Technology is everywhere; it is intertwined in almost every part of our lives. Kids and families, students and communities are plugged in, cued to the latest electronic developments and diversions, ready to creatively adapt them to their own purposes (Delacruz, 2009). Technology has changed the way educators teach, how students learn, and it even offers educators practical ways of connecting and reaching out to various styles of learners we have in our classroom.
Our students are tech-savvy and when afforded the opportunity to use technology in the classroom, they can become engaged as they begin to take control of their own learning. “New tools are thought to empower educators to change the way teaching and learning occurs” (Sessoms, 2008). I look at ‘new tools’ as technology; various technological devices. But how can educators integrate and use technology as a tool in a way wehre teaching and learning does occur? This of course, “depends on the kinds of technology available and how much access one has to technology” (Edutopia, 2007, para 4), and the level of integration the teacher wants in a classroom.
As a graphic design and art educator, I’m always looking for creative ways to integrate various forms of technology to increase student engagement, and their overall learning process. Two forms of applications I use to help with the learning process as well as, student engagement are Screencast-O-Matic and Pinterest.
Screencasting involves capturing what you or your students do on the computer with an audio narration to go with it (Richardson, 2010). Screencasts can provide learners a student-centered and engaging learning experience in both distance and traditional learning settings. I currently use Screencast-O-Matic in my hybrid and online classes. I use it to create step-by-step instructional videos. Since I teach a lot of classes that deals with using Adobe Photoshop, InDesign, and Illustrator, I create various videos showing how to do a certain technique or even how to use a certain tool. One way I might be able to incorporate screencasting into my lesson is to let students make mini videos on their design process. Or, you can use screencasting to create a video directly related to the lesson content.
You can check out this application by visiting: Screencast-O-Matic
Pinterest is another application I really like. It is an online service that allows you to share images through social networking (http://www.yourdictionary.com/pinterest). It’s like a social media platform that allows you to create a virtual bulletin board for all of your favorite things, or things you find inspiring, on the web. I can and currently use Pinterest with my students for inspiration purposes. Students can follow each other’s boards as well as, pin things that relates to the lesson. It’s also a great tool to use to just organize your ideas as well as, use ‘pinning’ as part of a lesson. Students can pin items that fit a certain set of criteria as part of a lesson.
Check it out by visiting: Pinterest.com
Delacruz, E. M. (2009). Art education in the age of new media: Moving toward global civil society. Art Education, 62(5), 13-18.
Edutopia. (2007). How to integrate technology. Retrieved from http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-guide-implementation
Richardson, W. (2010). Podcasting, video and screencasting, and live streaming: Multimedia publishing for the masses (3rd Ed.), Blogs, wikis, podcasts, and other powerful web tools for classrooms (pp. 111-129). Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press
Sessoms, D. (2008). Interactive instruction: Creating interactive learning environments through tomorrow’s teachers. International Journal of Teaching and Learning, 4(2), 86-96.