Saturday, January 18, 2014

Three Old School Tech Integration Tips

Keeping up with the latest emerging technology is harder than keeping up with the Jones family three blocks down. Every conference I attend focuses on what is new, hot, and emerging in the field of instructional technology. Sometimes the seasoned professionals at these conferences forget that the majority of their audience has little to no experience with true integration of technology in the classroom. In my seven years of technology leadership, I discovered that the 20-60-20 rule applies the majority of the time when training people. The bottom 20 percent could care less what you say, the top 20 percent will immediately jump on board the bus, and 60 percent (most of your audience) is on the fence. The goal is to convert the 60 percent towards the top 20 percent.

Let's grab the Member's Only jacket, acid washed jeans, your latest mixed tape, and journey back a few years to some old school basic tips that may just grab a hold of the 60 percent. We are going to cover  my three favorite tips for converting people to the world of technology integration. Start with screen capturing, ease into my favorite SMART Notebook move, and then finish with the best Google search tip of all time.

Screen Capture:
Visual reference points are desired by most students and teachers when it comes to effective written directions. Screen capturing software allows users to grab anything on their screen and save it as an image. Most computers have built-in screen capture software, but my all time favorite is Gadwin PrintScreen. Gadwin is free and provides multiple capturing options such as full screen, window, or rectangular.  Instead of telling your students to click on the sideways, slanted looking I, give them a cool screen capture as a visual reference (see below).

SMART Notebook Screen Shade:
This simple tool packs a lot of power, and helps the teacher to build excitement about the lesson. Screen Shade covers the screen in Notebook, and allows the teacher to reveal certain parts of the screen when they are ready for the audience to see it.

  • Directions from SMART (Notice the Screen Capture being used in the directions)
  • YouTube Video with directions and more examples (2:59 in length)

Using quotes in Google Search:
If you want to search for an exact phrase or word in Google Search, go ahead and put quotes around your phrase or word (e.g., "Win the lottery") You can reduce the number of search results by the millions. This will help you research lessons more efficiently, and create more accurate guides to help your students research curriculum topics.

Abraham Lincoln without quotes 92 million, with quotes 41 million
Repairing my VCR without quotes 3 million, with quotes 10,000
Flux Capacitor without quotes 3.1 million, with quotes 1.1 million