Seven Resources to "Get Your Tech On"

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PBS LearningMedia wants to give you the tools you need to navigate and succeed in the digital age of learning. We’ve compiled a short list of favorite technology-themed resources from a larger collection designed to enhance your lesson plans and spark discussion in the classroom. Find the complete PBS LearningMedia collection and enter the Get Your Tech On Sweepstakes for a chance to win tablets for your entire classroom.

How to Make an Interactive Timeline | Grades 6-13+
Interactive timelines are a great way to create dynamic projects exploring topics that lend themselves to a chronological presentation – topics could include a wide variety of content areas including history, of course, but also cultural and creative trends, personal timelines and more. The basic idea of an interactive timeline is that you organize information along a timeline based on dates, and that the elements you include are clickable, so that you can create entries on the timeline that expand and can be explored in more depth, and that can include dynamic media in addition to text.

Technology and You! | Grades 2-5
Watch Ruff Ruffman as he searches for an appropriate balance of technology and media use, in this animated video from RUFF RUFFMAN: HUMBLE MEDIA GENIUS. The much-loved character is back, offering advice about using technology in today's media landscape and guiding students on the appropriate use of this twenty-first century skill.

How to Make a Prezi | Grades 6-13+
Prezi is an online tool for creating presentations that break free of the standard linear slideshow style of presentation that we often encounter. Instead of slides, Prezi presents you with a wide open canvas where you can organize and arrange your visual elements and then create a pathway for playback that zooms from one element to the next, creating a unique dynamic experience. Prezi offers a very robust authoring environment representing limitless possibilities for your creativity. In this video, we’re going to cover the basic tools to get you started.

The Art of Creative Coding | Grades 9-12
Programming plays a huge role in the world that surrounds us, and though its uses are often purely functional, there is a growing community of artists who use the language of code as their medium. Their work includes everything from computer generated art to elaborate interactive installations, all with the goal of expanding our sense of what is possible with digital tools. To simplify the coding process, several platforms and libraries have been assembled to allow coders to cut through the nitty-gritty of programming and focus on the creative aspects of the project.


Engaging Students in Lecture and Lab | Grades 11-13+
In this professional development video from Getting Results, students and their instructors discuss how lab time reinforces what is taught in lecture. One instructor says his goal is to prepare students through lecture, and then apply the learning in a lab. In this video, the students have to understand a mathematical function in order to make a robot work. When students get frustrated in the lab, the instructor guides them with questions. One student says the lab gets results for students by “hammering home” the content. The instructor concurs, saying that he avoids telling his students how to do the problem. Instead, he encourages them to grapple with it themselves.

Teach Civic Engagement Using Social Media | Professional Development
In this one hour self-paced tutorial learn how to implement KQED DO Now in your classroom. KQED Do Now is a weekly activity for students to engage and respond to current issues using social media tools like Twitter. KQED aims to introduce 21st Century skills and add value to learning through the integration of relevant content and new media tools and technologies. Do Now gives students a chance to practice civic engagement and digital citizenship skills while they explore ways to connect topics in their classes to the present day.

Educaching | Professional Development
Students at Woodland School in Barrington, NJ strengthen 21st century skills such as collaboration, critical thinking, creativity, and communication through educaching (educational geocaching). Before the students begin this interactive project, they learn about GPS and satellite technology in the classroom. The 5th through 8th graders then use coordinates and GPS devices to locate physical clues and puzzles hidden on school grounds in a scavenger hunt format. Educaching incorporates language arts, science, history, and math curricula.

Changing Student Lives Through Tech | Professional Development
In this lesson designed for professional development, learn about rapidly emerging fields in advanced technology that may interest your students when considering a career. You will watch videos, explore interactive activities, and answer content-related questions to gain insights into various industries that use advanced technology, the kinds of people working in or training for these jobs, and the skills and education needed to succeed. Then you will research local ATE programs that align with your students’ interests and inquire about internships and other firsthand experiences for high school students to evaluate possible career pathways.

Register for a free PBS LearningMedia account to access more videos, interactives and professional development resources and to create interactive lessons for your students.