SO this week I reflected on how I am using technology in my classroom. In a previous post I thought about the SAMR model and came to the conclusion that I do things in my classroom that fall under each section of the model. My ultimate goal is to have technology so fully integrated into my lessons that it redefines how my students learn. Since I have some limitations with availability of tech at my school, this is not fully realistic at this time. But i’m getting there.
SO what am I doing? I decided to look at the two main subjects that I teach in addition to PYP Units of Inquiry.
Language Arts: Depending on the learning objective during the day I like to either have technology add to what i’m already doing, or have it involved in the final product. If students are finished with work they often have the choice to go on a laptop and go to various learning sites. Learning A-Z is a site where they can read leveled reading books and do writing assignments. They also use Kidblog to communicate with one another or post in response to a prompt or questions I have given them before. We have also used Kidblog in the past to share and collaborate to other classrooms in different schools.
In addition I use Google Apps to have students make presentations, write documents, or collaborate together on notes or brainstorming. Just yesterday my students were making flyers in Word to advertise models they made of communities.
In the near future I plan to use Padlet to get my students to collect research on ecosystems. I think they will find it’s ease of use and it’s ability to post different types of media is fun and interesting. I know I certainly love it!
Math: This is an area where I wish I had some more resources.I definitely use internet sites like Math Whizz and Kahoot for math purposes, but I want to do more. I don’t always have ipads for my class to use, but I am currently looking into using my personal ipad to make math assessments a little more interesting.
Plickers is a way to check student understanding quickly while keeping them engaged. It also doesn’t require them to have their own individual ipad. Basically each student gets a personal visual code. The code has 4 sides, each lettered A, B, C, and D.
The student holds the card so that the letter they choose to answer the question with is at the top of their card. The teacher uses the free Plicker app on their iPad or smartphone to slowly scan the room. The app recognizes the cards, records who the teacher assigned them to, and captures the answer that the student chose. The app will record each student’s answer and tally the scores for you to see immediately. Pretty cool!
Overall, when I think of my use of technology in the classroom I am excited for what is coming next. Currently, my grade 3’s are really into coding with the Hour of Code. We go to Code.org or Tynker whenever we get the chance. I even do it along with them as a code learner myself. My favorite is the new Star Wars code game.
The more I learn from COETAIL, other teachers who I know personally, and through my PLN, the more ideas I get for how to use it. Over the past few years I have gone from a teacher who was just trying to fit in tech tools in when I could, to a teacher who is trying to seamlessly integrate tech into each and every learning objective. Not only teaching students how to use it, but having them use it in a way that enriches their understanding of the concepts we focus on.