Google Showcase Highlights Online Tools for Learning

Posted by Pamela Van Halsema on January 19, 2012 10:39 AM

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On December 8, 2011, the Pre-Service Teacher Technology Showcase provided SSU School of Education pre-service teachers and recent credential students in their first years of teaching with an opportunity to present how they have used or plan to use technology in the classroom to support students and student learning. The Showcase was run like a poster session at a conference and allowed students to share with attendees their unit plans, lessons, or activities that incorporated new media technologies.

The Showcase was created out of a project supported by Google and developed in a collaborative project at the Google Faculty Institute. Three CSU campuses explored online tools and how they are integrated into classroom projects. A special emphasis was placed on geospatial technologies for multidisciplinary, locally relevant lessons for K-12. Cal State Bakersfield, San Diego State and SSU each took part in the collaboration, with Dr. Jessica K. Parker directing the efforts here at Sonoma State.  Students and recent graduates from the Multiple Subject Program, the Single Subject Credential Program, Education Specialist Program presenters, with some demonstrations offered by School of Education Masters students and faculty.

The goal of the Showcase was to highlight how our novice (pre) teachers were integrating technology in their work with students. The focus was not just on the technological tools the teachers are employing but also on the content objectives as well: how are they creating a better learning environment for students through the integration of this technology? We also offered "how-to" stations on Google Earth, Google Docs, and iPad apps for attendees interested in learning about new, cool tools for teaching.

Some examples of the 13 student presentations included a middle school science teacher using Google Maps to highlight plate tectonics and numerous earthquakes; a high school history teacher employing a Flickr gallery to analyze Russian propaganda during the Cold War; a middle school English teacher relying on blogs to stimulate student discussion about students' outside reading books; a high school math teacher using Google Earth to have students learn about the Pythagorean theorem by measuring distance; and special education pre-service teachers using an iPad app called proloquo2go to promote student communication.

Watch the two videos here and hear our students talk about their projects.