Monday, January 4, 2016

The Internet

Film Reel, Cinema, Film, Movie, Reel  The internet has been a boon to educators.  It allows students to find information that might not be available in the school library.  It allows teachers to find the latest research on teaching.  It provides so many activities and worksheets that it saves on the district budget.

I use the internet so much in my class. For instance, I show short videos on the topic most every day because my students pay more attention to a video than my lecture.  I can show a video the first day to start building a foundation and then show a different video each day so more pieces of the topic makes sense until it clicks in their head.

I also look for worksheets I can have students use.  I love using worksheets for guided practice and I can find the worksheets for almost everything I need.  Furthermore, I can find worksheets filled with various levels of problems.  If I want, I can even put the students on to take an online quiz which will give them immediate feedback.

I love being able to find activities that fit the topic I'm teaching.  I've found lesson plans, whole units, videos, etc so I don't have to do much planning.  All of this for free!

I can research the best ways to present material to ELL students and find help on line on ways to increase vocabulary development.  There are webinars out there to watch to help me become a better teacher.  There is the teaching channel which has lots of awesome information for teachers who want to be better.

I've come across the futures channel which shows short videos on how math is used in real life and provides worksheets to go with each lesson.  This is cool because I can integrate it into the lesson and help answer the question "When will I ever use this?"

I can find math activities put out by various sports leagues that are based on the math they use in basketball, football, or even baseball.  I can find activities for designing a house, calculating paychecks, finding the best deal, calculating the markdown on a sale item. 

When you live out in the middle of nowhere, it is cool being able to access information to help in class.  One day, years ago when I was teaching science, I had to figure out how to fill the burners so we could heat things.  My dad, who taught till he was older, suggested I use mimeograph fluid.  It actually worked and the school still had a couple cans in storage. 

Now everything I want is available without having to order everything in.  I do know that much of the material out there can be questionable but I can assign research for my students to find statistics from good websites.  This leads to the discussion of what constitutes a good vs a bad website. 

Even today,  I used the internet to find worksheets for teaching, videos, and even the standardized test questions.  I love, love, love it.