Thursday, May 24, 2012

Interview with a HS History Teacher

This interview is with Mr. Carter. I love working with him because he has great ideas and is willing to try anything with technology. If something doesn't work, he goes onto the next thing without hestitation until he finds something that meets the student's learning objectives.

Mrs. Kyriazis:  What grades/subject do you teach?

Mr. Carter: US History I and II (CP/Honors) 



Mrs. Kyriazis:  How long have you been a teacher?
Mr. Carter: 13 years





Mrs. K: How long have you used technology for productivity? (lesson plan creation, presentations, research etc...)
Mr. Carter: I would say that I've used technology with increasing regularity each year. I started out using it to help augment the textbook. A few years ago I began using it regularly in my classroom presentations. The focus had been on how can it help me do my job. Today, I actively look for ways in which students can use technology to help themselves better understand the material. 


Mrs. Kyriazis: What are some of your favorite tech tools?
Mr. Carter: I love EdSitement. It is a site maintained by the National Endowment for the Humanities. They have terrific lesson plans and they provide links to interactive maps and presentations. They provide tons of primary source documents to be used for interesting lessons. It allows students to dig deeper. I also like Prezi. I am amazed how quickly kids can became adept at using this presentation software. I would be lost without my overhead projection device. 


Mrs. Kyriazis:  When did you start having the students create technology based projects?
Mr. Carter: I started out by having students use simple power points to present research. Occasionally, I would use a web quest that I found online. When the school created your position as tech guru for the classrooms, I felt it was my responsibility to take advantage of a great resource. I've actively tried to add technology to my classroom ever since. 




Mrs. Kyriazis: What are some of your favorite tech tools?
Mr. Carter: I love EdSitement. It is a site maintained by the National Endowment for the Humanities. They have terrific lesson plans and they provide links to interactive maps and presentations. They provide tons of primary source documents to be used for interesting lessons. It allows students to dig deeper. I also like Prezi. I am amazed how quickly kids can became adept at using this presentation software. I would be lost without my overhead projection device. 




Mrs. Kyriazis:  Why do you like using technology in the classroom? How do you feel that it has impacted student learning?
Mr. Carter: Students play, work, and live with technology. If you don't incorporate it into the classroom, then whatever you try to do in the classroom seems outdated and boring. Using technology in the classroom helps them remain interested in the work. I won't say it creates interest, but it certainly helps to maintain it. If I give students a sheet of paper and tell them to draw a political cartoon, chances are I'll get quite a few stick figures back. Put the same students in front of the computer with Pixton and the final product will be much better and they will enjoy it. 


Mrs. Kyriazis: What are some successes you have had with technology?
Mr. Carter: There are too many to list. Simply having the ability to show a 3-5 minute video clip while you are lecturing is an enormous help. How much more interesting is it for students to watch an actual Kamikaze attack than it is to have me describe one. Asking kids to work with primary sources is easy when those resources are a click away. Technology allows students to present research and express themselves better. We can take a virtual field trip to a WWI trench or a student be placed in charge of a convoy heading to Europe during WWII. Interactive games allow them to represent the NAACP lawyers or the school board in Brown v. Board of Education.


Mrs. Kyriazis:If you had an unlimited budget, what pieces of technology would you buy for your classroom? 
Mr. Carter: I would love to toss out the textbooks and subscribe to online texts. Wouldn't a smart board look nice in room 304? I would love to use a product called Voice Thread. I have several lessons that I think I could easily adapt to take advantage of it.


Mr. Carter's Prezi about History! http://prezi.com/x57hoqqeejam/wbhs-history-department-presentation/?auth_key=8689fa70212f9c0e50807d7ea9673e65697ed0c0  

Thank You Mr. Carter!

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