Whatever you want to do you can buy and download an app that will probably do the job that you need it to do. But is that a good thing? Does that enhance student teaching and learning?
So how am I doing in my classroom?
Am I dipping my toe into the water? or am I discovering new species of life deep below the ocean surface?
I use technology a lot in my classroom. Is it always successful?
Do the children and I enjoy using technology at school? Yes!
Can it be frustrating to use? Sometimes!
Do I always choose the right app for the task? Not always!
Is it successful? Most of the time!
This week I have been thinking about all of the reading since beginning my COETAIL journey and how it effects technology being used in my classroom. Whilst looking at twitter I came across a wonderful tweet which tied all of my thinking together. The tweet was by Jill Berry who was quoting Jose Picardo from a new article taken from TES.
So what technology do I use in the classroom?
I use the iPads to create, collaborate, communicate and critically think. Therefore I choose Apps that can be used across subject areas. Many of the Apps that I use are open ended and are not tied for a specific purpose. I limit the amount of Apps that I use throughout the year so that children can become masters of each App. Children can build their knowledge and skills slowly enabling them to choose Apps that are more suitable for a particular task or learning outcome.
The Apps that I use are :-
- Bookcreator – to create interactive books that can be turned into movies and shared through youtube or kidblog posts.
- Skitch – take a picture and draw, write, modify,it to show what what was happening, label or how you could change a plan. Last year we used it outside in our garden thinking about designing a new area.
- Touchcast – to record newscasts, weather reports, poems etc. Last year the chidlren created poems, weather forecasts to show their learning.
- PuppetPals 2 – for chidlren to really find their voice in an informal setting. This year the children have used is to communicate with each other.
- ShowMe – for the children to share what they know about a particular subject. An App that we use lots, this year children have used it to show their learning in maths, literacy and our Unit of Inquiry.
- Popplet – a mind mapping tool. This year the children have used it to share what the know about communication.
- Keynote – to make a presentation on a particular subject. Last year the children used it to make presentations on shapes in the local community, and animals from the local area.
- imovie – to create a movie about anything the children are interested in. Last year we recorded a video about recycling and shared it with the school.
Do I think that my use of technology is reducing learning? No. Do I hope that is adds to their learning? Yes.
How do I make it authentic for students?
I use Kidblog as a tool for the children to show their work to a wider audience. This includes parents, grandparents and classmates.
I would like to link with other class’s around the world, collect comments from further afield, use the power of Twitter and my PLN to create more opportunities for the children to share their learning and understandings with a wider audience.
Is there an App for that? Probably
Out of 80,000 educational Apps I use 8. The important factor, is not forcing technology into spaces that it can not go. iPads and technology are only meaningful tools if they are used correctly. I am not saying that I am using technology correctly all of the time but I hope that I am transforming some of the learning experiences by carefully using the Apps that allow for greater creativity and more connections. Quality not quantity.
Does it always enhance student success? That depends…