How can I-pads, computers, and x-boxes be intergrated in a classroom that would make teaching more effective and efficient that would increase students learning?
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It is in the applications that we find the richest possibilities to integrate technology in the classroom. The reason why this is the truth is that, thanks to the world wide web, applications have been made available in platforms that go beyond the iPad and X-box. You may no longer need consoles to play; now applications are made for smartphones and computers just as they are for tablets and game consoles.
For example, Yoostar is an application available in Mac, PC and XBOX. This is essentially a greenscreen like the ones meteorologists use when showing the weather in the news. Yoostar can be manipulated to place the student anywhere they want to be: the background behind them could be a psychedelic Andy Warhol painting as well as the Great Wall of China. The learning possibilities are endless because they can make research projects come to life and, therefore, the learning is there to stay. Another application using xbox Kinect is Body and Brain connection which is fantastic for the teaching of math concepts.
The sites KinectDUCATION and xboxclassroom offer another number of applications available for teachers who want to make the best out of the console. It is with the Kinect program, however, that you find the most to do.
With tablets the possibilities are endless especially when they are actually made to go online. Not only can students carry all of their textbooks without the added weight and paper abuse that occurs nowadays, but research can be performed on site and ipso-facto. iPad has way too many educational applications to be listed but among them the most popular are:
Notability- a quick, note-taking app for note-taking on the go.
Edmodo- teachers can set up a class online and they can join together at any time from their tablets. It is synchronous and asynchronous learning at its best.
Prezi, Wordle, Timetoast, and ShowMe are also tablet-friendly sites (ShowMe is an app) that can literally work for all school subjects because they help students develop presentations and graphically organize information.
The best way to find out exactly what can be done with technology is by visiting the manufacturer's websites, which always have a dedicated section just for educators. This is because today's apps are being developed precisely with the purpose of usability; the more useful an application looks, the more likely that some district may want to adopt it and make it part of their curriculum. This, in turn, brings more revenue to the companies as their brand begins to gain recognition and validity for its worthiness of use.
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