Twenty Everyday Ways to Model Technology Use for Students I wanted to post a list that talked about how to "use" technology in the classroom, but I found myself revising that word "use" to the more general word, "model." The reason I did this is because so many teachers believe that if students aren't actively sitting in front of the computer screen themselves, then clearly technology is not being used in the classroom. This myth can be a gatekeeper of sorts for many teachers, and I wanted to create a list that both gives advice on how to "use" but also acknowledges that in simply modeling the use the of technology, the students are also learning to use it in an indirect way. It's all about Think Aloud, that age-old trick of simply narrating everything you are doing as the wiser, more experienced brain in the room. Narrate your decisions and your rationale and you will be teaching your students how to make good decisions online and off. #1. #2. #3. #4. #5. #6. #7. #8. #9. #10. #11. #12. #13. #14. #15. #16. #17. #18. #19. #20.
Beyond Cut-and-Paste Eliminate Topical Research Rituals The first step in fighting against simple cut-and-paste thinking is to gather all teachers together to discuss and adopt a school-wide policy outlawing the assignment of topical research projects. "Students in this school will conduct research on questions of import that require they make answers rather than find them. We will no longer assign topical research or accept papers that are little more than a rehash of other people's ideas and thinking." Replacing Topical Research with Questions of Import Questions of import usually require that students wrestle with difficult challenges and build their own answers rather than relying upon the thinking of others. Example: Which of the following captains was the best at navigation? Captain James Cook Captain Matthew Flinders Captain George Vancouver Captain William Bligh The above question requires the collection and weighing of evidence to substantiate a well-considered judgment. 21st Century Skills 1. 2. 3. 4.
Cakes, Snakes and Boxes: Passion-based Learning & Early Literacy Making Patterns with Cake “Puffed wheat, brownie, rice krispie, brownie, puffed wheat, brownie, rice krispie, brownie” chanted one of my students as she explained the pattern she had just made with pieces of cake. We were in the middle of a passion-based learning (PBL) unit themed around patterning. “I wonder if you can make patterns with cake” one of my students had asked? And so we tried it. I have wondered for a long time how passion and project based learning would change my primary classroom. Starting Out Our Wonder Wall and What We Learned Space I decided to do a patterning unit first, and kicked it off by showing the students an Animoto I had made with copyright-free photos of patterns in the environment. The questions came very slowly at first (they had only been in my class a couple of days and we were still getting to know each other), but by the end of our discussion, all of the students had had at least one question. Stepping Out Patterning with Empty Paper Boxes
Digital Differentiation ~ Cool Tools for 21st Century Learners Technology is a tool that can be used to help teachers facilitate learning experiences that address the diverse learning needs of all students and help them develop 21st Century Skills. At it's most basic level, digital tools can be used to help students find, understand and use information. When combined with student-driven learning experiences fueled by Essential Questions offering flexible learning paths, it can be the ticket to success. Here is a closer look at three components of effectively using technology as a tool for digital differentiation. Note: The interactive graphics you see below have been updated. The goal is to design student-driven learning experiences that are fueled by standards-based Essential Questions and facilitated by digital tools to provide students with flexible learning paths. Essential Questions: Student-driven learning experiences should be driven by standards-based Essential Questions. Teacher Facilitated Learning Experiences:
Get Your Free Collaborize Classroom Account “ Underground Resource Gives Every Student A Voice For Successful Classroom Discussions… For FREE! ” I’m about to show you how it works. So anyone, even YOU, can have successful class discussions 5 minutes from now. In less than 5 minutes, create your FREE site and start engaging students now! I don’t know you. You’re in luck if any of the above is YOU. I would know. There is something missing inside the traditional bricks and mortar classroom – they need to find a way to keep their students excited, even after they leave the classroom. My teacher friend, Catlin Tucker, is able to do this through online discussions. But I don’t need to convince you of the power of discussion – Every teacher, no matter what subject you teach, is aware of the critical nature that discussions bring to learning. You know what I’m talking about. Or you’ll have the same exact students that always answer your questions. That’s what we all want, right? You have students like this in your classroom.
Podcasting Students and teachers from all over the world are learning from audio and video programs on desktop computers, laptops, tablets, netbooks, and other devices. Hundreds of free educational programs are available online. With a couple clicks, you can be learning about grammar, science, history, algebra...just about anything! A podcast typically has a web feed (known as RSS) that allows it to be cataloged in various podcasting directories like iTunes. When a podcast has a web feed, software and apps can subscribe to it. In most classrooms the teacher will find podcast episodes for students to listen to or watch. Creating podcasts has many educational benefits. Below are a collection of links that can be helpful when it comes to podcasting in schools.
Inquire Within How can we create the desire to inquire? That is a hard issue to grapple with (and worthy of much inquiry by educators), but I’m sure that: 1) it’s not grades, and 2) there’s no silver bullet to get students motivated to dig deeper and extend their own learning. However, I think one great way to create deep motivation for some learners is encouraging them to leave a legacy. Mathtrain.tv a site “for kids, by kids” is one example of students leaving a legacy. Teacher Eric Marcos has his students create and upload math tutorial videos to teach other students. The true beauty of Mathtrain.tv though, is not so much the videos to replace your own teaching, as it is the idea of empowering students to teach their peers. If we live in a collaborative world, why do we often wait until the work environment before we learn from others? Like this: Like Loading...
Free Online Resources Engage Elementary Kids (Tech2Learn Series) Teacher: As a K-5 teacher, we understand that it's really important to integrate the curriculum as much as possible. So if you're doing a lesson in the computer lab, if it's combining some of the reading skills, writing skills, language art skills, or their knowledge about a certain subject area, I think that it makes learning a lot more meaningful. Teacher: A few years ago, the District had to do a lot of cutbacks on tech spending. And I started to see that there was an advantage of using the cloud-based, or free web apps. And anybody who has a computer or internet, they can access them, not only from school, but at home, so my goal is to get them so excited that they go home and continue on with their learning. For example, they can do their digital art, or digital drawings in programs such as Sumo Paint, or Psycho Paint inside of Google Docs, Google Drawing, PhotoSketch, SketchUp. Student: This is a list of different applications that you can use to like make music or do art.
IWB sites | Teaching Literacy in the Early Years Here is a collection of Literacy websites I regularly use on the interactive whiteboard with my students. (Behind the News) BTN - Produced by the ABC, this website presents current news events in a student-friendly format. A great alternative to using big books as your whole class reading introduction. Spelling City – A great site for students to practise their spelling words. MeeGenius - Find lots of great stories to read on the IWB with your students. Read Write Think - A great collection of interactive games, charts and resources for lower primary classes. Sight Words with Samson – sight words are the most commonly used words in the English language (like M100W words). Loggle – a word game like the board game Boggle.