Technology in the Classroom {{ currentPage ? currentPage.title : "" }}

Case Study 1

PowerPoint and Prezi are both technology sources used for presentations. There are pros and cons to both. They have some similarities and some differences. Some people prefer one over the other. When I was using PowerPoint, I found that it was very user friendly. I did not prefer Prezi as much because I found that it was hard to understand and I became frustrated with it. The most accurate comparison of the two I found stated “if PowerPoint is lined paper and a pen, then Prezi is a canvas and finger paint” (Top 5 Reasons to Use Prezi).

            The pros of PowerPoint for me is that it was user friendly. I found that it was easy to choose a layout. It was also easy to insert text and images when needed. I did not have to spend unnecessary time trying to find buttons and format options, everything was right in front of me. There was not as much flexibility as Prezi allowed but everything in PowerPoint was structured well. PowerPoint can also be printed easily. “You can print each slide directly from PowerPoint. Then you can copy those slides to become a helpful hand-out that can be given to each presentation participant” (10 Pros and Cons of Powerpoint Presentations).

            The cons of PowerPoint is that it cannot be pulled up on any computer. The software for PowerPoint must be purchased and downloaded to that computer or the user cannot pull up their presentation. Like I stated above, there is not as much flexibility in PowerPoint as there is in Prezi. PowerPoint can seem boring to the audience as well if it is not used well.

            Prezi can be extremely useful for teachers who have web-based classrooms. Not all students have Microsoft Office readily available but it is more likely that they have internet access. Accessibility is a huge advantage to Prezi. It also has a lot of flexibility because it is an open canvas. The user can jump from any point in the canvas and make the presentations go back to a certain slide as many times as they would like. “As with anything new, there is a learning curve and in the event that you may not have the time to learn the tool yourself and then teach it to your students, you may want to pass on Prezi (Prezi – Advantages and Disadvantages). Prezi is good for people who are creative and like flashy presentations. It is good for keeping an audience entertained.

            I did not find Prezi to be user friendly. I had a hard time trying to navigate through the presentation and make the slides just like I wanted them. Another con is that you have to be connected to the internet if you want to edit your presentation. It can become too busy if you allow yourself to get carried away with animations.

            Overall, I preferred PowerPoint. I think that I would be able to use it in my classroom without getting overwhelmed trying to create it. I found that it was easier to google how to do something on the PowerPoint if I did not know how to off the top of my head. Prezi was too complicated for me and too time consuming. It also required too much creativity. Most of the educators I found commenting also preferred PowerPoint over Prezi.



Case Study 2

A word cloud is a group of words that are put closely together in order to build a shape. The words are all randomly sized and can be placed going in different directions. The key words that the creator wants the audience to focus on are usually larger, bolder, and in the middle of this cloud of words. These can be very helpful in an education setting.

            A word cloud is important to an educational atmosphere because it grabs the attention of the audience. The busy and colorful display makes the mind work to see the words within the word cloud. If a word cloud is built right, it can be a very effective tool in the education world.

            There are many ways that a word cloud can be used in education. It can be used as an alternative to a “word wall”. This can be a fun way to bring new vocabulary into the classroom. The major words that the educator is focusing on can be made larger and bolder.

The students can even use this as a tool to help them when they are doing writing workshops. The educator could make a word cloud of simple, boring words that the children tend to lean on and then have a second one close by it that contains more exciting words that could be used interchangeably with the other words.

One of the examples that I read on that I really liked was to “Ask each student to write a list of words to describe themselves: what they like, what they did over the summer, things they’re good at, things they’re interested in, etcetera”. I thought that this was a really cool idea. Once the students were finished with their responses, the teacher could compile all their answers and make a word cloud from it. The things that most students have in common would obviously be bigger and considered the “key words” within the word cloud. This would be an easier way for students who are shy to get to know their classmates without asking them to stand and introduce themselves. This method could decrease the likelihood that students become uncomfortable and embarrassed.

Word clouds could also be used to help students remember the key concepts that a test will be focusing on. They could be used as a study tool. The concepts that are going to be a major portion of the test or that the test is going to mainly focus on and around could be the larger, bolder words. The other parts that students may need to remember could be scattered around the main focus concepts.

I have personally been in classrooms where word clouds are used as inspirational tools. I think that this is an important way to use word clouds. Although most students may think of these types of word clouds as classroom decoration, this use of a word cloud could be the pick-me-up that another student needed to read that day. School can be hard for some children and if there is a constant reminder that they are able to look at and read on a daily basis, this may get them through the educational period.

There was also a link given that people could use to create a poll. Once the poll was answered, the creator of the poll could use these answers to create a word cloud. Obviously, the answers that were chosen the most would be bug in the large, bold font. The other answers that were not chosen as much could be dispersed around in the smaller font. This use of a word cloud could show what people like more or what they are more likely to choose. The order of popularity is shown through the size and depth of the font of each answer within the word cloud.

Word clouds are very useful in education because “A word cloud’s straight-forward, objective data display might give you some extra insight when it comes to analyzing your teacher evaluations” (Kern). Word clouds bring many elements to the classrooms. They are fun, easy, and can brighten up any boring assignment or plain wall.

Case Study 3

Software Package #1: Sawyer Tools


·         There are no installation directions.

·          No installation, it is a sign up and make an account software.


·          Yes, documentation is clear and accurate.

·          Not for student use. A teacher and parents would use this software.

·          Yes

·          Yes, the designs are easy to read.

·         No additional plug-ins are required.


·          Yes

·          Not applicable

·          Yes

·          Yes

·         Yes


·          Yes, this program allows teachers and parents to manage students/ children with ease.

·          Not applicable

·          Yes

·         Yes, it saves time.


·         I do not know because I did not use technical support.

·          No

·          No but it is not needed.


Software Package #2: Wormhole Classrooms


·         The installation directions are not clear.

·          Not applicable. Only for iOS and I have a PC.


·          No, documentation is not clear.

·          Yes, students can use this to communicate online.

·          No, there were many errors.

·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·         Not applicable. I could not download.


·         Not applicable. I could not download.

·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·         Not applicable. I could not download.


·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·          Yes

·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·         This program is intended to save time but not sure because I could not install it.


·          Not applicable. I could not download.

·         Not applicable. I could not download.

·         Not applicable. I could not download.



After looking into these two software packages, I would not use either of these in my future classroom. Sawyer Tools is a website that allows for teachers and parents to manage their class and children. This site seemed to be nonbeneficial for all teachers and parents because the programs seemed to be centered around New York and Los Angeles. Also, it would not be very beneficial if something were to happen to the internet because it is a website rather than a downloadable software. I found that the second software package was not useful to me because it was not compatible to my computer. Wormhole would only be compatible with schools that use Apple computers. I was turned off by this website when I first opened the website because many of the words were misspelt. Overall, I did not like either of the sites but I think that Sawyertools was the better of the two. I think that it would be much better if they were to improve nationwide accessibility.

Case Study 4

I created a WebQuest on a website called This website was very similar to the Wikiful software. I did liken Wikiful better because I found that it was more user friendly. Wikiful allowed for easy customization and editing of the WebQuest. The website that I found was dull and boring. I would probably never use this site to create another WebQuest. I had originally chosen to look at this website because it seemed to have a similar setup to Wikiful. As I began to search around for ways to edit and customize, I found that this site was severely lacking. There was no way for me to even add pictures. It was easy however, to add a link. I would much rathwr use Wikiful than this site every again. If I do have to create a WebQuest in the future, I know right off hand which site that I will not be choosing to use.


Below is my “play with” example:


Case Study 5

I am going to write this case study on subjects being taught with the use of technology in the classroom. I have recently been observing a third grade classroom in Colleton County School District. These students use their  Google Chromebooks a lot to do assignments. They spend most of the time used for math on these Chromebooks.

            The teacher will instruct the students to check “Echo”. This piece of technology is very interesting as well. It has the ability to store a daily agenda not only for the students, but the teachers as well. The teacher can upload links to the websites that will be used that day. He/she can also write letters to the students about what is expected of them on that day. This site can also be used to communicate with parents.

            ECHO is a website that is used in New Tech schools. This website allows the students to know the plan for the day and also allows them to become independent and take control of their own learning. The theory behind these schools is to have students use project-based learning to increase their critical-thinking skills. It also allows them to essentially work at their own pace with a teacher to guide them in the right direction.

            ECHO is monitored by the New Tech corporation. So, they have access to what the students’ are being assigned on any particular day. When I was observing in this classroom, the teacher would have assignments for the students already written in ECHO, daily. The students would have assignments that they “MUST DO” and assignments that they “CAN DO”. This helped with students who are early finishers and needed extra work. Most of the “CAN DO” items were math websites.

One of the websites that the students seemed to enjoy was called Prodigy. It was a game similar to the Sims but it was learning based. This was another source I would probably use in my classroom because it was aligned with their standards and the students really seemed to enjoy it.

I really liked how ECHO was set up. I like the idea of allowing students to be independent and take control of their own learning (with teacher guidance). I also like that teachers could use this source to upload their sources and worksheets for students. They could pull these lessons later on and save them to another source, but as long as they were on ECHO, they were not lost. I think that this is a great source and I was really excited to lean about it during my observations.


Links to both sites mentioned:


Instructional Technology Plan:

My classroom needs a way to keep grades orderly. It is important to me to keep students grades safe and secure while also getting the grades back to them in a timely manner. Gradekeeper computes grades, does seating charts, prints reports, and sends email progress reports. Gradekeeper not only keeps the students aware of their grades but also their parents. An involved community is another goal that I have for my classroom.

            Vocabmaker will be a great tool for my classroom because it will allow the students to have fun while they learn new words. There are many different games that can be played using an assigned vocabulary list that the teacher has given. The students will be engaged with this software because it be fun for them. I want my students to be able to increase their vocabulary while enjoying the class.

            We need our classroom to be involved. Using this resource will allow the teacher to be interactive with not only the students in the classroom also their parents. It is compatible with many systems so it fits into the classroom very well. This technology will allow students to know their grades very quickly. It also frees up a lot of time for the teacher because the grades are computed once the assignment and grade is entered in the system.I need my students to be engaged with the word lists they receive. This software will allow them to study their words while having fun. There are multiple games which means that they will not become disengaged because they have many options

            I hope to be more efficient in the classroom. I hope that this technology (GradeKeeper) will leave me with more time to actually teach my students. This technology will help me to organize groups. It will also help me to save time on calculating the students grades.

            Vocabmaker will help me to keep the students engaged with the lesson. I hope to make an entertaining space for my students to learn. I think this technology will help me to do that.

            The school district already has Windows. Windows is one of the accepted programs that GradeKeeper is compatible with. This supports my objectives because it will only cost for the program itself rather than charging for everything. It will be efficient in helping in my classroom because it will be save everyone time and money in the end.

            Computers will be needed to use Vocabmaker but the school should already have that.

            The only software that the school would need to purchase is the GradeKeeper software. It is fairly inexpensive and could help the entire school.

            The only software necessary for use of this software is the Vacabmaker software.

            The website itself gives teachers information on how to use the software. The teachers could then pass on information to their students on how to operate the system.

            The website explains how to use Vocabmaker and the teacher will have to give the students instructions on how to use it.

            The school could maintain this new system as far as making sure that it is up-to-date on the software. The teacher could also purchase this system on their own which would mean that they are in charge or maintenance.

            The teacher will have to pay their yearly membership to Vocabmaker to be able to use it. They also will have to update the program with the new vocabulary lists periodically.

            For an individual, the cost is only 20 dollars (GradeKeeper). The entire school could use the program for 100 dollars. The entire district could use it for 500 dollars.

            There is a yearly membership fee of 22.95 to use Vocabmaker.

            They effectiveness of the technology purchases will be measured by how much time this program actually saves the teachers. Both in class and in home time would be counted toward this.

            The effectiveness of Vocabmaker will be measured by how engaged the students are with the lesson and their word lists.


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