In your last blog post, Tips for Planning Your Lessons, you’ve clearly outlined the key elements of lesson planning and shared some great tips! I must have smiled when you referred to âteamsâ as an important tool or resource in lesson planning. I smiled because I thought about my co-teacher, Jessica twomey, who lives across the country from where I live. We collaborate regularly and inspire each other in what we do in our classrooms. What’s special about our collaboration is that we bring OUR CLASSES together and facilitate opportunities for them to work together as a whole class and as partners. Yes, partnerships across the country! We’re working on a piece of documentation to share more, so stay tuned! Needless to say, I really see the value of collaboration when planning lessons!
Lately, there seems to be more âbuzzâ than usual about the integration of technology into my world. I’m sure it’s because my book came out of. Also, last week I co-moderated the #InnovatingPlay #SlowFlipChat, and we looked at # GAfE4Littles activities / ideas and how they can be personalized and taken further. In addition, I brought professors to my campus to watch me integrate technology last week. Going forward, I will be presenting at Spring CUE next weekend and am about to prepare my presentation material. So I guess the “buzz” makes sense … but I wanted to take the time in this blog post to share some of the reasons why I am incorporating technology.
4 reasons for technological integration
Student voices – This is my BIGGEST reason why I integrate technology. I want to hear ALL of my students! There are a ton of tools kids can use to express themselves, share what matters to them and the connections they make, and ultimately demonstrate their learning. Although I’m known for integrating Google Apps with my kids, my current favorite tool for capturing student voices is Flipgrid. The tool is user-friendly (even for the little ones), making it easy for students to record videos of themselves to share an idea and / or reflect on the learning that is taking place.
Documentation – We MUST look beyond technology as pretty, cool, glamorous, etc. The idea isn’t to get kids to use technology for the sake of it, it’s WHAT THEY DO with the technology that matters. Creation MUST NOT be technology-based; technology can be used as a documentation tool. For example, I recently asked my kids to create subtraction stories. The process was completely hands-on with children working in pairs to create a collaborative drawing as a frame and their own blocks to act out the stories. The documentation piece was the recording of children’s stories which was done via Flipgrid.
Google Apps is useful with learning documentation. Kids can create in apps to demonstrate their learning, or store their learning in Google Drive or Google Classroom. My kids are using Google Slides often to take pictures and display them on slides to represent an idea. Many teachers told me they use Seesaw for a student portfolio tool.
Collaboration – Learning has the potential to go LITERALLY places! When selecting which tools my students will use, I wonder whether or not the tool offers the ability to learn to be shared … meaning there is a link that can be passed on? Children start to see the value of their work when they SHARE it with others!
In addition to disseminating the learning and reaching out to others to share the learning, students can work TOGETHER within technological tools. Again, Google apps make this relatively easy as long as students have G Suite for Education accounts. Users can work on the same documents at the same time and see the progress live! Padlet is another tool where students can share their contributions to what looks like a digital bulletin board.
Faster return – The sooner we can inform our children about their learning, the better! Children practice their skills every day at school, do they know their progress? I enjoy game-based programs, where my kids play educational games and in-game are comments as to an answer, or something they are working on, is right or wrong. There is surely more learning that happens beyond a game. However, what I mean is that the game can get feedback from my students faster than I can return a paper. ‘they handed me over. Some resources that I can share for our readers to consult: Formative, Quiz, and Kahoot.
This is a subject that I can ALWAYS continue on. However, I really enjoy hearing from others about how and why they are integrating technology. Lisa, from a principal’s perspective, what would you want your teachers to keep in mind as they integrate technology with their students?
Photo by the author.