Leveraging Technology in the Classroom

Leveraging Technology in the Classroom By Kate Frasure, Customer Development Manager

When I think back to my education, I remember when I took that time to type a paper, my teacher would acknowledge this as going “above-and-beyond,” and if I gave a presentation utilizing PowerPoint, I would receive extra credit.
Today, typing a paper is a standard and using PowerPoint is a requirement. I even had a class, when I was in college, which devoted time to teach you how to properly setup a
PowerPoint presentation; and now there are even more presentation tools to choose from, such as Prezi and Google Slides.
With nuances such as these now becoming a standard in schools, and a workforce that relies on its employees to understand and utilize this technology every day, it certainly begs the question of how are students gaining this knowledge to use technology if resources are not made readily available to them in their school?
On March 13th of this year, many educators took part in Digital Learning Day, which is a day set aside to promote the effective use of modern day tools to improve the learning experience of K-12 students across the country. According to the Digital Learning Day website, this yearly awareness started back in 2012 and has been a powerful venue for teachers to share instructional technology programs that are improving student outcomes.
As the website states, “Digital Learning Day is not about technology, it’s about learning. It’s not about laying off teachers for laptops, it’s about enhancing the role of the teacher in America’s classrooms.”
Even if a school does not have the money to provide each student with a laptop, or every teacher with a SMART Board, there are free tools available that with the right mix of teaching and devices can accomplish the same goals.
Educators simply need to shift their focus from viewing technology as a necessary evil and desperately looking for ways to afford a computer for every student, to leveraging the evolving technology that is available to them at little or no cost.
Check out the Digital Learning Day website at, digitallearningday.org, for lesson plans, digital tools and resources to bring technology to your classroom!
Here are a few of my favorite tools I found that you can use in your classroom.
Prezi Prezi
Prezi is a cloud-based presentation software and storytelling tool for presenting ideas on a virtual canvas.
2 Cool for School Factor:
What if PowerPoint could expand out to a full story board, zoom through to different points on the board and visually explain how ideas relate to one another? Well that’s Prezi.
 inkle  Inklewriter
Inklewriter lets students make and play interactive stories with no programming required.
2 Cool for School Factor:
Who wouldn’t want the ability to choose what happens next when one of your favorite characters comes to a critical decision point in a book.
  Globaloria Globaloria
Globaloria teaches students to design, prototype, and code educational web/mobile games and simulations with industry-standard technology.
2 Cool for School Factor:
Learn how to design and build a virtual game while you are at school, sign me up!
About the author:
Kate Frasure is a Texas-born, Colorado-raised project manager. In her role as Customer Development Manager at Managed Solution, she oversees the process of bringing new clients on board and various other IT projects. Her diverse communications background and attention-to-detail contribute to her passion to improve processes to see businesses succeed. She is continuously looking to find the organization and flow that accompanies a streamlined business.
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