Global Educators Cohort Program - Teacher Education

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iTecs Innovative Ideas

February 6, 2009
Welcome to the iTecs news blurb, a weekly note of ideas for using technology in instruction and to enhance your professional life. We keep it simple and brief, but feel free to contact us for more information or to schedule time to work with us.

Educational Ideas

Examples from Previous Interns

"What have previous interns done with technology in their internships?" asked an instructor on our technology survey. We've listed some examples below and we'll highlight more in future issues but we would like to begin a sharing page on the wiki for field instructors and classroom instructors to share ideas from their students. In our research, interns related how much they appreciated hearing others' ideas. So add your ideas to the Interns' Implementations page or email us and we'll post them.

An intern in a fifth grade classroom built a PowerPoint presentation of patterns and used it as a discussion tool with students to decide whether each pattern fit the criteria of a tessellation. Using the animation feature of PowerPoint, the intern first showed the picture, had students point out the initial shape and any tessellating shapes, and then added the outlined shapes to be sure all could see.

An intern used an online demonstration of the moon's rotation to help her third graders visualize the difficult concept.


Both secondary and elementary interns found Google Earth ( and Google maps ( helpful for studying terrain, landforms, distances, and perspectives. A high school social studies intern used it whenever discussing areas outside of the U.S.; a second grade intern began her unit of Japan by "flying" with her students from their school to Tokyo.

For her unit on lighthouses, another intern use googlepages (now lighthouse2.pngGoogle Sites- to create a website highlighting several lighthouses with short descriptions and pictures and providing links for further research. Her fourth graders worked in pairs, using the website to learn about their lighthouse, and then produced a brochure for encouraging others to come to their lighthouse. Because the intern noticed her students' lack of keyboarding skills, she chose to require a handwritten and hand illustrated brochure rather than a digital format.

copyright.png Other interns have reported using the internet for research on social studies and science projects, providing links for student use or reviewing searching skills prior to the research, depending on the age of the students. Copyright and Internet Safety are always good topics to cover when venturing on the internet. Resources used by interns:

Professional Ideas

Advanced Internet Searching

How are your internet searching skills? Can you find what you need on the internet without wading through 1,000,067 results?
Check out some of these resources for speeding up and honing your searching.

Wondering about the difference between Basic and Advanced searching? Find some brief explanations and examples:

Create your own customized search page with Sputtr

Boolean Primer
And how about those "and"s, "or"s and "not"s? Here's the place to learn all about them.

The Search Wizard shows you how the advanced search codes your search terms so you can do them yourself in a basic search window. For example, define:task will give you several definitions for the word "task".

Google Guide
Whether you're a Novice, Expert, or Teen, you'll be using ~ and * in your searches in no time!

Noodle Tools
Try Intute for research queries, Scirus for science, Truveo for video... so many options, so little time!

iTecs Wiki Invitation

You will be receiving an email from the iTecs wiki inviting you to become a member, which means you will be able to post all your great ideas for everyone's enjoyment and enrichment! Just follow the instructions in the email. What an opportunity!

Principles for Technology Integration

Because educational technology integration is often content and context specific, interns always need to problem-solve to find the best way to help their students work with the subject material.

Etips ( will aid in determining technology use:

  • Principle 1: Learning outcomes drive the selection of technology.
  • Principle 2: Technology provides added value to teaching and learning.
  • Principle 3: Technology assists in the assessment of learning outcomes.

This same etips website gives examples of the principles in practice for each content area, helping preservice and inservice teachers understand how technology can aid in student learning.


Comments? More ideas? Feedback?

Respond via email or click on the Discussion tab above to add your input to this issue.

Innovation with Technology in Education Consultants (iTecs)

We are three graduate assistants at Michigan State University who aid the Teacher Education faculty and instructors in using technology to teach subject matter in pedagogically effective ways in their classes. We are available for meeting with teams or individual instructors or assisting with classes. More information can be found on the iTecs wiki,

If you would like to be taken off the iTec Innovative Ideas list, please email us. If you know someone who would like to be added, have them email us at and they will receive our next Innovative Ideas.

Issues will be archived on the iTecs wiki, Be sure to browse for ideas!

Volume 1 Issue 3