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Technology enhances class experience

December 17, 2012
By BRANDON L. SUMMERS, , Messenger News

Dawn Provin, Fair Oaks Middle School science teacher, is using technology to enhance her students' education.

Online resources allows students to continue and even further their education at home.

"I set up a wiki with various pages on it," Provin said. "It allows my students to get on from home any time they want to and it covers the topics we're covering in school. So if they want to enrich themselves on their own time, they can do that."

Among other features, the Wiki also allows students to access Provin's PowerPoint lessons for reference.

"Let's say we're studying ancient Egypt or studying a topic with light and sound, they can access some interactive games that are used for review," she said.

One website, Zondle, allows students to play games to review class lessons and prepare for tests.

"It allows you to put in various ways to ask questions and its review with vocabulary, things like that," Provin said. "You might input 10 or 15 questions. It'll ask them a question and it might be multiple choice, it might be short answer. If they get it right, they get to play a little bit of the game and then it takes them to the next question."

Provin used Zondle in the classroom by allowing students to go on educational online scavenger hunts.

"Step one is to use a site and answer questions by reading, instead of reading a textbook," she said. "When they're done with that step, maybe they have to watch a video clip from YouTube or something."

In addition to comprehension, online resources allow students to review and prepare for tests. Quizlet allows students to review vocabulary, and Edmodo allows students to take multiple choice tests prepared, all prepared by the teacher.

Video clips are also useful. For instance, in teaching about sound.

"There's clips, like, they'll have a speaker under a board and they'll sprinkle salt on it and every time the pitch is higher, for example, the kids get to see how the patterns change," Provin said.

Students growing up with computers and networking are adapted to receiving immediate feedback, and expect it even in their education.

"They're used to their cell phones, they're used to getting only and on their computer on their time," Provin said. "I just thought, I need to make sure I'm aware of what's out there for the kids to make it fun, because that's a hook for them."

Provin does not fear the technology.

"I've been around for 20 years and that's the scary part for a teacher, too. I don't want to be the dinosaur around here," she said. "That was my goal since this summer. I know how these kids are when it comes to learning, what they do at home with their games. It's just instant, it's what they're used to."

These are tools and skills the students will use when entering into the world after school.

"It's a global world," Provin said. "That's what they're going to need."



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