Technology in my classroom (Part 1)
I have been working on seriously incorporating technology in my teaching. Not talking about technology, but actually using technology so that it is seamless.
First things first, by set up. I have a ceiling mounted projector, with additional speakers in the center of my room. The ceiling mount cost about $60 to do, and the speakers are recycled from the old computers the school had when it opened (seven or eight years before). [Note, $$ listed are approximate] The ceiling mount is just 4 threaded rods, 3/8th inch, poking through the ceiling tile and through 2 6 foot pieces of angle iron (Lowes, $2.50 each)with holes pre-drilled along the whole length (the most expensive single item at $14.99 each)
Then I have a piece of masonite with holes drilled in the right spots approximately 1/2 way up the rods (18 inches from the ceiling) leveled off and the old speakers wired in place (earthquake precaution) and another piece of masonite about 12 inches below that angled to provide the projector a nice base to project from. I approximate the cost on these to be about $3 – $4. I used scrap from my garage.
I also have 4 acorn nuts on the bottom of the rods to make a nice clean finish, and 4 nuts and washers on the middle, with 4 nuts on the top holding above the angle iron. Perhaps $60 is overstating it, but it should not cost more $60.
Wiring is a pain in the booty, but I have 2 video cables, one of which has a speaker wire built in for sound. I have a 5 wire RCA for connecting my iPod (3 video and 2 audio) and an S-video (just in case it was only $6.00). I purchased the wires from Monoprice.com. Seriously, they have good quality and cheap prices. I have purchased other wires from them as well. A 10ft Cat 6 cable that Circuit City wanted $25 for, I purchased for $1.50 + $2.00 shipping. Same cable.
One video cable is hooked into the school supplied computer, which is attached to a Smart Panel. It is like a Tablet PC in that you can write directly on the screen with a special pen, and then have it projected on a virtual Whiteboard with the projector.
That is the usual set up in my school, everything from here on is my personal take on the use of tech, and personal equipment. More on that in part 2.