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Eric Shilhanek
EDU 225
August 2, 2015
Mr. M

Expanding a Students Horizons through Communication Technologies

The Harvard Family research project states that, Internet technology represents an
opportunity for increasing communication between families and schools (Bouffard, 2008, para.
3). With technology advancing at an unprecedented pace we either learn to connect to it or be
left behind. Here are some technological sites that we will use in the classroom to communicate
globally, teacher to student, and teacher to parent to give our students the best opportunity at a
strong and integrated education.
Technology to Enhance Communication
There are many ways to interact between student teachers and parents through the means
of technology. Here are four ways I look to bring this communication to the classroom and into
the home.
With Edmodo, teachers can bring all that the classroom has to offer on-line for both the
student and their parents through sharing of assignments, quizzes, grades, and polls (Education
World, 2015). This site can keep the class on schedule by keeping a calendar that parents and
students can access at any time. Parents can contact teachers and ask questions about their
childs performance and access grades for assignments they have turned in. Having information
that is quick and easy to access is, the first step to opening communication both at school and
home (Zieger, Tan, 2012). Although Edmodo is a great tool for schools to use within the district
it does not extend much beyond that.

Collaborize Classroom

Collaborative learning environments are quickly becoming a method for classroom

education and participation through the learning of new ideas, perspectives, and classmates
thoughts ( Tabak, Rampal, 2014). Collaborize Classroom is a great tool for teacher to introduce
a fun and new way to participate in class. Teachers are able to post questions, videos and
articles for students to go through, study and respond to (Collaborize Classroom, 2012). With
the right questions this site is sure to get the students communicating in a forum style of learning
in a safe environment. These groups can be set up by the teacher and may potentially interact
with other schools.
The is a great place for students both in the classroom and around the world to
participate in an activity which emphasizes critical thinking, brainstorming, and creativity (Web
2.0 teaching tools, n.d.). Traditionally word mapping was done on a piece of paper with
typically one student writing it. Now teacher have a quick way to gather information through
mapping with the whole class or even international group and can be posted on an interactive
board for the whole class to see. These word maps can then be posted on a school website for
parents to see what their children are participating on in class.
This is an exciting site to bring into the classroom. Students and teachers from 30,000
schools in 140 countries and with over 2,000,000 students participating bringing the concept of
collaborative learning to a whole new level (iEARN, n.d.). This collaboration is made possible
through videoconferencing which allows two or more locations to communicate simultaneously
via the internet in real time (Hopper, 2014). Student and teacher experience learning
opportunities that can be heighten by the interaction of students opinions and views from around

the world. Susan Hopper (2014) from the University of North Texas states, Videoconferencing
can be used as a collaboration tool to involve critical thinking and problem solving skills among
students who partner with schools to learn through creativity (pg. 87). Collaborative learning in
schools will be a very helpful tool for students to have in today world market.
Internet communication security and safety
With everything students are involved in with the internet and communication between
other schools, teachers and home students need to be protected. Internet security is of the utmost
importance in schools with technology access and having controls in place on specific site s
students are protected from some of the dangers of internet uses.
Students need every advantage they can to get ahead in a world that is connected through
the internet. With programs such as these students find new ways to communicate with teachers
and students around the world and in their own classrooms. Students do better when parents are
involved with their education and programs that make it easier to communicate and show grades
and homework assignments help parents take an active role in their childs education. With these
technologies in the classroom we set our students up for success not only in their education but
in their futures as well.

Boufford, S. (2008) Tapping Into Technology: The Role of the Internet in Family
School Communication. Harvard Family Research Project. Retrieved on
August 2, 2015 from:
Collaborize Classroom (2012) The Collaborize Classroom Teacher Success Guide
Retrieved on August 2, 2015 from:
Education World (2015) How to Use Edmodo in the Classroom Retrieved on August
2, 2015 from:
Hopper, S. B. (2014). Bringing the World to the Classroom through
Videoconferencing and Project-Based Learning. Techtrends: Linking Research
And Practice To Improve Learning, 58(3), 78-89. Retrieved on August 2, 2015
iEARN (n.d.). Learning About the World, Not Just About It Retrieved on August 2,
2015 from:
Tabak, F., & Rampal, R. (2014). Synchronous e-learning: Reflections and design
considerations. International Journal Of Education & Development Using
Information & Communication Technology, 10(4), 80-92. Retrieved on August
2, 2015 from:

Web 2.0 Teaching Tools (n.d.) BUBBL.US: Brainstorming, Critical Thinking, Creativity
retrieved on August 2, 2015 from:
Zieger, L. B., & Tan, J. (2012). Improving Parent Involvement in Secondary Schools
through Communication Technology. Journal Of Literacy & Technology, 13(2),
30-54. Retrieved on August 2, 2015 from: