How are you utilizing technology in your classroom?
Whether you have a classroom brimming with 28 iPads or you have two stone-age desktops, our job as teachers is to make sure students know how to best use the technology for learning during Literacy Work Stations or any other time of the day!
In their book Amplify, Katie Muhtaris and Kristin Ziemke say, ‘Using technology doesn’t mean that we throw out those strategies that we’ve found to be successful with students. It’s not the tools – it’s what we do with them that counts.”
I couldn’t agree more!
When introducing technology in our classrooms, it is important to teach students digital citizenship, internet safety, and problem solving skills.
And just like we do for EVERYTHING else at the beginning of the year, it is important to ‘train the troops’ when it comes to technology. We spend countless minutes (hours?) practicing, modeling, and practicing some more… how to get from the rug to the desks, why shouldn’t we spend time practicing, modeling, and practicing again how to properly use the technology as well? WE MUST!
If you have iPads (or tablets/devices) in your classroom, spend the first week or so with students practicing how to properly handle the technology.
I like to get iPads in the hands of kids right away, BUT leave the device OFF!
First, we learn the handle and proper care. And only when students have proven to me they can be responsible with the (oh-so-precious!) technology, can we turn it on!
The first week or so of school is spent practicing how to carry the iPad from the desk to the carpet, how to practice ‘dark and down’ (a phrase I use when I need students attention on me instead of their device), and how to put away the iPads at the end of our learning time. We go about our days, just like normal – with technology in our hands – but the technology isn’t ON just yet.
My students need to prove they can be respectful of the technology before any on button is pushed!
Once students have the hang of how to properly handle the devices, we have a magical day of turning on the iPads. (insert rainbow and unicorn emojis)
JUST KIDDING. It’s less ‘rainbows and unicorns’ and more ‘chicken with its’ head chopped off’.
You see, students are SMART when it comes to technology (way smarter than me), but sometimes the technology at school looks and acts a little different than the technology at home. Which leaves students with a lot of questions – and needling a LOT of help.
In order to save myself time later (and sanity now) I front load some problem-solving tips with my students.
We know that technology is technology. Things will break, stop working, or just simply act funky. It’s important for us to help students become independent with technology problem solving skills so that we can continue doing our thing at the guided reading table or whatever else may be happening!
JUST like we used to teach our students what button to push at the listening center (cd player or tape player anyone?) we STILL need those charts but we need them to reflect the current technology.
I take time going over each ‘button’, modeling when or why you might need to push it and what to do if something doesn’t work.
This saves me so much time (and headaches), if I teach these things up front.
I’ve included a free download for you to teach from in your classroom as well!
Click HERE to access the Technology Tips freebie!
Did I miss anything? Are there other MUST TEACH buttons for your little techy learners?
Feel free to add your ideas in the comments below!