I am far from a technology expert. In fact, I do not even have a home computer and I got my first cell phone (at 36 years old!) just over a year ago. I was however very excited to start the 2011/2012 school year with access to a class set of iPads. I had no idea how I would incorporate them into my teaching practice but I knew my students would be eager to use them and we could set out on a journey of teaching and learning together. Over the course of the year I became passionate about integrating technology into the grade one curriculum in meaningful ways.
Although I do not have a smartboard I am a primary teacher who utilizes technology in my classroom every day. Teachers often ask me exactly what type of technology I am currently using in my classroom. I love to share what I am doing so I decided to start a blog and this post will highlight a few of my favourite devices. In the future I will post more about the why, when and how I use these things but for now here is the what.
So nothing new here. I am sure most teachers have this or a similar facsimile. I only use this slow and frustrating machine to print and give my kids access to our blog site. Students put their magnet name tags on the whiteboard if they would like to post on the blog and then they take turns writing throughout the day.
This is a simple one and not expensive so do not be shy to ask your administrator for an upgrade. It is so fantastic to have all your music and audiobooks organized on this little device rather than cluttering your classroom with baskets full of cd’s and dare I say, tapes? Yikes, not sure if kids these days even know what tapes are.
These are my favourites. As I do not have a smart board I bounce back and forth between the document camera and iPad. I will create a post soon detailing how I use them but trust me, this is an awesome little set up for any primary teacher.
A couple of simple examples for now are guessing jar and sharing. My students place their sharing, unless it is huge, under the document camera and I snap a picture. At the end of the year I just press the slideshow button and we try to recall who brought in what. The kids love this. For math I use the Skitch app to make a guessing jar with student names and project it on the whiteboard. I love to de-clutter so this is a great alternative to the large jar many teachers make and laminate so they can write the kids names on it.
I would love to hear about what devices other primary teachers are using!
Consider sharing your students learning with parents a few times a year by inviting them to your classroom. In my class we set up an iPad Cafè where parents came in for a sweet treat and kids chose items from the menu to share their learning. Items on the menu included apps like Skitch and Book Creator, QR codes and iMovies.