With our recent construction renovations, we were fortunate to get the latest technology in our classrooms.
We have Elmo document cameras. Which have made overhead transparencies obsolete. I am able to display worksheets on the camera so that students can see exactly how to fill out their own worksheet. I am able to display student work on the camera for the class to see. I love to share student compositions so that we can perform their work.
We also have ActivSound teacher pendant microphones which can amplify our voice so that every student can hear the instruction even when our backs are turned. This has also been a voice saver when I am trying to yell out dance instruction over the music. I do not have to strain my voice. The mic is also a motivator for students. It is a reward to get to come and sing into the microphone for the class. There is also a jack to insert your mp3 player and play music through the ceiling speakers. This is an amazing feature!
We also have a set of Clickers for each grade level and one set for the special area team. I am the only special area teacher who has tried to utilize them so they are stored in my classroom. The Clickers are an amazing tool for assessment. It does take some time to hand out the clickers, but I keep the students in alphabetical order and keep a record of their Clicker numbers. If their teacher has assigned them a Clicker number in the classroom, I try to keep those numbers so not to confuse the students. The best part, in my opinion, is that the software grades the test for you! As you are all aware, finding time to grade papers is a constant problem. The Clickers allow me to assess the students more often and not feel like I'm causing myself more work to do. Plus, if you show the questions on the ActivBoard, you are saving trees by not wasting paper, and saving time because you won't be standing in line at the copy machine.
Our most useful and impressive technology are the interactive white boards. We have the Promethean ActivBoards.
These are INTERACTIVE white boards. Many teachers forget the most important word: INTERACTIVE. If the students are not getting a chance to come up to the board and manipulate charts, you are not using the board for its full potential. I have developed many flipcharts over the past 3 years and am still learning new tricks and tools.
Here is a link to the flipcharts I have uploaded to Promethean Planet:
They are free to download with a Promethean Planet account. So far, I have only uploaded 2 charts ("Once I Caught a Fish Alive" and "I Spy Elenore"), but I will be polishing and uploading more charts this summer. I will, of course, keep you posted as well.