What We're All About

CU Students have teamed together this year to learn through exploration how to manipulate many different instructional technologies. In time we hope to branch out and share our knowledge with other educators and peers.
We'd like to serve as a resource to our fellow future educators and professors of Education who would like to put that SmartBoard to use in their classroom, or learn how to use podcasts in the classroom as tools for parent involvement or student assessments. The possibilities are endless!
Your local Clemson Geek Squad


Google Earth in Kindergarten

I decided to use Google Earth this week in my Kindergarten class. We used it on Tuesday to start our unit about the presidents. We talked about where we lived (city, state, country) and I showed them these things on the map. We zoomed in to Dacusville and were able to see the elementary and middle school which they loved! Then we flew to Washington, D.C. to talk about where the president lives. I was able to show them pictures of the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Smithsonian(which we discussed with one of our read-alouds)and many other places in Washington. The students really enjoyed this and did not speak or move from their carpet square during the entire lesson. I think this was a really important thing to do because for many of these students Greenville is the biggest place they have ever been. This allowed them to travel to another place and see sites that they would not usually be able to see. It is also made talking about the president make more since to them because they could relate it to the big white house they saw. I think this lesson went really well and I plan on using google earth again during our St. Partrick's Day themed week to dicuss Ireland.

Our First Lesson

Here are some pictures from our first lesson on Monday! You can read about what we did under the comments section of the Club 245 Spring Semester post! On the left Tony is showing the students how to use inspiration, and on the right I am showing the students a video about
habitats and we are discussing them.
Jennifer and Tony


Learning to Adapt

Well, I haven't given up on the idea of using virtual museums in my 2nd grade classroom. But last week, after my first failed attempt, I decided to try a different approach. Adapt...that's what teachers do, right?

We're still studying the regions of the United States, but this past week's lesson was on the southern region. My cooperating teacher suggested I let the students help me pick the photos for the museum. She suggested I put together a slideshow of photos that would allow me to talk about the characteristics and history of the south, interspersing a few "out of place" photos (to get the students involved). So I put together a Power Point with photos of typical things like fried chicken, kudzu, an old photo of slaves in a cotton field...and then I threw in a photo of the royal palace in Spain, of Thai food, etc; things that didn't belong.

Then as the students and I viewed each picture, one-by-one, we all exclaimed with either a "ding! ding! ding! (if the photo belonged to the southern region) or "boooooooo!" (if it didn't). THEY LOVED THE LESSON!

Interestingly enough, we had really good discussions too.

I would suggest this activity to anyone who wants to put together a virtual museum for younger grades (who knows, maybe even the older grades would enjoy it too).

I'm thinking I'll use the museum of each region when we review for the test at the end of the unit. I'm still marveling, though, over how something less "cool-looking" (a powerpoint slideshow) was more entertaining to the students than the virtual museum. Just comes to show, "ownership" activities are what make the difference, not just the beauty of the presentation.


Importance of Technology in Education

One of this semester's projects includes the beginning stages of a project that we will undertake next semester: a movie that demonstrates the importance of using technology in the classroom. This movie will be comprised of several compiled and edited interviews of all levels of people involved in education (students, pre-service teachers, classroom teachers, tech coaches, tech coordinators, principals, district level people) discussing the importance of technology in education.

As a team, we need to come up with some questions that would be useful in the interview process. Please add to this discussion (by adding a comment) and include at least one question that you think might be useful.



Technology in Kindergarten

I am constantly impressed by the kindergarteners in my class and their ability to successfully use the technology. Every morning when I conduct our morning meeting it is done almost completely on the promethian board. It is completely interactive. The students are able to move a mouse to the number of days we have been in school, they are able to choose which counting song they want to hear, move the weather for the day to our chart, play songs to help them in spelling color words, play songs about the days of the week and the months of the year, and count down from ten. I love how smoothly this helps the morning meeting to run and how engaged the students are. I am currently working with my teacher to add in interactive slides that deal with money and time. I think this will be a great way to improve the morning meeting and keep the students involved. I am also working with my teacher to find different ways to use the board during centers. I am excited to experiment with new ideas with this class because they are very interested in using technology.

Technology in First Grade

Well, so far student teaching in first grade has been going really well! I have attempted to bring in some extra technology by using the Promethean Board daily and attempting to let the students use the board more often. My cooperating teacher is completely open to this so I am trying my best to incorporate more and more technology into my daily lessons as I take over more of the day. In a few weeks we are having technology night at our school to educate parents about the technology used in the classroom with their students and about Internet safety at home and school. I will be preparing a Photo Story to display in the classroom as parents come in before the presentation begins. My cooperating teacher is really excited to show this to parents and thinks that they will be very impressed by it. I am looking forward to seeing thier reactions. I am also trying to create a virtual museum for my students to work with during their "Promethean Board Center". So I will let everyone know how it goes and hopefully I will have some pictures to show everyone of my students working with technology.

Virtual Museums

After having my socks blown off by how easy and impressive the virtual museums are, I decided to use it with my 2nd graders this week. We are studying the regions of the United States (tied in with tall tales). I figured, "If you can't be there in person, what better way to see New England than to take a virtual tour of it, right?!" I was so pumped...

And then the lesson crashed and burned.

The students were so bored. It really felt like I was taking highschool students through a museum that they had no desire to tour. It didn't matter that there were cool links throughout the powerpoint. It didn't matter that I had spent over an hour looking for interesting photos that captured the essence of New England.

Come to find out, some of my second graders have never even been to a museum in their lives.

Why would they be interested to tour a virtual museum when they have never even seen a been in a real museum before. I'm realizing that 2nd graders need hands-on activities along with photos, but what activities exactly?

I'm not going to give up on using the virtual museums though. Our next region is the southeast. Does anyone have any suggestions how I can help the children take ownership of these museums as we tour them?


We have been using technology more and more! The picture on the right shows a student answering a question on the Promethean Board by moving the answer. The picture on the left shows us using the Activotes as a review. I will be teaching a lesson on Tuesday that will use the Promethean Board and a movie I make :)