Many people make technology integration harder than it has to be. Use simple techniques to make it work. Keep in mind that technology can be used for administration, teacher, and student use.
Here are techniques that I have used:
Shared Assistive Technology- I like to think of this in the same way as architects think of "Universal Design". I know that I use the handicap accessibile ramps when I have my toddler in a stroller. In the same way, teachers should use assistive technology that is available for students with special needs and use it with the other classroom students. Assistive technologies are a great way to meet the needs of all diverse learners.
Classroom Newsletters- Classroom newsletters are an important form of communication. Keep weekly newsletters brief and to the point. Parents want a quick overview of the next week with helpful information. By using the same format every week, parents know where to look to get the information. It is good to include test dates, spelling words, upcoming assignments, and weekly updates on curriculum specifics.
Classroom Gradebook- There are several templates for gradebooks available online. If you use excel, you can make it interactive.Add comments:
Now, it's time to insert comments on modifications:
· Click cell A3, click Insert in the menu bar, and select Comment.
· In the sticky note that appears, type a comment that would refer to a modification. Hit Enter.
Make it interactive:
Next, you need to set the conditions that will let you know whether they are in the green, need to be watched, or if it is time to call a conference. In Excel, a condition tells the program that if a certain value is typed in a cell, the formatting for that cell should change.
So you will know whether an average in the grade book is on track, each A/B grade average will be green, each C will be yellow, and each D/F will be red. To set those conditions:
· Click the average cell.
· Click Format in the menu bar and select Conditional Formatting.
· Click Add twice. You'll now see two menus, Condition 1, Condition 2, and Condition 3.
·For Condition 1, in the drop-down menu that says "between," select "equal to" instead, and type the grade average in the empty box next to it. Click Format, change the color to green, and click OK. Continue with the next two conditions.
The A/B average in cell A3 now should be green! Etc.
Evaluating Websites- It is always good to teach research techniques to your students. It is also wise for teachers to evaluate websites before sending your students there. Here are two sites that might be helpful.
PowerPoint- I always say... be careful to not make presentations "Power pointless". Try not to use your PowerPoint presentations as notecards. Try to address different learning styles by adding images and bullet points of your discussion.
Templates- Another saying I use in class is, "Don't recreate the wheel." There are so many templates online that can be used with your class. When you give an assignment, give the student something to work with (Newspaper templates, Venn Diagrams, etc.)