I am fortunate enough to work in a school division that is currently developing many effective strategies to integrate technology. It is an overwhelming issue for many of the teachers but we are on board as the evidence and learning is pointing us in the direction of technology.
To start I will attach the document that is sent home at the beginning of the school year. Our school division has a Bring your Own Technology (BYOT) plan which our school has made the appropriate adjustments. This document is sent home for parents and students to become familiar with the expectations of the school and classroom teacher. Technology and devices are welcome but must be monitored for success. It has been successful for the upper grades but certainly we are all attempting to find the balance in the lower grades as many do not have the devices or the discipline to use some of their tools from home. That being said, we have access to tablets for our classroom. This is a great tool! The classroom teachers are able to monitor which apps the students use and every app purchased has a purpose of aiding the curriculum.
In my classroom, the students are just being introduced to the tablets but having little difficulty using the apps. It is clear that these are tools they are using at home. I have noticed that there is a pattern in signing in and getting started with games and activities. Students who cannot read are able to recall the pattern and find the way to the use the app. It is trial and error at times but they are showing success.
Some of us may not have access to teacher friendly devices. I was researching strategies for technology in primary grades and came across this article on Education World: Pre-K – 2 Students Play and Learn Online. The article is referring to the adds and unpredictability of some websites. There are highlighted sites that are appropriate for young learners that will not direct them to some unknown page:) I clicked on the links and some were dead but a couple still work – a few extra teaching steps will still need to be in place. Check out Education World for many different types of articles!
The title of this blog is merely to prompt the reader to reflect on your own practices. Many of you have likely been using technology successfully for years in the classroom. What types of strategies have been successful for you? I feel that what is being implemented by our division and myself in my room is successful but as many of your know, it changes frequently and different groups of kids can present different results. I am interested in hearing what other divisions or yourself use for success:)
As always, feedback is welcome!