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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!
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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.

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