Monday, July 15, 2013

Technology Thoughts

Yikes! I can't stop thinking about my day at Google. It's going to have an effect on me for a long time. I met lots of inspirational and talented people and just got a million ideas. I'm feeling a tad overwhelmed... like I need to sit down and make a priority list. But I can't stop reading the tweets and blogs! And every time I read one, I think of more ideas and questions.

There are so many fabulous ways to get technology into our classrooms. Great ideas are everywhere, but it's challenging to use most of them with non-readers (or very beginning readers.) I don't have a class set of iPads, or I'd be thinking about some of the many apps and eReader applications. The iPods I've been using with my students have been exciting for them, but seem so dated... as if they're not really technology anymore at all!


[caption id="attachment_301" align="aligncenter" width="171"] Image from Bill Ferriter[/caption]

I'd like to have my students create with Wordle this year, but I'm a little concerned about the amount of support it will require.  Sometime this summer, four computers are supposed to be moved into my room (Where they will fit, I'm not sure!) and I'm hoping to use them with small groups so that each child has an instructional session once a week. I envision using Wordle at the beginning of the year for some autobiographical presentations. Later in the year, I think Wordle could be used as a tool for presenting students' responses to literature and as a way to highlight important concepts and vocabulary in science. Wordle seems like such a basic place to start. But we're talking first graders!  It will give my students some experience with computers that is not just the drill and kill language and math programs that my district loves. I want the children to begin to see that computers are tools for communication and creativity. They are a means to an end. Something like a Wordle should be taught as a tool for expression, and then used for expression/digital writing that is meaningful.

I created a set of Robot-Themed classroom labels and you can get them here.


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