Saturday, June 4, 2011

New Face of Homeschooling: Technology as a Teaching Tool

Technology as a Teaching Tool is the 3rd section of my resource section of my talk on the New Face of Homeschooling.

III Technology as a Teaching Tool

What are some of the ways in which we use technology as a teaching tool?

Computer: The uses of the computer are expanding.  Beside a word processor and a source of information though the internet, some computers can be used as tablets to write on, others have touch screens. 

Large Screen Board: Use TV Screen/Monitor as a whiteboard by using your computer and attaching it to your TV screen Monitor. Flat screens TVs/monitors have less radiation than cathode ray types of TVs.

The graphic pen: Another possibility is to use a graphic pen, which works in Acrobat (Acrobat Pro). The teacher writes as she normally would on a
"hard mouse pad," and it appears on the computer screen. MODG uses a
group board (virtual chalkboard), but a homeschool mom could connect the computer to a big screen TV and use a blank pdf and everyone in the room would see what she is writing(virtual chalkboard).

Internet to create Shared Documents: Several people can look at a document at the same time and/or you can access the document from multiple computers from the same home. You decide who can view the files, self, family, or friends or all, e.g. Goggle doc or Dropbox:
Jump drive/Memory Stick: Carry your documents anywhere.

*Audiobooks: A word about audiobooks.
Research indicates that watching TV uses a different area of the brain than active play, reading books, or listening to books being read aloud. In our family, we are surrounded by books (literally). My husband and I read to the kids and the older kids read to the younger children as well. But if you want to do triple duty—this is like secrets homeschoolers never tell you—get a book on tape/cd or mp3. The kids are actively listening to the story, while doing dishes or eating lunch or driving in the car and mom can enrich their academics by exposing them to books they would never pick up off the shelf to read. Some audio books have a cast of characters, others a single narrator, but even a good narrator can make a difference. Actually, this is more than triple duty. It frees up mom to do other things. The kids are content to do something they might otherwise find boring, like the dishes. It is nearly impossible for them to bicker because they are all quiet listening to the same story at the same time. If your child finds reading difficult, this is a marvelous way to augment his vocabulary. A child will always have a comprehension vocabulary far above his reading vocabulary. We get our audio books mainly through the library. But others have told me about Audible, Librivox and Readings for the Blind and Dyslectic. The child needs a diagnosis from a professional to use rfbd.
These are great sources for audio books.
Public Library,

The internet, MP3 players, tapes, CDs, apps. and DAISY are all tools for listening to audio books and classical music or poems or dictation recorded by the student.  

*E-books: Kindle To Kindle or Not to Kindle: Nook: that is the question.  Ignatius and others are now introducing e-books simultaneously with their hard covers and soft covers. Some publishers, however, are not happy about the push toward e-books. They fear the demise of the publishing industry. E-books are usually cheaper than hard covers and soft covers. If you use e-books, Kindle has some advantages over viewing them than on the computer. If you download free books in pdf format, it is cheaper to view them than to print them and it is easier to read them on a Kindle than a computer screen. Also, Kindles are not back lit so they are easier on your eyes. You can adjust the size of the print, which is good for people who are my age and have tri-focals or children with vision problems. In e-books (not pdf) the reader can check vocabulary and other linked information. A Kindle holds multiple books, including audio books, which are easier than lugging around a stack of books and it saves shelf space. Some kids/adults are attracted to gadgets and that also can be a means of encouraging a reluctant reader. You can share your Kindle library between multiple Kindles in the house, allowing several people to read the same book at the same time. It allows you to adjust text size, take notes, highlight and even has a text to speech feature, although some publishers disable that feature because of copyright. 

Powerpoint: Teachers (or teachers as parents) use Power point presentations at co-op classes and teachers ask students to create Powerpoint presentations. Our violin teacher is also a university professor and he primarily uses powerpoint because it allows him to use music scores, mp3 files of music and more.

Exercise: Wii Fit/ treadmills/exercise DVDs/programs. When there is miserable weather, these are ways moms/kids have exercised.

Recorder: Memorize poem, narrations, lists of facts, listen to yourself for music, record teacher.

Apps., ADD-ons: Really depends on what you are looking for: read the newspaper, Wall Street Journal, GPS, games, educational apps, organizational apps. etc. Confession, Calendar app,
Home Routines ( works well with Fly Lady)

calendar app, Memorize Famous Poems,  Memorize Now, Smart Recorder (Smart Recorder), Montessori apps,

Montessori app:

Bobs books now has interactive reading apps:

Many other educational apps.
iPad educational apps with the kids, the organizational apps for mom, check e-mails and access to all Kindle books and audible books.
Learning and Teaching with iPads

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