February 20, 2013

Teachers praise technology in classrooms

Print More

By Isabella Shaya
Meridian Times staff writer

Educators showed the Okemos school board on Feb. 11 how technology is helping them teach.

At the Okemos Public School Board of Education meeting Feb. 11, Laura Sauer, an Okemos High School literature teacher, talks about how she uses technology in her classroom. At the Okemos Public School Board of Education meeting Feb. 11, Laura Sauer, an Okemos High School literature teacher, talks about how she uses technology in her classroom. [/caption]

The meeting was also an opportunity for board members to ask questions.

McCarthy, an Okemos High School math teacher, is trying new tools with her students, including an app called Ask3.

McCarthy said the app creators approached her about using it in one of her classes and provided her students with iPads. She agreed to use it in her algebra class, and is providing the app creators with feedback.

Ask3 allows students to make a short video asking classmates a question, and the other students in the class send a reply, she said. If there are three or more students who ask the same question, then the teacher addresses the issue.

McCarthy said this is a great tool for students to collaborate.

She has also flipped her classroom, meaning students watch a video of the lecture at home and do their homework in class.

“(It) just moves the classroom outside of the classroom,” she said. “They are now working in the classroom, rather than being stuck when they are doing the homework at home.”

She said every lesson is published to YouTube so the students can go back and watch it later.

Sauer, an Okemos High School literature teacher, said she uses Google Drive and blogging in her classroom.

She said students can create, edit and then receive feedback about their writing using Google Drive.

“It takes this idea of peer review to a whole other level,” Sauer said. “This has been fantastic for me in terms of seeing inside of students’ heads.”

Sauer said she is also talking to her students about staying safe online and how anything put online is permanent.

Carrier, a science teacher at the high school, said he uses Quia, an online site where the teacher can create custom diagrams and questions, or use quizzes and activities made by other teachers.

The board members, in general, had positive feedback and questions about the presentation.