a meaningful way and again, contributing to the Higher Order Thinking model.
The final tool that I think should be incorporated into the classroom is Google Docs.  Google docs is a very useful and collaborative tool to use for students and teachers alike.  With google docs, individuals can have a personal account, they can write documents and share them with peers and go back and later edit the material you have written, you are also able to choose who can edit your material as well.  Google docs also allows for easy access and edit documents from any computer or smart phone. It is important to note that the kinds of documents individuals can make are not limited to word documents, but also spreadsheets, drawings, presentations, and forms.  In general, google docs is important for Higher Order Thinking because it enables students to analyze others’ works and allows for improvements to be made through peer evaluation.

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2 comments

  1. Tim,
    You described three great tools for encouraging students to develop higher order thinking skills. Your classroom examples are good ideas for using these resources to teach a social studies unit. Good post!



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