Joined: 18 Jul 2011
Utilizing Fun Online Activities
Are public education classes beginning to utilize the technology available to them to create more online experiences while in school? Many would say yes. Depending on the school and the district, some are more technologically advanced than others. While some suburban schools have adopted one-on-one laptop initiatives, some urban and rural districts are at a loss to upgrade services with a lack of a technology budget. Knowing what your school could offer online in school opens up a world of possibilities.
Just by having a few student computers in each classroom, schools are able to allow children the freedom of researching a topic. Individual students or small groups could be assigned a topic and then asked to complete a topic board. While this is really no different than going to the library and using a card catalog to find resources to complete the project, it does allow for a wider variety of choices when looking for information. Encyclopedias online, journals in databases, online books and magazines, and informational websites all offer an unlimited supply of reference material.
Another fun way to use the internet in K-12 classrooms is by having access to various internet games. While this seems counterproductive, there are several great sites for teachers to reinforce book concepts. Many of these interactive learning sites were created by teachers and they offer a free place to hone the daily classroom skills, while thinking it is more "fun." This becomes a win-win for all.
Lastly, with the budget crisis affecting everyone, many school districts have cut field trips altogether. While no one wants this to happen, we do realize that we need to be creative when offering different learning experiences for our children. The internet offers us free or low-cost virtual field trips. Participating museums, zoos, and other community outlets offer a closer look at their materials from the convenience of a classroom computer. While this is not the optimal choice for our hands-on learners, this is a creative way to reinforce concepts learned without straining the nonexistent funds.
Utilizing online learning in schools is the best choice for our 21-st century learners!
What are some of your favorite classroom websites? Share with us at the Primary Grades Group!