Prezi: A Valuable Classroom Tool

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Read Ethan Watrall’s blog on Challenging the Presentation Paradigm: Prezi

What Is Prezi?

Prezi is a free and user-friendly presentation tool used to both share and organize ideas. Prezi is like PowerPoint except that it doesn’t use traditional slides. It’s defined as a continuous canvas in which you can add text, video, images, audio, and more. There is a wheel which gives students the options of adding colors, fonts, words, and animations in their Prezi to zoom in on a specific element of the presentation.

Why Use Prezi?

Prezi is an exciting visual option to engage students as opposed to pouring over a lifeless textbook. It’s a dynamic way to share a story and is engaging and easy to understand. It’s multimodal and caters to visual, auditory, linguistic, and even kinesthetic learners. It’s an excellent option for organizers as well. It can even be used as a tool for authentic learning because students from across the world can work on Prezi’s collaboratively. Prezi’s can also be conveniently shared and created on mobile devices. Students and teachers can use Prezi to display diagrams and concept charts, and even timeliness. There are a multitude of options and opportunities to learn and present information with Prezi. The interface allows students to explore their creativity in a non-linear way.

This video demonstrates students working on their Prezi’s in class and gives some examples of how they can utilize them to display information on various topics.

What Are Some Ways To Use Prezi In The Classroom?

  • Use as a Mind Map (a diagram used to represent words, tasks, ideas linked to a central idea or word)
  • Use for vocabulary lessons in which you include the word, an image, and definition
  • Use for graphic organizers
  • Use for global collaboration (with other students across the globe)
  • Use to make adverts
  • Use to upload documents for class discussion (the zoom feature makes focusing on one portion of text easy)

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Click to read this article on some ways to use Prezi in early education classrooms

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Utilizing Edmodo In The classroom

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Click to view this blog post about middle school teacher, Lisa Butler and why she uses Edmodo in her classroom.

What is Edmodo?

Edmodo is a program with a layout very similar to Facebook in which students can collaborate and complete coursework. Teachers have the options to post assignments, polls, and quizzes as well as discussion boards and grades for their students. Students and teachers can comment on posts to provide their thoughts and feedback. There are also apps available for Android and iOS devices so that students can have instant accessibility.

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Click for more images of the Edmodo template.

What are the benefits of Edmodo for teachers and students?

Using Edmodo can help capture student’s attention and create an exciting atmosphere. It also has the crucial  benefit for teachers of less paperwork and easy organization at their fingertips, and even eliminates the possibility of students misplacing their homework. Using Edmodo also disolves the need to waste paper by printing out assignments. There is the option of a parental account for teachers to communicate and update them on their child’s progress. This allows parents to feel connected with their child’s academics. Edmodo also allows students to interact and become familiar with technology. It is easy to use because it is designed like Facebook, which most youth frequently use.

What are some ways to use Edmodo in the classroom?

  • Create a group where students can post articles or blogs about a current event in the news. Have students comment and discuss their students discoveries.
  • Create a pen pal group in which students can write to students from another class and collaboratively complete assignments and activities.
  • Use Edmodo as an online book club and discuss the literature with other classes.

For more ideas on how to utilize Edmodo in the classroom, read 7 Brilliant Ways To Use Edmodo That Will Blow Your Mind and the additional article, 15 more Brilliant Ways To Use Edmodo.

Education and Emerging Technology

After reading The NMC Horizon Report: 2012 K-12 Edition, I learned about several new technologies I had previously not been aware of, specifically augmented reality and natural user interfaces. I am constantly learning the various types of emerging technologies and am amazed at the potential they hold as teaching tools for today’s students. I had no idea that role-playing games could be used as a teaching tool, nor was I aware of the existence of personal learning environments and how they could benefit students.  Technology is the key to revamping the education system, and with the tools mentioned in this video, I believe their implementation is vital.

Using Webcams In The Classroom

img_0266Click here to view this blog post on webcams in the classroom.

Integrating technology into the classroom is becoming a common trend. The use of webcams can be especially beneficial for students. It can provide cultural exposure into other classrooms across the country, provide students with an up close and personal understanding of world affairs and customs, and even serve as educational cyber trips.

Students perspectives and understandings can be enhanced by simply utilizing the webcams to unfold a different world of knowledge. This is possible through interacting with other students they wouldn’t have the opportunity to under normal circumstances. Webcams take learning beyond pictures in textbooks, and allows for a more connected and personal experience.

Students in Grand Forks, North Dakota exemplified the valuable learning opportunities from using webcams to share their story as a natural disaster struck their town. The students made a flood cam and teachers created activities that revolved around the flooding. They communicated with other schools across the United States, and even created a site for students to use as a study of natural disasters. Click here for a link to this article. 

Foreign language classrooms have also utilized webcams to interact with one another. This  is essential for detecting pronunciations of authentic natives in the respected language. It also demonstrates to students what native and fluent speakers truly sound like and creates a more authentic learning atmosphere.

Overall, webcams can be utilized for projects and authentic teaching practices which reach outside the classroom and encourage students to engage and communicate. Technology is essential for inspiring creativity in students all across the globe and making learning enticing.

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Click here to read this article on webcam usage

My Keys Introduction Video

Working through the technology set up was and is still proving to be difficult for me. I had to utilize the “how to” videos provided by Dr. Sarver and constantly refer to her instructions and directions. It is certainly a step by step process that will take me some time. I’ve definitely realized that I’m not as “tech savvy” as I once believed. Twitter was not very difficult to conquer or navigate, but this blog is. I find it to be a bit of trial and error as this is my first blog. I found it especially difficult to customize my blog the way I want it. I think with some more time I will be able to spruce it up to my liking. I am hoping ENG 307 will turn me into a technology genius!

I also thought “Web 2.0 How-to for educators” helped me understand what exactly a blog was and what purpose it served as well as how teachers can utilize it in the classroom to spice up learning and make it authentic.

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