I received an email recently from an Oklahoma teacher in a small, rural school district which just received their first classroom computers and needs help getting started with technology integration ideas. These were the five ideas I shared with her via email. What would you add to this list of suggestions?

  1. If you can, I’d recommend sending at least a few of your teachers to the upcoming Heartland eLearning conference at UCO the first week of March. This is geared toward eLearning but there are always good sessions and ideas relevant for K12 teachers. More info is on:
    http://www.uco.edu/heartlandconference/
  2. The best conference of the year (in my opinion) in Oklahoma for K-12 technology integration was just last week, it was the OTA/EncycloMedia conference. They are going to have that conference both in the fall and spring next year, I think Nov 6-7 is the next one. Their website is: http://www.oktech.org The Innovative Learning Institute sponsored by the OU K-20 Center is also excellent, and is usually in November.
  3. I would recommend that you and your teachers watch some of the videos from the free K-12 Online Conference and use them for professional development. This is something I could possibly introduce to you in an after school session and you could continue to do. This is a free conference that has over 40 free videos published each year. The full schedule of presentations from last year is on:
    http://k12onlineconference.org/?page_id=824 I would recommend starting with some of the keynotes.
  4. My book has some practical ideas for ways to use media with students. You can find info about it on:
    http://playingwithmedia.com/pages/about There is an accompanying site of student projects that you can use to get ideas and resources. It’s on:
    http://share.playingwithmedia.com
  5. OETT grants are one of the best ways to obtain both money for technology equipment and training as an Oklahoma school. Unfortunately the application deadline just passed. Information about this is on:
    http://oett.org/grantmaking/ (They provide grants to Oklahoma districts every year.)

I probably should have also let her know about Celebrate Oklahoma Voices workshops offered by Storychasers, but their school doesn’t have any funds currently for professional development and those training workshops aren’t free.

What suggestions would you provide to this elementary educator interested in getting technology integration training started at her small, Oklahoma school?

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  • Anonymous

    Start using that computer every chance you get, & let the students do the same. New word encountered in reading? Go look it up. Current event catching the students’ attention? Find out more about it.

    Look for lesson ideas across all subject areas at Thinkfinity.org and find the wonder of the day at Wonderopolis.

    Tech integration includes projects, but at its most basic level it means taking advantage of the computer as a tool in a way that should become as natural as breathing.

    Also, sign up for a Twitter account and follow people like Wes Fryer and the people he follows and quotes. Check your Twitter for 15 minutes at some point every day and a wealth of ideas will find you!

  • http://www.kentbrooks.com/ Kentbrooks

    Hey Wes,   I don’t ever assume that software tools are included when a school gets computers and would add don’t assume your stuck if there is no funding for software tools.  A couple of quick links include:

    Software for Starving Students  http://free.wosc.edu  from my old school.  The download links aren’t there anymore, but you can see a great list of really great tool.

    I also like what OER commons has for this situation at:
    http://www.oercommons.org/browse/keyword/classroom-management

    How exciting for them.

  • Whitney Allen

    Might I suggest Skyping with like minded professionals and/or schools that have implemented technology based instruction.  We Skyped with Dr. Rae Niles, Apple Distinguished Educator, who shared her passion and enthusiasm about digital learning.  We Skyped with Jessica Asbury, a teacher in Kansas City, Kansas, who uses iPads 120 minutes each day with her students to manage her literacy block.  We Skyped with Christi Paradise and Regina Hartley at Steed Elementary in Midwest City, Oklahoma, who shared their iTouch implementation as a result of receiving the K20 grant.  All were an inspiration providing a direction, if you will, to embark upon.  Of course, any workshop or presentation that Dr. Fryer gives is worth its weight in gold as his level of proficiency is unparalleled to any professional development I’ve attended.  You can also reference our project wiki that outlines basics of our iPad vision at our small rural school, Asher PS.  Here is the link http://whitswiki.wikispaces.com/When+I+Say+iPad%2C+You+Say+Ka+Chow%21.  Hope this helps.  

  • Cindi May

    Edutopia.com has great videos on project-based ideas as well as other helpful ideas for using technology in the classroom.

    http://21centuryedtech.wordpress.com/ by Michael Gorman–this is a great blog to get ideas for using technology.

    Join a PLN such as Twitter, Plurk, Classroom2.0 to name a few. Find out what others are doing.

    Intel Education http://www.intel.com/about/corporateresponsibility/education/k12/index.htm is a free resource for technology integration.  If anyone is interested in taking one of the free online Elements courses, they can contact me at [email protected].

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