Musings from Your ITS!

I challenge you this year to start looking for ways to integrate technology into your curriculum.

Integration of technology starts with the learning outcomes not the technology tool.  For example, it's not about your students using PicCollage, but it's about how your students can demonstrate their learning to you.

Questions to ask yourself prior to bringing in a technology component:

-What TEKS are being addressed in this unit?
-What are the learning targets as outlined in COL?
-What Enduring Understandings do I want my students to gain from this unit of study?

Defining Technology Integration

The Edutopia article "Why Integrate Technology into the Curriculum?: The Reasons Are Many" offers this summary: "Integrating technology into classroom instruction means more than teaching basic computer skills and software programs in a separate computer class. Effective tech integration must happen across the curriculum in ways that research shows deepen and enhance the learning process. In particular, it must support four key components of learning: active engagement, participation in groups, frequent interaction and feedback, and connection to real-world experts."

Information above from: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-int...


Integration Ideas Based on Classroom Technology Access

If your class has an interactive whiteboard and projector:

If there is only one computer in your room:

If you have a pod of three to five computers in the classroom or access to a library with a pod of computers:

  • All of the above, plus…
  • Encourage individual student blogging using Gaggle.
  • Have students create interactive images demonstrating their learning using ThingLink.
  • Explore student-created multimedia presentations using Microsoft PowerPoint.
  • Use Schoology or Remind to communicate with parents and students.
  • Get the students to create cartoons using ToonDoo.
  • Have students make videos using Photostory or Animoto.
  • Build websites with students using Weebly or Wikispaces.

If you have access to a laptop cart or a computer lab:

  • All of the above, plus…
  • Enable students to work through course content at their own pace through the use of screencasts, e-books, and other digital media.
  • Use Kahoot or Socrative to poll students.
  • Start live class discussions with TodaysMeet.

If you have access to a handful of mobile devices:

  • Have students create videos using the Animoto app
  • Record group discussions using a voice recording app.
  • Have students record themselves reading aloud for fluency checks.
  • Assign student-created comics using the Puppet Pals app.
  • Offer e-books for required readings.
  • Upload and access course content using the Edmodo app.
  • Conduct research.
  • Foster skills practice using apps specific to subject area.
  • Collaborate using apps like Whiteboard.

Some information above from: http://www.edutopia.org/technology-integration-gui...

*Always seek parent permission when using any application that requires a student account.

Decide Now

Using Popsicle sticks with student names to call on students?  Take that strategy of calling on random students and tweak it by using the Decide Now app.  

Remember, if you want all students to be responsible for the learning, always ask the question first to the entire class, give some wait time, then use the spinner. Keeping all students on their toes is a good thing!

Suggestions for App w/Content:

SCIENCE (Natural Resources) Create a spinner with various natural resources and non-natural resources.  Whichever it lands on, students have to identify which category the item belongs to...natural or non-natural and why.

READING (Characters) Create a spinner with various character elements you want students to identify as they read suchDo you like the format of this newsletter? Tackk is an online tool that can be used to create pages on the web whether they be newsletters, blog posts, posters, or other information related materials.

Looking for a way to communicate with parents about current units of study in the classroom? Send your parents a grade level curriculum newsletter via a Tackk. You could post the url to your Tackk on your Edline site and even through the new gradebook feature that allows you to send emails through TEAMS.as: character's feelings, physical traits, personality traits, etc.  Whichever element you land on, the students have to journal about in their reader's notebook.

The possibilities are endless with this app!

QR Codes

Does it seem like QR (quick response) codes are everywhere these days?  If you pay close attention, you will find them on food packaging, shoe boxes, clothing tags, and just about anything else you can imagine.  QR codes are a great way to share information via a scannable code.

How can you use QR codes in the classroom?

  • Instead of presenting material via a PPT, send students on a scavenger hunt to gather the classroom learning via a QR code.  
  • Send QR codes home on homework assignments that takes the students to your Edline site that has additional resources for homework help.
  • An assortment of additional ideas can be found here.

PicCollage

An upcoming unit in 1st grade Social Studies focuses on culture. One of the activities in this unit it to have students create a culture collage.  You could easily have students create a culture collage via the PicCollage app.  Students could bring photos in from the internet and take photos that identify the following: clothing, food,  shelter,  language, entertainment, and religion. This could be a formative check to ensure students understand the elements of culture.

Tackk: A Communication Tool

Do you like the format of this newsletter?  Tackk is an online tool that can be used to create pages on the web whether they be newsletters, blog posts, posters, or other information related materials.

Looking for a way to communicate with parents about current units of study in the classroom?  Send your parents a grade level curriculum newsletter via a Tackk. You could post the url to your Tackk on your Edline site and even through the new gradebook feature that allows you to send emails through TEAMS.

Help Provided!

Let me help you integrate technology into your curriculum. Let's meet, study upcoming units in COL, explore the learning targets, and then plan for integration.

Contact me at vanbemmelg@cfbisd.edu or via Twitter @GinaVanBemmel.