September Spotlight: Technology in the Classroom
Since its introduction into classrooms, technology has advanced by leaps and bounds. Now, technology is used daily by students and teachers in all grade levels and across all content areas. This month, Krum ISD Public Information Officer Taylor Poston visited classrooms to see various uses of technology in action.
Using technology has opened up a world of interactive resources that enable students to become active participants in their education. At Hattie Dyer Elementary in Ms. Murphy’s 4th-grade class, there’s a unique blend of traditional and technological teaching. Ms. Murphy uses a smart television that enables her to broadcast internet sites for learning numbers and money. In this particular lesson, Ms. Murphy used coins and base ten blocks projected on the screen that she could drag and drop herself to create custom combinations. Students then used the more traditional educational tools of personal whiteboards and dry erase markers to calculate monetary values from the wholes, tenths, and hundredths represented on the tv.
At Krum Middle School, Mrs. May’s 6th-grade science classes used an interactive program called Nearpods to study minerals. Students are able to work at their own pace, watching videos describing various features of different types of minerals, and using characteristic charts to identify their own mineral for class discussions.
Another interactive platform that is popular in classrooms of all ages is a program called Kahoots! This program lets teachers create custom questions that are projected on a screen. Students then log in to the platform on their Chromebook and mark their answers to the question. They receive immediate feedback on whether or not they were correct, and what the correct answer was. This program is popular for reviewing vocabulary terms, as seen here in Ms. Eubanks’ 4th-grade classroom at Dyer and Mr. Jenkins’ English class at Krum High School.
In younger classrooms, technology is still an important part of overall education. Students at Dyer and Dodd were taught proper typing skills and techniques during specials with Mrs. Cayce and Mrs. Nabors. This is a skill that will prepare students for success both in the classroom and in the real world as adults.
3rd-graders in Ms. Reed’s class at Blanche Dodd Elementary participated a unique lesson that combined uses of technology in the classroom in the form of typing and formatting and utilizing an online Learning Management System (LMS), Google Classroom. After handwriting drafts of acrostic poetry, students located the assignment in their Google Classroom and typed their final draft for easy and orderly submission of the assignment.
Using the LMS has been something secondary students have done for several years, but it has become especially important during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Using the LMS to complete assignments for in-person learning means that there is a much smoother transition to remote learning and more consistency between in-person and remote learners.
Mrs. Martin at Dyer Elementary uses the LMS with her 2nd and 3rd-grade students on a daily basis. To give her remote learners as much of the classroom experience as possible, she has dual monitors and cameras that let her share screens with her students while still being able to see them. She combines this with traditional classroom features, like the whiteboard, to teach as if her students are there in person. They work through math word problems together, and students raise their hands to answer her critical thinking questions.
“We live in an exciting and unique time when students are considered digital natives, technology is built into their daily routines,” said EEC Principal Lyndi Stupka when asked about how technology is impacting students. “We raised the bar in what is expected of students by adding a digital platform. By the time they graduate from high school, these students will be able to compete for jobs that have not even been invented yet, because they will continue to grow in their digital education.”