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Tech tactics: Technology for Teachers, CourseSmart eTextbook, 3rd Edition

By Carolyn Thorsen

Published by Pearson

Published Date: May 5, 2008

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This concise and practical text describes the major educational computer applications and provides methods for using computer tools effectively in the teaching/learning process.


The author focuses on the word processor, database, spreadsheet, Internet, and hypermedia software–tools that all classrooms with computers have. The text is independent of hardware and equally applicable to Macs or PCs, and speaks to methods that apply across grade levels and disciplines. The text has been extensively class tested and written from the perspective of what will work for teachers. Many helpful models, lesson plans, skill–building tips and activities are included to allow students to pick up this book and put it to use in the classroom right away.

Table of Contents

Chapter One

Teaching with Computers Effectively?    3

Technology Operations and Concepts  3    Learning Environments  4  
  Teaching, Learning, and the Curriculum  5    What Is an Instructional Model?  6    Assessment and Evaluation  7    Productivity and Professional Practice  8    Social, Ethical, Legal, and Human Issues  9  
  Preparing Students for the World of Work  10

Three Kinds of Computer Use    11

Teaching about Computers: Computer Literacy  11    Using
the Computer as a Teacher for Your Students  13    Using a Computer
as a Cognitive Tool  15

Summary    18

References    18

Annotated Resources    20


Chapter Two  

An Introduction to Computers for Teaching   22

Objectives    22

Instructional Models and Computers    25

What Does the Research Say about Using Computers in Classrooms?  26  
  Constructing Technology-Supported Lessons  28

Summary    30

References    30

Annotated Resources    30

Part Two   
The Internet: Information Retrieval
and Communication

Acquiring and judging the value of information and exchanging information are the topics of Part Two of this book. One of the greatest strengths of the Internet is its role as a repository of information. In addition, Internet-based communication, including e-mail and web-based conferencing, helps students acquire information from each other and from experts. It provides opportunities for collaboration
during problem-based learning activities. Furthermore, the Internet is becoming
a classroom itself. It is a medium in which a broad range of courses and learning activities are available for both children and adults. In addition to its role as a repository for information, the Internet is a powerful tool for communication.
You will learn how to design instruction based on communication over the Internet. As your students use the Internet for this purpose, they will improve their writing skills as they acquire information.


Chapter Three  
Information Retrieval                                                   32

Objectives    32

A Short History of the Internet    32

The Modern Internet    34

Using the Internet for Research    35

Asking Questions  35    Accessing Information  37    Analyzing  39  
  The WebQuest  42    Copyright Issues and the Internet  45    Bloom’s Taxonomy and Internet Research  47

Listservs    48

Distance Learning    50

Interactive Television  50    Internet-Based Courses  51    Summary
of Key Elements of Distance Instruction  52

Summary    52

References    53

Annotated Resources    55


Chapter Four 
Web Tools: E-mail and Discussion Boards  58

Objectives    58

E-mail    59

Discussion Boards    62

A More Elaborate Use of E-mail    67

Asynchronous Communication: Tools and Methods    71

E-mail  71    Web Boards  73    Keeping Track in a Discussion: Three Ways  74    Search Function  75    Discussion Monitoring  77    Planning and Evaluating Asynchronous Communication Projects  78

Summary    81

References    81

Annotated Resources    81

Part Three   Displaying Information

Before the computer, students had fewer formats in which they could display
information. They wrote most reports in text–handwritten or typewritten. Some students would cut pictures out of magazines to include with reports. All charts and graphs were hand made and hand calculated. Students with poor writing
skills had limited opportunities to work with many facts and ideas on the higher levels of Bloom’s taxonomy because they had to be more concerned with pro­ducing a legible product with passable grammar. This is not to say that legibility and grammar are not important, but a focus on them can keep students from learning other skills that are just as important. Presentation software and word processors allow students to work with large ideas and concepts, much as the
calculator shifts students from a focus on computational errors to looking at the large ideas in mathematics.

The process that students use to display information in a computer-based presentation provides opportunities for them to organize and contextualize the
information. Organizing information, or, better, finding the organization that is inherent in information, is one way to learn it well (Gagne et al., 1993; Woolfolk, 2000).*

*References for Woolfolk and Gagne et al. appear in Chapters 5 and 6, respectively.


Chapter Five  
Presentation Software                                                 83

Objectives    83

Office Suites and Teachers–How Do They Apply
to Classrooms?    83

Capabilities of Office Suites  83    Office Suites and Projects  83

Presentation Software    86

Displaying Information: Key to Creating Understanding  88  
  The Role of Interactivity  88

Executing a Hypermedia-Supported Lesson Plan    91

Summary    92

References    93

Annotated Resources    93


Chapter Six  
Graphic and Interface Design Principles                       94

Objectives    94

Rule 1: Use General Design Principles  95    Rule 2: Orient
Users  95    Rule 3: Justify Text Appropriately  97    Rule 4: Limit Type Styles  98    Rule 5: Limit Colors  98    Rule 6: Standardize Use
of Colors  99    Rule 7: Enhance Text with Graphics and Interactivity  99    Rule 8: Eliminate Superfluous Items  99    Rule 9: Use Upper-
and Lowercase  99    
Rule 10: Keep Text Lines Short  100    Rule 11:
Use Single Spacing  100    Rule 12: Simplify the Structure  100    Rule 13: Limit the Focus  100    Rule 14: Provide Emphasis  101    Rule 15: Know Your Audience  101    
Rule 16: Do Not Flash  101    Rule 17: Use Lists  102    Rule 18: Navigate Consistently  102    Rule 19: Do Not
Stack Text  102    Rule 20: Include Multiple Graphic Types  102    Rule 21: Organize the Screen  102    Rule 22: Size Matters  103    Rule 23: Placement Matters  103

Summary    105

References    105

Annotated Resources    105


Chapter Seven 
Outlines, Idea Maps, and Storyboards                        107

Objectives    107

Outlines    108

Idea Maps    109

Concepts: Examples and Properties  111    Questions and Answers about
Idea Mapping  113

Storyboards    120

Branching    121

Hot Words  121    Hot Graphics  122    Icons  122  
  Menus  122    Branches That Help Users Get around
in the Software    123

Summary    126

References    129

Annotated Resources    129


Chapter Eight 
Evaluating Student Presentations       131

Objectives    131

Rubrics    131

Creating Standards for Your Students  132    Some Notes
on the Components of the Rubrics  134

Questions and Answers about Using Multimedia
Presentations    140

Summary    141

References    142


Chapter Nine 
Educational Applications of Word Processing        143

Objectives    143

Management Issues: How Many Computers
Do You Have?    144

One-Computer Classroom  144    Five-Computer Classroom:
“Jigsaw Model”  144    Laboratory  145

The Models: Using the Word Processor to Teach
Content and Skills    145

High-Level Analysis and Skills  146    Targeted Learning Problems  151

Word Processing Tips    151

Bullets and Numbered Lists  151    Using Tables to Organize
Information  152    Making Links to the Internet  152  
  Importing Information from Other Applications  154    Spelling
and Spell Checkers  154    Readability Statistics and Grammar
Checkers  156

Text-Reading Software    157

Summary    161

References    161

Annotated Resources    162

Part Four   
Analyzing Data with Databases
and Spreadsheets


Chapter Ten  

Databases: What They Are and How They Work         163

Objectives    163

Solving Problems Outside the Classroom: Three Stories    164

A Business Problem  164    A Scientific Problem  164  
  An Ethical and Sociological Problem  164    Databases Help
People Think about Difficult Problems  165

Databases in the Classroom    165

How Do Databases Support Student Learning?  166    What Do
Students and Teachers Need to Know?  167

Getting Started: Teaching the Tool    167

Form View  168    Table View or List View  169

Sorts and Queries    172

The Sort: Putting Information in Order  172    The Query: Classifying Information  175    Grade-Level Suggestions  178    How to Provide Student Assistance  179

Planning Your Database    182

Summary    184

References    185


Chapter Eleven  
Building a Database-Supported Lesson       186

Objectives     186

Templates for Building Database-Supported Lessons    186

Learning with a Database: Describing an Unknown    188

Analyzing a Lesson Plan    193

Understanding the Steps    195

Set Up the Problem  195    Teach the Nature of the Questioning
Process  199    Focus and Explore  200    Students Write Their
Own Questions  201    Require a Product  204    Have Students
Make Comparisons  204    Encourage Students to Resolve
Discrepancies  205    Encourage Students to Think about Using
Databases to Solve Other Problems  205

Summative Evaluation of a Database Project    205

Summary    209

References    210

Annotated Resources    210


Chapter Twelve  

Acquiring Data         212

Objectives    212

How Do Teachers Acquire Datasets?    212

Data on the Internet: Examples of Some Good Sites  213

Formatting Data for Use in a Database    215

Technique 1: Making Raw Internet Data Usable  215    Technique 2: Internet Databases with Their Own Search Engines  218    Technique 3: Building Your Own Database  219

Summary    220

References    220

Annotated Resources    221


Chapter Thirteen  
Using Spreadsheets to Think
about Numbers                                                         223

Objectives    223

Numbers as Tools beyond Math    223

Choosing the Problem  225

The Versatile Spreadsheet    225

Easy Spreadsheet Tools  225

Descriptive Statistics    228

Example: Understanding How Soil Affects Plants  228

Descriptive Statistics: What Do They Mean?    233

Mode  234    Median  234    Mean  235    Mean,
Median, and Mode and Scales of Measurement  235    Standard
Deviation  237

Using Simple Arithmetic Outside the Math Class  237

Charts and Graphs    240

Bar Charts and Column Charts  240    Pie Charts  242    Area Charts and Bar Charts–Looking at Data over Time  243    Pivot
Tables  243    Formulas  244

A Model for Spreadsheet Use    247

Bloom’s Taxonomy and Spreadsheets    247

Summary    247

References    249

Annotated Resources    250

Appendix A  Your Network                                    251

Appendix B  File Management                               259

Appendix C  Chat and Internet Conferencing          263

White Board    263

Application Sharing    264

File Sharing    266

Advantages and Disadvantages     266

Audio and Video Conferencing    267

Appendix D  Concept Maps                                   273

Idea Maps for Events    277

Looking at the Big Picture    283

Appendix E  
Sample Database for an English Class                        287

American Society Reflected in Fiction    287

Step 1  288    Step 2  288    Step 3  289    Step 4  289

Index    291

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Tech tactics: Technology for Teachers, CourseSmart eTextbook, 3rd Edition
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$46.99 | ISBN-13: 978-0-13-714489-1