DeathtoStock_Medium6.jpgAt the 2015 National Forum on Character Education, I visited the Center for Civil & Human Rights with a group of educators. I ran into another conference attendee and asked her how she was liked the museum. She excitedly informed me that she was able to videochat one of the classes at her school, using Skype. A group of elementary school students in New York experienced part of this amazing museum in Atlanta, right from their very own classroom. I was amazed by the power of technology to enhance education when you think creatively.

During February, we’ll be posting about how you can harness these powerful technology tools to enhance your teaching and students’ learning.

Still unconvinced you need to enhance your use of technology in the classroom? Start by reading 10 Reasons Today’s Students NEED Technology in the Classroom.

Technology can help you and your class connect with others, build relationships and learn about the world.

As the educator at the conference demonstrated, Skype is a powerful tool. There are plenty of other video-chatting options, but Skype is one of the most popular. You can skype to connect with your class’s favorite authors, interview an expert on a topic your class is researching or even stay in touch with a student who moved away. Check out the Skype in the Classroom blog for more great ideas.

The Skype in the Classroom webpage helps by offering ways to hear from guest speakers, take virtual field trips and connect with other classes around the world using Mystery Skype,

Technology can help students develop good habits & values like creativity, responsibility, organization and kindness.

Evernote is a great way to help you keep your lesson plans in order and your students keep their assignments organized. Whether you’re just thinking about getting started with Evernote or you’re an old pro, I recommend reading “5 Tips to Use Evernote For Academic Achievement,” by Taylor Pipes.

Too often anonymity on the internet leads to bullying and negativity. Use your technology tools to spread kindness, anonymously or not! Read about students at Academie Lafayette (Kansas City, Missouri) that created an instagram account to post compliments about their peers in our bullying prevention blog post.

Looking to use technology to measure character habits & traits? Jessica Berlinski shares how game-based assessment can help! 

Students are surrounded by technology. Help them learn to use it wisely by discussing digital citizenship.

Edutopia has a great compilation of resources on digital citizenship that can help you begin a dialogue with your class.

Want to learn about Digital Citizenship from educational technology, expert Jason Ohler? Even if you missed his webinar, you don’t have to miss out! You can purchase the recorded online training here!

Get in the social media game – Search the hashtag #digcit to see what others are sharing on the topic!

Above all, be smart and intentional about your technology practices and policies.

Technology is powerful and in many ways inevitable but it can also be disruptive and harmful. Think intentionally about your school, your class and your students. What policies can you develop that will ensure that technology tools don’t become distracting? Here is a great read on the subject: “Schools Seek Balance for Cell Phones in Class” by Linda Matchan.

 

Do you have more ideas or edtech resources to share? Comment below!