Daily Archives: March 26, 2013

Digital Textbook Report


What is a digital textbook? It is a textbook that can be accessed by computer-based technology, such as a computer, iPad, or e-reader.

Examples of using iPads in the classroom:

*Elementary Math classes can use the Math Quizzer app to learn, practice, and improve their skills in addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. Students  are asked to use this app on their devices at home for homework and studynig and during the class lesson. The teacher provides a “Try It Yourself” time in between teaching the different topics, which allow students to take a break from just listening to the teacher and have the opportunity to see if they have learned a particular skill.

I would give my students time during the lesson to practice each skill anyway, but this app gives the students a more interactive experience. I might also want to make it a class game and divide the room in half, so they can play against each other and learn along the way.

*In order to teach elementary school students about the different parts of a story and how the relate to each other, teachers have used the app “Toontastic.” This app allows students to create their own story and share it with friends and family. The lesson starts out with teaching or reviewing the elements of a story that are found in the app, then the student can create a story. Students share their story with other classmates and are asked to retell their classmate’s story and maybe answer a few questions.

I might also create my own story as an example to show students both how to use the app and what the different sections of a story are.  

My readiness for an iPad classroom:

*I know how to use an iPad, the app store, and how to connect an iPad to a computer or television for a larger view. However, I think I need to continue researching the different ways I can incorporate the use of an iPad into lessons to keep instruction interesting and interactive. I enjoy iPads for personal use and understand their practicality and usefulness in a classroom; however, I still don’t think they should replace paper textbooks. I like the fact that iPads elminate paper, but if students lose and damage textbooks  it will be much more expensive to give them all iPads. I think that it is also a lot easier to break an iPad and there could be wasted class time due to technical difficulties.

I think that the paper vs. digital textbook debate does not have a right or wrong answer. It is based on personal preference. My personal preference is a paper textbook, but I understand the advantages of digital textbooks. Maybe I need to have my own iPad in order to fully understand its various uses and how it could improve classroom quality and participation.

Post #9


I bet many of us forget that there are types of technology that are not computers and that they can be just as useful in the classroom. I think that peripherals and non-computer audio-visual technologies are underappreciated for their usefulness. Printers are peripherals that are used every day. Teachers can use printers to print students’ work and for giving out worksheets and letters/forms home to parents. Flash drives are another common peripheral that allows the transfer of computer documents/files. In my classroom I will use those items in addition to projectors, which allows me to display a normal sheet of paper as a larger size for the entire classroom to see. I might also use an audio or video recorder to record lessons for students who either want to review later or for students with disabilities. All of the peripherals and non-computer technologies can go hand in hand with other computer-based technology. For instance, a flash drive and a printer need a computer in order for them to be useful and a video or other recording of a lesson should be put on a class website, blog, or email for the students and parents to access.

I think Quizlet is an interesting web-based resource for teachers and students. Quizlet is basically online flashcards that can be shared or kept private. The site also provides two games, two other ways to study, and a test with the cards you create. Teachers can use this resource to post flashcards of new vocabulary terms or test review. A teacher could also turn it into a homework assignment by either telling students to play one of the games, go through the cards, or take the test the site creates for you. A student could utilize this site by creating his/her own cards to study and maybe sharing their set with his/her classmates.

I would use Quizlet in my classroom for various reasons, the first being that it eliminates the use of paper. In addition, if students will have iPads in the future for their textbooks, there is an app for Quizlet, which would allow their flashcards on this site to be portable. I would also use Quizlet because it offers two types of games to help students learn the information. Regardless of age, people love to play games. I use Quizlet as a college student to study for exams and I think elementary school students would also enjoy it. I could assign the games or other form of studying through Quizlet as homework or allow them to play during the school day in the computer lab. Quizlet also has a great function that allows you to print out your cards in different formats such as note cards and study guides. Although that is not the “green”-est approach, it could be useful to have a classroom set and/or to provide students who do not have access to computer-based technologies with the tools to study.

I am not very knowledgeable in using Excel, but I am always excited to learn something new. I think for my own personal purposes Excel could be useful, but I do not think that it is a program that would be suitable for elementary school children and their projects. I could use Excel for budgeting my money (personal use) or to keep a record of students’ grades and progress (school use). I could then create graphs or charts of student progress to show their parents. I think I will stick to Microsoft Word for most things. Word documents can be easily distributed, opened, printed, edited, and I am most comfortable with this particular program.

I enjoyed working on both PowerPoint assignments and I learned a few new things. I learned how to turn a symbol, picture, or word into an action button, how to disable clicking to the next item or slide (linear navigation), how to add sound when an image appears, and ultimately how to create a Jeopardy game! I don’t understand the full purpose of disabling linear navigation and I don’t think I will personally do that as a teacher. I think it is better to be able to decide when the next item should show up rather than it popping up at a set time or having to click on an action button. It would also be difficult if the presenter only had a clicker with the “next” button and not an actual mouse to click on an action button. My past teachers and fellow classmates have made jeopardy games before and I could never figure out how they did it. The final product is awesome and it is a great way for students to review material, but it takes a very long time to finish. I would like to use PowerPoint to create jeopardy for my future class, but I hope I will have enough time to make it. I also plan to use PowerPoint to make interactive multiple choice questions, which I learned how to create last week.