Thursday, January 12, 2012

You Have Their Attention When This Happens...

The other day I was having a training session with middle school teachers who are moving into their new building in a couple of days on the equipment they now have access to in their classrooms.  We were talking about all of the new interactive tools they have in their classrooms that they can use with their students when I had a teacher speak up and say what is that?  I was not sure what they were referring to so I asked them to show me what they were talking about by using the Interactive Tablet to click on the Icon in question.

We were looking at ActivOffice, which is an add-on productivity pack for MS PowerPoint 2007, when the teacher noticed in the floating toolbox an Icon that said READ.  I said for them to go ahead and click on it to see what it would do.  The Icon opened up the Ticker Tape Tool which started the scrolling text across the top of the page.  I looked back at the teachers in the room and more than half of them were looking up intently at the tool they had discovered and were all asking questions about how it worked.  So in the midst of one training we went turned in a completely different direction to what a co-worker calls a "Teachable Moment."

I went into a quick discussion on how the Ticker Tape can be used in conjunction with ActivOffice and a PowerPoint to share even more information with the students.  The teachers can setup the ticker tape with any type of information from Science terms, Social Studies dates and places to Math and English terms.  The Art teacher spoke up with a "What about me?"  I responded with enthusiasm that all kind of information can be shared from the names of different artists, sculptors and painters to go along with the images of their works displayed on the PowerPoint.  Music teachers can also benefit from the use of the ticker tape with Lyrics to songs, famous musicians and terminology.  All which can be shared with the students right over the current displayed information.

We even got into a discussion on how they could put their Subject area Essential Questions, morning work, homework assignments, upcoming school information, project information and a myriad of other general announcements.  All which could then be used over and over again because they have the ability to save those ticker tapes to their local drives, staff share, media or even personal thumb or external hard drives for future use.

All of the teachers were talking and whispering of different ways they could use the Ticker Tape and even though we had gone in a different direction from the planned training I felt that they had gotten more out of that 5 minutes and would be able to use that information immediately to share information with their students on the first day in their new classrooms.

As a final thought don't forget that if you have ActivInspire and an ActivBoard you can also use the Ticker Tape tool to share information with your students as well.

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