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Classroom Based Learning Technologies

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Classroom Based Learning Technologies


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Adobe Digital School Collection


"Teach your students the 21st century skills they need.  The Adobe® Digital School Collection provides affordable multimedia software and resources for teaching and learning 21st century literacy, problem‐solving, and communication skills across the curriculum. This comprehensive solution covers photo, video, and audioediting, as well as web publishing. The solution also includes document management and portfolio creation tools for enhancing learning experiences in language arts, history, music, and the sciences. Empower your students to express, explore, and showcase what they are learning through professional looking video projects, digital storytelling, podcasts, and more. The Adobe Digital School Collection comes with a Teacher Resource DVD that includes readyto‐use lesson plans, tutorials, and tips and tricks. Note: Available for K-12 schools only." (J Gonsiewski)




BookReader V100


Print from a scanned book or document is converted into high-quality speech  (which can be saved in MP3 format) using the BookReader  V100. (Trimble)

"BookReader integrates high-speed scanning, natural voice synthesis and highly accurate text-to-speech and optical character recognition functionality, all in one device. Additional features, especially designed for the vision impaired, include: magnifying functions, font controls, volume controls, speech controls, bookmark functions, PDF reading, etc." (Bennett)




Eno is an environmentally certified interactive whiteboard that combines the simplicity and ease of a traditional ceramicsteel surface with interactive performancewithout cords, cables or costly installation.  Presenters can go from markers to multi-media, from ink to internet by projecting your computer screen onto the whiteboard. (Bennett)


Eno whiteboard, click, mini (mobile), and flex by PolyVision 



Graphing Calculators


  1. TI-Nspire  (Trimble) TI-Nspire can be used to enhance classroom experiences through technology in Algebra, Geometry, Precalculus, Calculus, Physics, and Statistics.  "TI-Nspire is an integrated system that combines learning handhelds and computer software with assessment tools that gauge student learning within an interactive classroom."  (Bennett)

  2. Nspire information, ideas, and file downloads on http://www.tomreardon.com  (Trimble)



Interactive Whiteboards


Presentation tools are increasing in popularity for educators who want to share ideas and information with large or small groups of students. Interactive applications are in demand for educators who want to involve their students in learning with technology. The electronic interactive whiteboard is a device that combines both of these attributes, offering shared learning experiences for large or small groups, as well as for distance learning (Bell, 2009). 


First of all, what is an interactive electronic whiteboard? It is a presentation device that interfaces with a computer. The computer images are displayed on the board by a digital projector, where they can be seen and manipulated. Users can control software both from the computer and from the board. Participants can add notations, and emphasize by using a pen and or highlighter tool. By using his finger as a mouse, the teacher or student can run applications directly from the board. Another user at the computer can also have input. Any notes or drawings can then be saved or printed out and distributed to group members (Bell, 2009).


There is little research out there on interactive whiteboards.  There is at least one study that suggests that interactive whiteboards work for improving studednt achievement.  Robert Marzano, a leading researcher in the area of instructional strategies has studies the effectiveness of this tool.  He found that there was a 16 percentile gain associated with classrooms that implemented interactive whiteboards.  This would mean that if a student was at the 50th percentile learning in a classroom without the interactive whiteboard their achievement would increase to the 66th percentile in a room with the technology.  Using the whiteboards capabilities to provide reinforcers were associated with students in some classrooms showing as much as a 31 percentile gain in achievement (Marzano, 2009). 


Interactive whiteboards do have their drawbacks.  One mistake that many teachers make when using the technology is to incorporate too much multimedia.  It advances past being educational in into the realm of distracting.  Another mistake that teachers make is going too fast.  Students being stuck on the graphics have little time to focus on the content.  Finally, sometimes teachers pay too much attention to the reinforcing features.  In other words, do not focus too much on students getting the virtual applause and not enough on clarifying what exactly the content is (Marzano 2009). 


Suggestions made by Marzano to improve the use of interactive whiteboards is fairly simple.  It goes back to the principles of effective teaching.  1. Organization:  Think through how the information is going to be organized before making the presentation and make sure you build in time for students to process the information.  2. Visuals:  Visuals can be extremely useful in moderation but do not overload pages with too many pictures or text.  3. Questioning and Formative assessment: Make sure that you use questioning to gauge student understanding of the content.  Using a Student Response System can be a good way of eliciting immediate feedback.  Knowing the correct answer is not enough.  Discuss not only the correct answer and why it is correct but also some of the incorrect responses and why they are incorrect.  4.  Reinforcers:  When using reinforcers like virtual applause, make sure that the focus on why the answer is correct and not the applause itself.  These things can make the classroom more lively but can be distracting if not used along side a clear focus on the content (Marzano, 2009).


  1. http://publications.teachernet.gov.uk/eOrderingDownload/DfES-0812-2004_History.pdf  A document written by the Department of Education and Skills in the British Educational Communications and Technology Agency.  This document lays out the basic description of an interactive whiteboard but also includes a great deal of other great information.  It describes why you would want to use the technology, planning while using an IW, and the Pedogogy behind using an IW.  Furthermore it discusses additional technologies that work in conjunction with the IW and other resources for more information. 

  2. Student Engagement, Visual Learning and Technology: Can Interactive Whiteboards Help? http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi= This study focused on wether student engagement in the learning process is increased by using the Whiteboard.

  3. Website and video about mimio:  http://www.mimio.com/products/index.asp  (Trimble)

  4. SMART Lessons and activities:  http://www.scholastic.com/interactivewhiteboards/

  5. Video about SMART Whiteboard, ease of use:  http://www.scholastic.com/smartsolutions/video_easeofuse.html

  6. The SMART Table "puts interactive whiteboard technology in furniture form.  It's a computer, projector and digital board, all-in-on.  $7.000-8,000.  Teacher's Pick, Best of 2009 in Instructor Magazine, March/April 2009.  http://www2.smarttech.com/st/en-US/Products/SMART+Table/ (Trimble)

  7. Link to SMART tech website: http://smarttech.com/

  8. "Teaching and Learning with an Interactive Whiteboard: A Teacher's Journey" This is an interesting narrative research article which follows one teacher's use of the interactive whiteboard. http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=eric&AN=EJ772451&site=ehost-live

    Teachers who are thinking about starting to use an IWB or principals that want to encourage teachers to use it would bennefit by reading this.



Student Response Systems


Student Response Systems aredevices that allow teachers to quiz students in real time about topics that they are studying.  Teachers pose a question up on the board and students use a clicker device to choose an answer.   The teacher can see these results directly on the screen along with students.  It allows a teacher to gauge a students knowledge of a subject quickly and without having to wait until a test.  The clickers also allow for some anonymity to students answers.  The logic behind this is that other students in the class will not know who was correct and who was incorrect.  Teachers can often go back and analyze the statistics to see for themselves who knows their stuff.  The strength of the SRS is in its ability to increase the engagement of learners by making everyone a stakeholder in the real-time results on the screen. 

There are drawbacks to these devices.  Some teachers cite that the same dialogue could take place in their classroom without the clickers.  They say that although the clickers provide a sfe environment to be incorrect they limit the response formats ultimately the amount and type of information they can recieve from students  (Manzo, 2009 p. 14). 



Web Pages / Sites


Websites encompass a variety of communication tools to aid and augment reading processes…Their hypermedia nature also fosters inquiry-based learning (Farmer, 2009). In addition, websites are a great communication tool to be used as a medium for parents, students, and teachers. Students use the class webpage to connect to the classroom from home. A student who is at home sick can log on to the site to see what happened in class while he was absent. Another student may insist that her family log on to the site when she gets home from school so that she can read the daily message to her family (Brown).



Consistent communication between teachers and parents can be a complicated goal to achieve. Busy teachers find it hard to take time out of their day to make phone calls or write notes to working parents who are difficult to contact. Yet administrators, teachers, and parents continue to strive for regular interaction as a way of involving parents in classroom life and improving student achievement (Brown).



Children in many American schools can interact with children in other schools around the world using one of several linking strategies (e.g., e-mail, the Internet, fax, or even the ubiquitous telephone). But their families will never know that these exciting events happened unless the students tell them. Seigenthaler (1996) reminded us of the power and the potential: “With each new advancement, communications technology moves us closer to relationships with peoples and cultures across the globe” (p. xiii) (Bauch).




Web Quests


WebQuests when made correctly can be extremely powerful learning tools for students.  WebQuests should be motivating and provide authentic opportunities while utilizing the web, not using the web for basic knowledge acquisition.  Teachers should provide students with guidance in examining background information while also providing students with open-ended questions that require them to use pre-existing knowledge to problem-solve.  When this is done effectively students are able to take ownership of their learning and place it into the context of their world.  When the model of a WebQuest was compared to Weinstien's (2000) critical thinking framework they determined that they do meet Weinstien's six key elements of critical thinking.  This supports the position that Web Quests have a place in education. (DeJulio)


Vidoni and Maddox (2002) warm that Web Quests are not the panacea prescription for everything educational.  They warn that there are a number of poorly written Web Quests that do not meet the true criteria for a webquest and as a result should not be used. They further mention that developmental factors in the learner must not be ignored.  An elementary student must not be expected to be able to learn using the same format as a Senior in high School. 


This PDF file gives us the history of the webquest and briefly analyzes its effectiveness against several learning theories including Gagne's Nine Instructional Events. The file defines webquest and provides an example of how to build one. The file also urges users to continue researching its effectiveness. www.portalwebquest.net/pdfs/wqacritical.pdf.


  1. Strickland, J., Nazzal, A. (2005). Using webquests to teach content: Comparing instructional strategies.  Contemporary Issues in Technology and Teacher Education, 5(2), 138-148. Available at http://www.citejournal.org/articles/v5i2socialstudies1.pdf

    This article briefly discusses proper ways to use webquests and also contains an interesting study about the impact webquests have on student learning.  The study tries to answer- whether or not webquests are an accurate way to learn content or if they can only be used to foster critical thinking skills. (DeJulio)

  2. www.webquest.org

    . This site contains the definition of webquests as well as information to find, create, and share webquests. The following article discusses the increasing popularity of webquests and teacher created webquests can increase constructivist learning styles through technology. 

    Roberts, Leanne M., Ph.D., The University of Akron (2005), The WebQuest creation process: A case study of preservice teachers working individualistically and collaboratively. 215 pages;    3175341 http://www.webquest.org/index-research.php

  3. Hassanien, A. (2006, July). An evaluation of the webquest as a computer‐based learning tool. Research in Post-Compulsory Education, 11(2), 235-250. Retrieved September 27, 2009, doi:10.1080/13596740600769230 http://proxy.ohiolink.edu:9099/login?url=http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&db=a9h&AN=21273520&site=ehost-live(Mhagen)

  4. Zunal.com is a great site that gives an overview of Web Quests.  The site explains the concepts of web quests, give examples of web quests, helps plan web quests and also has a free template that can be used to create a web cast.  http://www.zunal.com/ (wahoff) 




  1.  Schwartz, LindaClark, SharonCossarin, MaryRudolph, Jim.(April 2004). International Review of Research in Open and Distance Learning, v5 n1 Apr 2004.  Educational Wikis: Features and Selection Criteria.This report discusses the educational uses of the "wiki," an increasingly popular approach to online community development. Wikis are defined and compared with "blogging" methods; characteristics of major wiki engines are described; and wiki features and selection criteria are examined. http://www.eric.ed.gov/ERICDocs/data/ericdocs2sql/content_storage_01/0000019b/80/45/03/38.pdf


  1. Fountain, R. (2005). Wiki pedagogy, Dossiers technopedagogiques (Dossiers pratiques). Retrieved June 24, 2009, from 


    This research article states that wikis are great collaboration tools that promote teamwork, individual learning styles, communication skills, group editing, sharing and critiquing of ideas and student centered learning.


  2. Mindel, J. L., & Verma, S. (2006). Wikis for teaching and learning. Communications of the Association for Information Systems, 18, 1-23. Retrieved June 24, 2009, from 




This article states “that the instructor’s role hinges on facilitating information sharing among learners rather than simply transmitting knowledge from themselves to their students as a one-way mechanism, a teaching perspective, the wiki model facilitates a cognitive information processing model of learning. As an extension of the constructivist model, it stresses the importance of individual learning styles, helps to increase dialogue among students." Mindel & Verma (2006)


  1. Here is a link that provides some ideas on how to use a wiki in the classroom:  http://www.teachersfirst.com/content/wiki/wikiideas1.cfm 




This is a great collaborative tool for setting up learning communities.  It has wiki, blogs, forums contained within one site.  http://net.educause.edu/ir/library/pdf/ELI7036.pdf


Epals Global Community


ePals is the “largest global community of connected classrooms” and makes use of one of the most popular types of interpersonal exchange. ePals uses features such as Classroom Match, SchoolMail™,and SchoolBlog™ to connect collaborative learners, teachers, and academic experts from 200 countries and territories around the world. Classroom Match allows teachers to connect with other classrooms from around the world by selecting a classroom from a customized search or choosing one participating in a common ePals project. Once connected students can exchange emails, share through blogs or communicate using a forum. SchoolMail™ offers free accounts for teachers and students with classroom solutions for email setup, monitoring, privacy and content control. An instant translation tool is offered to translate emails in 8 different languages to increase dialog between these global learners. SchoolBlog™ is another means for students to connect across the globe and offers personalized  domains, searchable archives, ability to post multimedia, calendars, surveys, and class-only, parents-only, and public access settings. ePals offer projects in several focus areas including Black History, the Election and Inauguration, Geography (sponsored by National Geographic), and Human Rights. (Poole)  www.epals.com


The JASON Project (Virtual Field Trips)


The JASON Project, a non-profit auxiliary of National Geographic, also uses interpersonal exchange activities to connect learners with “great explorers and great events” to stimulate and encourage them to learn science. This project provides the rare opportunity for students to work alongside lead researchers in an online global community. The project offers 5-9 weeks of standards-based material with lesson plans, extensions, and interdisciplinary connections for four units. Each unit or "operation" can be accessed from website’s Mission Control Center, a core that can access all student and teacher content, communication systems, digital experiences, and other resources. Additional resources include a digital library that can be searched by subject, state standards, and resource type, on demand footage where scientists demonstrate and explain science concepts, 3D interactive games, and an online community with webcasts and podcasts of new science topic and moderated message boards where students can communicate directly with scientists in the field. Teachers also have resources available to track, assess, and manage student performance including: lesson and assessment builders, alignments to national and state standards, and online reporting. (Poole)  www.jason.org


Technology Effects and Effectiveness

Technology Effect and Effectiveness Introduction

Blended Learning Technologies

Classroom Based Learning Technologies 

Cost-Cutting Technologies

Distance Learning Technologies

Mobile Learning Technologies

Technology Effects and Effectiveness Conclusion


Contributors Fall Semester 2009

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