ICT… IT… TECH… iPads… Computers… that stuff-that-never-works-when-you-need-it-to… whatever you call it.. I LOVE IT.
Our classroom was be filmed by a local German TV station in October 2016 because of our use with technology. I’m pretty techy and I love to learn about new APPs, new ways to extend learning and thinking, and I looooooove to trial tech stuff.
I went to an amazing professional development thingy (I wanted to call it a workshop but it wasn’t really that, it was more than that… and it was more than a presentation… it was more than any word I know for these kinds of things). It’s called Learning2 and it was one of the best PD’s I’ve ever attended. It really lit the fire under me to get moving with more tech integration, in all aspects (personal life, and at work). I am pretty creative, and it made me want to tap into that more.
Why was it so awesome?
It was teachers teaching teachers about cool stuff they do or have been doing in their classrooms or schools. They’re in the classroom trying things out, just like you (and me!). Telling you what they’ve tried, things that worked and things that didn’t, and were really honest about what they were doing.
The thing I really loved was that they weren’t people with ideas who aren’t teaching or who haven’t taught in the last 10 years. They’re still in the classroom/in a school (in some way).
It was students teaching teachers about cool stuff too! Students from the school that hosted the event led workshops that you could sign up for based on interest – I signed up for one using squishy circuits (so cool).
It was full of innovative, creative, interesting, NEW, amazing stuff; programming and coding bots for the classroom and how/why you’d use them, MakerSpaces, blogging, etc etc.
I left each session more wowed than the session before. It got me really thinking about how I use tech in my room, why I use it, and how else I could use it. The tech world changes SO fast, the stuff we do now won’t be the stuff these kids do later. I wanted them to learn how to use the iPad (not just play the games…..), but how to make a video, edit the video, and upload the video. How to put content on their blogs (videos, typing, photos), how to create a digital book, how to search on google for an image they want to draw, all the how-to-do things.
I also don’t want to be a teacher that falls through the gap of the tech world (or be stagnant or stuck with one way of doing things – I want to be constantly challenging myself, and the things I do in the classroom). Our kiddos are small, so many people think they’re limited with tech but that’s not at all true. If anything, they can pick it up quicker than we can. This is why I will always jump at the chance to attend a techie PD. There is no ceiling in the world of tech – there is always more to learn, no matter what level you are or think you are.
Here are 5 go-to APPs on the iPad that we use in our room (weekly almost):
– Easy Blog Jr.
– Book Creator
– Green Screen by Do Ink
– Puppet Pals
– Explain Everything
Easy Blog Jr.
We use this to link with our classroom blog (edublogs/wordpress). It links very easily and the children need 1 second to learn how it works.
We use this when…
We have a lot to say, but can’t write it all down.
We aren’t writing quite yet but we have a story to tell.
Green Screen by Do Ink
I LOVE THIS.
If you don’t know how green screens work – it’s simple. You set up a wall with a green sheet, paint, or paper covering it. Decide what the background should be (Gotham city is a popular one with us) and BAM, away you go.
The best part about this APP – your background doesn’t need to be green! If you have a plain pink wall somewhere – that’ll work! any colour! (just make sure it’s plain, nothing is on it, and the kids aren’t wearing that colour ;))
This is a great APP! Story telling and imagination are at the core for this one.
They have a lot you can choose from already in the APP, or you can take your own photos (of things you’ve drawn, people around you, your classroom, outside)
Great if the children have already created something with multiple aspects and parts to it. Take a photo and have the children record over top of it (they can draw on it, record their voices as they’re explaining)
We’ve used this a lot when we do experiments, to talk about what happened, and also when we’ve built something in the block area.
Also, read these…
Meaningful Tech. Integration in The Early Years
The Benefits of Technology in The Classroom
10 Reasons Today’s Students Need Technology Need Technology in The Classroom
Huffington Post’s Technology in The Classroom – links to articles