teaching with the tools of a digital world

Show me the money!

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I decided to “put down on paper” the tech supplies I am considering purchasing this year for my classroom. I will also throw in a little blurb about what I plan to use each item for so I get some of the reasoning down as well, for the record.

Here is where the money comes from…

  • $5,000 = Digital Educators Leadership Training (DELT) (Thanks again for the money everyone; it came from ARRA)

  • $1,800 = Digital Success Ladder (DSL) Top Tier
  • $500 = Left over from my Knowles Science Teaching Fellowship yearly materials grant ($1000/year… I’ll post sometime about what I spent the other $500 on)

This gives me a grand total of $7,300. Here are the things I am currently planning on purchasing…

$1222.95 – 13″ MacBook Pro

  • I am going to need a second computer (see “I need more space” below), I have an okay PC right now and I would LOVE to get back to a Mac (my personal Mac tanked during the first week of school… sad day… don’t want to talk about it). I chose the Pro because I am a little rough on laptops sometimes; maybe the aluminum body will help?
  • They are awesome! I like the mobility and the size, I would like to take it (and only it… well maybe a wireless keyboard too…) with me when I have to travel, but I really like to Skype when I am away. Hence, why I am holding out for version 2; my money is on there being a camera.
  • Frankly, I just need more space! One screen isn’t cutting it right now, I am trying to do things like collaborative GoogleDocs for notes, students texting in answers to questions, computer monitoring, back channel chats and I just don’t have the screen space to pull it off right now. I feel like this is the biggest thing really holding me back and making these attempts not as productive as they could be.

    $1730 – 28 Q2 Qwizdom controllers and a Q7 Presenter Tablet

    • I currently have a set of clickers in my room, but they are an infrared (IR) set. They work fine for the process of clicker questions and formative assessment mid-lesson, yet they don’t work when it comes to tracking student data. We are always switching remotes around from day-to-day because they are quite temperamental and have some connectivity issues. I really just need a radio frequency (RF) set.
    • The presenter tablet is so I can both control the questions and monitor student answers from anywhere in the room, but it also doubles as a tablet so I can write and control the screen from anywhere also. I currently have a Airliner, from the SmartBoard family, but I have been have some problems with that and have had very limited functionality. I decided to put two devices together and monitor student responses and control any presentations we have from the back of the room.
    • I had thought about going with the CPS clickers and tablet for quite a while because they offer student tablets as well. I really liked the idea of having students be in control of the classroom display and the flow of the lesson. It would give them an opportunity to interact with each other. However, the price difference was huge (nearly a $1,000 for a comparable set up).

      $1,000 – 4 Vernier Wireless Dynamics Sensor Systems (WDSS)

      • The school has a number of data collection units (LabQuests) from previous DELT teachers and other grants so I have access to them. These sensors are AMAZING! They allow for collection of data on position, velocity, acceleration, altitude, and force simultaneously and wirelessly! There are so many options available for these that I couldn’t pass them up. They could easily be used for nearly every lab for the entire first semester or more in a physics class. They pack a lot of punch!

      $717 – 3 PASCO PasCar Dynamic Systems

      • These are mostly materials necessary to use some of the digital tools I have access to. I currently have one personal set, but need to add a few more for a physics classroom.

      $100 – Jabra Bluetooth Headset and Adapter

      • I have been having trouble with microphones on my PC and I wanted to add this so I could wirelessly record audio for podcasts, student notes, etc etc.

      $95 – Flash Drives and a Tripod

      $300 – 4 FlipCameras from DigitalWish

      • Since I have been at the school I have had a library FlipCamera (or two) in my room probably 80-90% of the year. I figured I would get my own. I want to use it for student projects and for document my own progress and use of technology.

      That gives me a grand total of $6,315 out of the $7,300. I figured $1,000 was a good amount to hang on to and see what I feel is missing once I get these items and start to implement them. Maybe there is something I am just forgetting about. I am pretty excited about these items and have some ideas of how to use each of them, but I can’t end without asking…

      How would you spend it?


      Author: londondj0430

      First year High School Science Teacher (Physics, Chemistry, Earth Science), Knowles Science Teaching Fellow, Digital Educator

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