I'm having an issue with my technology incorporation. I'm a very tech savvy person and I have TONS of great ideas for everyone but myself. I teach 9th grade math in a low income, inner city school. There's the pressure of the STATE TEST (!). We don't have a lot of resources. I have laptops and a whiteboard (which I use all the time). I keep my gradebook online so that they have access to their information and I communicate via email with important information and to engage parents in the process.
I'd love to do some great projects and extension activities with my kids. Every thing that I've seen, I question how it will help them learn the content. I could have them write blogs, but how will it help them learn to solve an equation? I've done podcasting and had them explain how to perform some algebraic procedures and use vocabulary, but I don't know that it helped them to learn the content better then (or even as well as) just doing problems in the book. I want to try some screencasting.
I LOVE technology and I want to incorporate these kind of tech related activities into my classroom, but I'm at a loss to find something that is engaging AND helpful to their actual learning... because without the payoff of an educated child, what's the point?
Has anyone else had a similar experience? I feel like it's a tough transition from the "chalk and talk" teacher to being a Web 2.0 teacher. How do I make this transition?