4 Reasons for Technology Integration
In your last blog post, Tips for Planning Your Lessons, you clearly outlined the key components of lesson planning and shared some great tips! I had to smile when you talked of "teamies" as an important tool or resource in lesson planning. I smiled because I thought about my co-teacher, Jessica Twomey, who happens to live on the other side of the country from me. We collaborate on the regular and provide inspiration for each other in what we carry out in our classrooms. What is special about our collaboration is that we bring OUR CLASSES into it together and facilitate opportunities for them to work together as a whole class and in partners. Yes, partnerships across the country! We are working on a documenting piece to share more, so stay tuned! Needless to say, I definitely see the value in collaboration while lesson planning!
Lately, there seems to be more of a "buzz" than usual about technology integration in my world. I'm sure this is because my book came out. Also, this past week I co-moderated the #InnovatingPlay #SlowFlipChat, and we took a deep dive into looking at the #GAfE4Littles activities/ideas and how they can be personalized and taken further. Additionally, I had some teachers on my campus come in to observe me integrate technology last week. Looking ahead, I will be presenting at Spring CUE next weekend and am about to get my presenting materials ready. So, I guess the "buzz" makes sense...but I wanted to take the time in this blog post to share some of the reasons WHY I integrate technology.
4 Reasons for Technology Integration
Student Voice - This is my BIGGEST reason why I integrate technology. I want to hear from ALL my students! There are a TON tools out there for kids to utilize to express themselves, share what matters to them and connections they make, and ultimately demonstrate their learning. While I am known for Google Apps integration with my kids, my current favorite tool for capturing student voice is Flipgrid. The tool is user friendly (even for littles), making it easy for students to record videos of themselves to share an idea and/or reflect on learning that takes place.
Documentation - We HAVE to look past technology as being pretty, cool, glamorus, etc. The idea isn't to get kids to use technology for the sake of using it, it is WHAT THEY DO with the technology that matters. The creation DOES NOT have to be on technology; technology can serve as a tool for documentation. For example, I recently had my kids create subtraction stories. The process was entirely hands on with kids working in pairs to create a collaborative drawing as their setting and their own block people to act out the stories. The documentation piece was the recording of the kids' stories that was done via Flipgrid.
Google Apps come in handy with the documentation piece of learning. Kids can create within the apps to demonstrate their learning, or store their learning within Google Drive or Google Classroom. My kids use Google Slides a lot of the time to take pictures and display them onto slides to represent an idea. Many teachers have shared with me that they use Seesaw for a student portfolio tool.
Collaboration - Learning has the potential to LITERALLY go places! When selecting tools for my students to use, I question whether or not the tool offers the ability for learning to be shared...meaning is there a link that can be passed along? The kids start to see value in their work when they get to SHARE it with others!
Aside from broadcasting learning and reaching out to others to share learning, students can work TOGETHER within technology tools. Again, Google apps makes this relatively easy as long as students have G Suite for Education accounts. Users can work in the same documents at the same time, and see progress live time! Padlet is another tool where students can share their contributions to what feels like a digital bulletin board.
Faster Feedback - The sooner we can get information to our kids about their learning, the better! Kids practice skills every day at school, do they know their progress? I appreciate game based programs, where my kids are playing educational games and within the game is feedback as to an answer, or something they are working on, is right or wrong. Surely there is more learning that happens beyond a game. However, my point is game can get feedback to my students faster than I can hand back out a paper they handed to me. Some resources I can share for our readers to check out: Formative, Quizizz, and Kahoot.
This is a topic that I can go on FOREVER with. However, I do really value hearing from others about how and why they integrate technology. Lisa, from a principal's standpoint, what you would want your teachers to keep in mind when they integrate technology with their students?
Photo by the author.