Beyond Event Technology
When I think back to how I used technology years ago, I realize how much my thinking has changed. It used to be technology seemed very separated from the real work students were doing in the classroom. I always felt like I was planning for technology. It was unnatural and out of place in our daily routine. The lessons never quite fit into what students were learning. We'd wheel the carts to our classroom to have, what I now call, event technology. In this case, everyone used the same device, the same software, and completed basically the same task.
|This was a response in Pixie to sharing new|
learning in nonfiction.
Curating, Creating, and Collaborating
When available, students now use technology to share, create and collaborate. When available students pick up devices to create artifacts to show their understanding of topics of study. They write about their reading. They create new pieces for writer's workshop. They show new math discoveries or ways to solve problems. They write for, and respond to, their friends. They interact with communities beyond our classroom as well.
A math partnership shares their problem solving strategies.
As students create and share their thinking I am able to reflect on their understandings, strategies, and challenges.
Desktops work well for writing a blog post or commenting on a friend's blog. We can also use them for creating in Pixie, but desktops can't always do the same thing an iPad can do. First graders can easily use an iPad to create. They can snap pictures, record audio, capture video, and create digital artifacts to show their thinking. My students like to use Educreations, Pixie, and Kidblog to create, collaborate and share. They can carry a laptop over to an area where they have books spread out or math tools are being used to learn.
This impromptu "how to" video was created after Skyping with Mrs. Moran's class in Maine about indoor recess possibilities. It has made a perfect springboard for conversations about "how to" writing, but wouldn't have happened without immediate access.
The internet is abuzz with talk of one-to-one devices. Surely, this will be common in the future, but for now we could do so much with just a few different devices consistently available in our classroom. With a couple of iPads, a few laptops, and the desktops students have a wide variety of choice for tools. More consistent access would also help us work toward improving the quality of artifacts created by being able to revisit them in a timely fashion. Consistent access to a variety of tools allows students to choose the tool to match their purpose. Want to write a blog post? Go to the desktop. Want to create something on Educreations? Grab an iPad. Want to write about a book you are reading and need to be at your seat? Choose a laptop. Want to turn a written story into a digital book? Grab an iPad.
In a time when we value personal learning and innovation, it makes sense to have the tools available to support student choice. It makes sense to have a variety of devices available for students to use in learning all of the time. It makes sense to have continuous access for learners.