Technology Portfolio: Technology in the Classroom
General Functions and Purposes. Using tablets in the classroom allows students to independently complete work and assignments. Teachers will have the opportunity to post assignments online and have students complete them with the use of the tablet. It can be used as a means to research. The tablet can also be used for review games. Also, it can be used to email and check the school’s website.
Objectives/Goals Met. The teacher can assign a research assignment. Each student could be expected to research a different culture or ethnic background. To complete the research, students can search for information on secure websites on their tablets. This aligns with the NCSS theme, culture. “Through the study of culture and cultural diversity, learners understand how human beings create, learn, share, and adapt to culture…” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. Tablets are a great way to promote independence for students’ learning. It allows them to practice being responsible for the upkeep of their device. Many students will also know how to use a tablet without much instruction. At the same time, it could potentially be a distraction and hinder learning. It requires the school to have strong Wi-Fi. If the Wi-Fi is not working, the lessons cannot be completed.
General Functions and Purposes. The SmartBoard is a way to display information on the teacher’s computer for the entire class to see simultaneously. It allows teachers to show PowerPoint presentations during lessons, and it also allows the teacher to “write” on the PowerPoint. It also allows the teacher to share videos with the whole class. Students will be able to view the information from their desks.
Objectives/Goals Met. The teacher can teach a lesson about a specific geographical location. They can display Google Earth on the SmartBoard, and students can take notes on their observations. This aligns with the NCSS theme: person, places, and environments. “This theme helps learners to develop their spatial views and perspectives of the world” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. The teacher can display information for all students to see simultaneously. The teacher can also share educational videos. SmartBoards rely on a working computer and Wi-Fi. If one of those two things is not properly working, the SmartBoard cannot be used.
Business/ Productivity Software
General Functions and Purposes. Microsoft 365 (https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/microsoft-365) has a plethora of software that can be made available to students. Specifically, for the elementary social studies classroom, Microsoft Word and Microsoft PowerPoint would be the most useful. Microsoft Word can be used for research papers and note-taking. Microsoft PowerPoint is used to create slideshows.
Objectives/Goals Met. At the beginning of the year, the teacher can assign a more extensive project where students are expected to discuss themselves. They can use Microsoft Word to outline their slideshow, and then when ready, students can use Microsoft PowerPoint for their final products. This aligns with the NCSS theme: Individual development and identity. “Personal identity is shaped by family, peers, culture, and institutional influences” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. Students can independently work on their assignments at the same time. It allows the students to make their assignments unique and allows them to express their individuality. Younger students will need help navigating both software. Before this assignment, the teacher will need to go over the software’s basics, which could be time-consuming.
General Functions and Purposes. Google Drive (https://www.google.com/drive/) is a place to store various documents online. Students can access these documents from both home and school. The teacher can also share things to the students’ Google Drive, such as homework and assignments. Students can work on the assignments and then save them to their Google Drive.
Objectives/Goals Met. When learning about history, teachers can share articles with the students using Google Drive. Students can access these documents from anywhere. The students can also work on an assignment and save it to their personal Google Drive. This aligns with the NCSS theme of time, continuity, and change: “Through the study of the past and its legacy, learners examine the institutions, values, and beliefs of people in the past, acquire skills in historical inquiry and interpretation, and gain an understanding of how important historical events and developments have shaped the modern world” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. Google Drive allows students to complete work from school or home as long as they have access to the internet. This can ultimately be dependent on the strength of the Wi-Fi connection. If the Google Drive website crashes, students will lose access until Google restores it.
General Functions and Purposes. Google Classroom (https://edu.google.com/workspace-for-education/classroom/) is a place for teachers and students to work collaboratively. It houses email and Google Drive. Also, it allows teachers to assign work, grade assignments, and provide written feedback. Teachers can email the whole class or an individual.
Students can turn in work, communicate with their teachers and classmates, and view their grades. It can be accessed from both home and school.
Objectives/Goals Met. Google Classrooms gives students a first-hand look into the way a classroom functions. They can witness the way the teacher operates the classroom. Google Classroom makes the virtual classroom come to life. This correlates with the NCSS theme of individuals, groups, and institutions: “Institutions such as families and civic, educational, governmental, and religious organizations exert a major influence on people’s lives” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. Google Classroom is easy to use and navigate. It helps students gain independence and helps them to become solely responsible for their work. Students will need help at first. The teacher can create tutorial videos that can be posted when questions arise. It relies on Wi-Fi.
General Functions and Purposes. BrainPop (https://www.brainpop.com) is an educational website that engages students in learning. Students can watch short videos and play games on topics that interest them. Teachers can play videos for the class to watch in whole group lessons.
Objectives/Goals Met. The website houses a plethora of videos on numerous topics. Specifically, the teacher could assign a video on goods and services. Students would watch the video by themselves and take notes. This aligns with the NCSS theme production, distribution, and consumption: “This theme provides for the study of how people organize for the production, distribution, and consumption of goods and services, and prepares students for the study of domestic and global economic issues” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. BrainPop is easy to navigate, and students should be able to do so independently. Students can also watch videos on their own as early finishers. This website could distract some students, as they will go to other videos or games when they are not supposed to. This also relies on the Wi-Fi’s functionality.
General Functions and Purposes. Canva (https://www.canva.com) is a platform that allows you to make designs. You can create pamphlets, handouts, posters, and flyers, to name a few. Students can use it to create various designs for assignments. Teachers can give students templates to use in their creations. Students can also upload photos.
Objectives/Goals Met. When discussing the electoral process, teachers can have students create their own campaign posters for classroom jobs/roles. Students will use Canva to create their campaign posters. This aligns with the NCSS theme of power, authority, and governance: “Through this theme, learners become familiar with the purposes and functions of government, the scope and limits of authority, and the differences between democratic and non-democratic political systems” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. Canva can make many unique designs. The teacher will need to show students how to navigate the website before the lesson. Teachers will also need to be available to assist students throughout the assignment.
General Functions and Purposes. Audiobooks (https://www.audiobooks.com) are written books that you listen to. You can access them online or through an app. Students will download an audiobook app on their tablets. They will be given an extensive library of books that can be read to them.
Objectives/Goals Met. Students can listen to children’s books that focus on global connections worldwide. They could listen to the audiobook or follow along with a physical copy of the novel. This aligns with the NCSS theme of global connections.
Risk Analysis. Audiobooks allow students to listen to books read by someone other than the teacher. The teacher can do other things while the students are listening. Audiobooks can be downloaded to the tablet in advance, and you will not have to rely on the Wi-Fi’s functionality. For this to be successful, each student will have to have a pair of headphones. There is potential for the students to get distracted. The teacher may need to preview the audiobook ahead of time.
Mr. Nussbaum’s Games
General Functions and Purposes. Mr. Nussbaum’s Games (https://mrnussbaum.com/games) is intended for students to play educational games and watch tutorials. The website is excellent for students to use for extra practice or to review. It also has printable activities teachers can use with their students in whole or small groups. The website breaks down the material by subject and grade level. It also notes the Common Core Standard that is being practiced.
Objectives/Goals Met. When working on memorizing the states in the U.S. and their capitals, students can use the games on Mr. Nussbaum’s Games to practice and review. The teacher can assign certain games or allow the students to explore independently. This aligns with the NCSS theme of people, places, and environment: “This theme helps learners to develop their spatial views and perspectives of the world, to understand where people, places, and resources are located and why they are there…” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. The website is easy to use and very straightforward. Each game or activity gives specific instructions for students to follow. The games and activities are safe for students to use. This website relies on the Wi-Fi’s functionality. It also has the risk factor that students will wander off to other games and activities that were not intended.
General Functions and Purposes. Kahoot! (https://www.kahoot.com) is an educational website that allows students to review material. Teachers put in a list of questions before class. Then students go through the questions and give their answers. Kahoot! keeps track of what questions each student got correct and which questions need to be reviewed.
Objectives/Goals Met. At the end of a unit on citizenship, the teacher can plug a list of potential test questions into Kahoot!. Students will go through the list, answering them to the best of their abilities. At the end of the review game, the teacher will review the most missed questions in preparation for the test. This aligns with the NCSS theme of civic ideals and practices: “An understanding of civic ideals and practices is critical to full participation in society and is an essential component of education for citizenship.” (NCSS, 2010).
Risk Analysis. Students can get good practice before the test. They will be able to see the material they need to review further and the material they have mastered. As this is a website, it relies on solid Wi-Fi. Also, students might get distracted while waiting to move to the next set of questions.
NCSS. (2010). National curriculum standards for social studies: A framework for teaching, learning, and assessment. National Council for the Social Studies. https://www.socialstudies.org/standards