beam team logoThe Learning Experience

What does it take to make technology worth the time and effort? It's really about the learning experience that technology can help provide. Use the following resources as you reflect on your current uses of technology and consider ways to impact the learning experience through technology.

Technology for Young Learners Workshop

K-5 Learning Center Workshop

General Resources

Grade Level Resources

Grade Levels K-3 Internet Resources

Grade Levels 4-6 Internet Resources

Middle School/JrHi Internet Resources

High School Internet Resources

Special Needs and Technology from Teacher Tap


Guiding Questions

As you explore technologies and resources, consider what technology adds to the learning experience. Is it worth the time and effort?

  • What does technology add to the learning experience?
  • Does it make the experience more effective, efficient, or appealing?
  • Could this activity be done without the computer? How would it change? What's the cost/benefit of using technology?
  • Does it provide alternative approaches or strategies to meet individual differences?
  • Does it provide varied examples, nonexamples, or alternative perspectives?
  • Does it focus on a different intelligence for information exploration, involvement, or review?
    Life cycles provides a kinesthetic way to identify parts of a plant by dissecting a plant.

Go to BBC Schools, then click on your age level Preschool, 4-11, 11-16, 16+. Great science for ages 5-6, 6-7, 7-8, 8-9, 9-10, 10-11. Identify a good example of effective technology use.
Go to Scholastic, then click Pre-K, 1-2, 3-5, 6-12.
Create an Inspiration document showing good examples for your grade level.

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Technology-Rich Learning Experiences

What does it take to make technology worth the time and effort? It's really about the learning experience that technology can help provide. Technology can enrich the learning experience at least eight ways.

Explore the Es of the learning environment: excite, enhance, engage, experiment, exchange, and explore.

Excite. WebQuests provide an inquiry-based learning environment that brings meaning and excitement to classroom activities. Go to for examples. Learn more at Teacher Tap: WebQuests. For example, the Back In Time WebQuest focuses on historical fiction. Many teachers use 42explore projects to supplement, locate, or adapt WebQuests.

gopher up your sleeve

Enhance. Technology can provide scenarios and interdisciplinary connections to enhance learning. For example, after reading the book Gopher Up Your Sleeve by Tony Johnston students might use the enature website to learn more about the animals in the poems and write an electronic postcard. Use resources that will interest students such as graphic novels as a starting point. Or, use audio resources such as a National Public Radio program. Involve students in visual resources such as reading or interpreting Political Cartoons or creating cartoons.

Engage. Real-world data engage students in activities. Interactive projects, simulations, and what-if situations encourage students to ask questions and seek answers. Explore the games and activities at Scholastic or BBC Schools. Try FrogGuts or Create a Graph, the Human Body.

Experiment. Technology can provide information and tools to help students identify problems, brainstorm ideas, discuss possibilities, test ideas, and draw conclusions. For collaborative opportunities, check out the CIESE project at the Stevens Institute of Technology. Many opportunities to experiment are available online through projects such as Earth Observatory at NASA. Find real-world data at Teacher Tap. Also check out the Real Time Data Sites such as Earthquakes from USGS, Journey North and Birdhouse. Check for news at HeadlineSpot.

Exchange. Help students reach out to the world through global communications. Participating in projects help students exchange ideas, understandings, experiences, perspectives, and interest. For example, consider getting involved with cultural celebrations such as Hispanic-Latino month. Use tools such as epals to make email connections. Use Nicenet for threaded discussions.

Explore. Many students travel no farther than the local mall. Technology can provide experiences visiting places around the world. For example, take a trip on the Mayflower or a trip to the Monterey Bay Aquarium. Virtual Field Trips, Digital and Virtual Libraries, and Digital and Virtual Museums provide these adventures. Try a math adventure at National Math Trail.

Rather than asking students to write book reviews. Ask them to critique, evaluate, compare, then create a book review. Go to Teacher Tap: Book Review Projects for ideas.

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Developed by Annette Lamb, 1/04. Updated, 7/05.