This article presents four technology-integrated activities that engage elementary students in learning. These educational technology activities were designed to be easily duplicated and modified by teachers for their students. The constructivist framework of the activities motivates students to be creative and to use problem-solving skills. Most of the technology-integrated activities were developed using the Internet and/or Microsoft programs that are commonly available, such as MS Word (2007), MS Excel (2007), and MS Paint (2001). The curriculum-designed activities integrate technology into a variety of subject areas; mathematics, science, art, social studies, and language arts. The technology activities included are Playing Musical Computers with Creative Writing; What’s the Connection?; Be an Artist, Paint a Picture-Story; and Where in the World is…? Each technology-integrated activity includes a description, an illustrated example of the activity, engaging activities for student to construct their learning, and ideas for presenting and sharing the projects.
Main Focus: Technology Integrated Activities
Playing Musical Computers Creative Writing Activity
Playing Musical Computers Creative Writing activity was developed for teacher education and in-service programs, and has proven to be an effective way for teachers to begin integrating technology into their curriculum. This activity is comprised of two parts: picture selection and creative writing. Students begin this activity by opening a blank page in a word-processing program, such as Microsoft Word (2007), and select a designated number of pictures (i.e., four; five; six) from clip art or a picture file to paste on the blank page.
After the students have copied and pasted their pictures, the teacher explains that they are going to play musical computers by moving to a different computer where one of their peers has selected pictures. If a teacher wanted to add a little drama, music could be played while students are moving to different computers. After moving to a computer with pictures that were selected by a peer, the student then writes a creative story that includes all the pictures selected by their peer, Figure 1. The assortment and selection of pictures usually inspire the students to write creative and interesting stories.
Sample page for musical computers and writing activity.
Key Terms in this Chapter
Spreadsheet Program: A software program that creates a worksheet of rows and columns to enter and manipulate data.
Drawing Program: A software program that creates digital images.
Template: A predesigned master document that is reusable.
Constructivism: A learning theory that knowledge is constructed by the learner through experience-based activities.
Teaching Strategies: Techniques used by teachers when presenting information to students.
Concept Map: A tool that assists learners in the understanding of the relationships of the main idea and its attributes, also used in brainstorming and planning.
Technology Integration: A variety of technologies used as tools in educational activities to achieve curriculum goals and objectives.
Word-Processing Program: A software program that creates written documents.