Tips & Tricks

Tips for Integrating Technology into Your ClassroomFotolia_4355256_XS.jpg

  • Two of the main barriers to using technology in the classroom are time and resources. Good news: this website is the solution to those barriers - providing you with all of the technology tools you need and saving you time from having to search all over the internet for just the right resource/tool.
  • Improve your confidence level - explore new technology tools. Look up online tutorials/videos. Spend a few hours familiarizing yourself with different software programs and online tools. You won't want to teach a lesson with a technology part if you don't feel confident using technology.
  • Ask for help - request time off to attend a technology seminar or ask your principal to bring in a technology specialist for professional development. Ask co-workers and even students for help learning new technologies. Or better yet, start a Technology Club at your school!

Helpful Articles and Blog Posts:


Tips for Integrating Technology into Your School

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Benefits of Technology (Becta Analysis)
  • Can increase teacher time afforded by web-based resources
  • Can increase student enjoyment of lessons
  • Prompts greater spontaneity
  • Reduces duplication of materials (saves printing money)
  • Improves sharing of good practice
  • Can be transformative

Tips from The Digital Classroom: Harnessing Technology for the Future
  • Don't be seduced by technology and think you need to get the latest and best (make the most of what you have first)
  • Don't rush - plan strategically, considering purchase, training, implementation, and development costs over a long period
  • Don't invest in expensive software unless you have time and resources to develop its applications
  • Talk to others and share the lessons they've learned
  • Don't worry that students know more than you
  • Don't bury your head in the sand - technology is here to stay
  • Think carefully how tech can be used to enhance the quality of students outcomes
  • Test innovations at the top of the school then introduce them with the youngest children
  • Invest time in teaching the skills necessary to use your current ICT applications to their best advantage
  • Ensure that your decisions are made as a part of the whole-school approach to ICT
  • Invest in the future in terms of money, time, and staff training


Success Stories


"This website is a great learning tool for students struggling with topics like protein synthesis, cell respiration, photosynthesis, and meiosis. I offered a little extra credit and my students went on this website to find animations/resources that would help them answer some questions. I personally like the science animations, since it provides a flow for the topics."
Jerry Trust, Biology teacher, La Costa Canyon High School, Carlsbad, CA



Tips from Dana Ditman, Technology Integration Specialist, Twin Oaks Elementary School:
  • All of my classes attend computer lab weekly - we have a default routine to fall back on when teacher has not prepared a lesson or given me a heads-up about what the kids are working on in their core subjects
    • Kids do 10/15 minutes of Math Facts, 10/15 minutes of typing (this gives me time to find out what's going on in the classroom), and 10/20 minutes exploring a site related to what they are studying in Science or Social Studies
    • I have set the home page of my lab computers' browsers to the For Students page of our website. Students start at a page full of subject relevant links and we ask them to stick to these links - usually we tell them exactly where we want them to go.
    • I have set the Home page of all the classroom computers' browsers to our school website's home page
    • Most grade levels have chosen a big computer based project to do in time for Open House... these make a big splash with the parents ... Work on some these projects can last for weeks ...
      • K & 1 - Seasonal compositions of graphics and words using Kidspiration (with the little kids we work on mouse control and following directions - we don't worry so much about producing artifacts)
      • 2nd Grade - Who Am I? - This is a writing assignment that students do first by hand, and then transcribe into Word (we're still not producing many artifacts with these students)
      • 3rd Grade -
        • Endangered Animal PowerPoint - Students research an endangered animal using links on the For Students page of the website or links their teacher posts on her website - They make a hand written report (one teacher has them transcribe into Word), and then use that report to inform a PowerPoint presentation that they deliver to the whole class (individual work)
        • Endangered Animal Report Word Clouds - students upload the text of their animal reports to Tagxedo to create some pretty sweet word clouds
        • Scientific Method PowerPoint - Student teams choose a science experiment using links provided and document their method findings - written reports and original photos inform their PowerPoint presentations
        • Inspiring American report - Research using links provided and transcribe into Word
      • 4th Grade -
        • All writing assignments are transcribed into Word (these kids do many paragraphs to prepare for the 4th grade writing assessment)
        • Google Earth - pre-work for all field trips includes a trip to the site in Google Earth
        • Class website & blog, Student websites ... see 5th grade ... I have one 4th grade teacher working on this and it's been slow going this year
        • California Mission PowerPoint - A report researched using provided links informs each PowerPoint presentation ... these are individual projects & presentations
      • 5th Grade -
        • Poetry Book - Students write about 20 prescribed poems and transcribe them into Publisher using specific formatting. They use clip art and original photos to illustrate the work.
        • President Report - research using links provided - transcribe into Word
        • Class website & blog, Student websites - One of my 5th grade teachers is using Weebly for Education with his class. He has a blog and each student has a password protected site. This is our second year with this project and we are not as quick as we hoped to be making site development assignments for them ...
      • 6th Grade -
        • All writing assignments are transcribed into Word
        • Volcano Report and PowerPoint - reports are individual - PowerPoints are group projects
        • Ancient History Report and PowerPoint - as above