This week in class we were able to work in groups creating our own "Wiki" through Google. It was definitely an experience, and quite confusing at first. I think that using wikis in the classroom in the future is a great way to get all students involved, working together as a team. Using the wiki was confusing for our group because we were all trying to use it at the same time, if we assigned students a weekend or week long project to use the wiki and collaborate on a project together it would be a great tool for them to use. Students could post pictures, videos, games, and websites found online that would help them with their assigned project to be shared with group members. Another great feature about the wiki is that it would allow students to work on their language arts as well. Students would be able to read their group members work, edit it, help write better structured sentences and paragraphs, etc.
As I was working on the wiki project I had the opportunity to look on the Internet for different ideas to incorporate technology into the classroom. My group and I mainly focused on finding tools that would help us teach math, but it really opened my eyes to how much there is out there! Every website I looked on there was a new great tool I could use in the classroom to help illustrate ideas, practice problems, and teach with. I especially enjoyed the University of Utah's website with it's applets. The different tools I found there could be used in so many ways! I was working with a graph making application. I would graph points on the graph and using that information I could see trends, correlations, outliers, etc. The possibilities are endless with a tool like this. One idea I had for using this tool was integrating math and science together. As a class we could look at the number of boys vs. number of girls. Which number is the most popular favorite number, which color is the most popular. We could also use things outside of the classroom where students need to gather data and bring it to class the next day to share. From the data gathered we would be able to make a graph and discuss it as a class. And this is just one of the tools I found on the Internet today!
Today I definitely learned that integrating technology into the classroom is easier than I think it is. There is so much information out there for us to use, as long as we take the time to prepare and search for material we will be able to use technology in our own classrooms that will be engaging and interesting for our students.