I can't believe all the awesome "techy" tools I get to use as a teacher:
- As I mentioned before, no textbooks for my history classes! We're trying out an online program that grants us access to loads and loads of primary documents, so that our students can learn history without constantly being bombarded by bias. Oh, they'll still get some, of course, since it is impossible to completely remove bias from any subject, but at least it won't be as overpowering as bias tends to be in most history textbooks.
- With the enthusiastic support of my HOD (Head of Department), I'm pioneering the use of the Kindle app (it can be downloaded onto computers by students who don't have a Kindle reader) in my tenth grade Modern World History classes. With that, they'll be able to download autobiographies and other useful books for free, which will help immerse them in history better.
- I just got my Moodle account set up today. With Moodle, I'll be able to have the kids do their bellwork on their laptops rather than wasting paper (plus, I'll have constant access for checking their work), set up discussion forums, and even administer quizzes online (which I don't actually plan to do; I prefer to quiz the old-fashioned way, on paper).
- We're using Turnitin.com for all essays, papers, etc. I used that program in college, so I'm quite familiar with it. It's a plagiarism checking program that figures out whether students have copied work and even tracks down where they got it from.
- We have a really good online program called PowerSchool that makes gradebooks easy to maintain and readily accessible to parents, in addition to its other charms. It also makes attendance, discipline, and such easy to track.
- My classroom has an excellent speaker system and computer projector, so no annoying, old-fashioned overhead projector to battle with! Instead, I can use slideshows, show DVDs, utilize YouTube where appropriate . . . and of course, I plan to use Prezi (it does presentations that are even neater than what Keynote and PowerPoint can make) from time to time. I bought a clicker with a laser pointer in it back in the States, which will allow me or students to move about without being tied to the computer during presentations and lectures.