General Technology Module
This module covers basics of technology for schools and districts. The
activities in this module provide insight into technology adoption, finding reviews of
educational products, developing an acceptable use policy
for school Internet access, and finding and downloading free educational software.
By completing these activities, we believe teachers can gain an understanding of the basics
of technology adoption in schools and develop skills and resources
they can rely on as they incorporate technology into their own classroom.
- Learn how to find and download educational shareware.
- Learn how to find reviews of educational products on-line.
- Learn how to plan for technology adoption in your school.
- Learn how to create and implement an
acceptable use policy for student use of the Internet.
Materials and Resources
developing our lessons and activities, we made some assumptions about the hardware and software
that would be available in the classroom for teachers who visit the LETSNet Website. We assume that
teachers using our Internet-based lessons or activities have a computer (PC or Macintosh) with the
necessary hardware components (mouse, keyboard, and monitor) as well as software (operating
system, TCP/IP software, networking or dial-up software, e-mail and a World Wide Web client
program, preferably Netscape, but perhaps Mosaic or Lynx). In the section below, we specify any
"special" hardware or software requirements for a lesson or activity (in addition to those
described above) and the level of Internet access required to do the activity.
Special hardware requirements: none.
- Special software requirements: none.
- Internet access: Medium-speed (28,000 BPS via modem)
or high-speed (greater than 1 MBPS via network).
- Finding and Downloading Free Educational
Software. This activity provides guidance for locating and downloading educational shareware.
Shareware is "free" and there are a variety of useful applications available for all hardware
platforms. Shareware programs can be used free of charge, as long as they are used for personal
reasons and not resold.
- Finding Reviews of Educational Products.
This activity introduces you to Internet resources dedicated to reviewing hardware and
software products for educational uses. This activity guides you as you think about purchasing
hardware and software for your classroom or school, directs you to resources available on-line,
and gives suggestions for things to consider as you evaluate educational products.
- Planning Technology Adoption. Before a school or district can successfully implement technology
into their curriculum, they must purchase the necessary hardware and software, install these
components, as network infrastructures, acquire training, setup procedures, and evaluate
their progress toward their goals. This activity introduces the process of technology
adoption planning for schools and offers a variety of on-line resources for developing and
implementing this plan in your school or district.
- Developing an Acceptable Use Policy. Many educators are concerned about how to protect
students from exposure to questionable content when using the Internt for educational purposes.
Since each local school system, and perhaps each school, has their own ideas
about what is acceptable for students to have access to, developing a local acceptable use policy for
technology is a great way to address concerns of parents, teachers, and administrators. This activity
helps you develop and implement an acceptable use policy for your school or district and provides
links to other helpful resources in this process.
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