Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tech Integration, a Model that is Work(ing)

This year, some ambitious and adventurous teachers embarked on a mixed mobile tech integration project with me.  They agreed to meet with me twice a month to plan, and twice a month to co-teach, and in return they get a classroom set of mixed mobile devices (most classrooms opted for a mix of laptops and iPads).  There were a few motivating factors behind choosing this model:

1) Students need to be comfortable with a variety of devices and platforms to access information and demonstrate understanding.  What they are using today is most likely not what they are going to be using in a few years, so it is important that they are flexible learners, especially when it comes to technology.
2) Students need to understand when technology is necessary, and which tool best serves their purpose.
3) Technology integration should change the way our students are learning and how our classes are structured.  There have been many instances of classes that have had an influx of technology, only to have it replace a task that could just have easily been done without it.  With mixed devices, differentiation is already built into the model and pushes teachers to think in different ways about how to structure their class time and lessons.

We have started our year slowly by:
  • Introducing our students to the new devices, and how to care for them properly
  • Discussed our school AUP, and in some cases begun more in-depth conversations about how to be a good digital citizen (thank you Common Sense Media!)
  • Started (taken off) with our Google Apps for Education accounts
  • Taken class videos
  • Created voice recordings for reading fluency
  • Creating Glogs from Glogster (in process)
I am incredibly excited for and proud of the teachers that have taken on this project.  They are committing to changing their instruction and embracing taking risks with and in front of their students.  There have definitely been bumps in the road already, namely that our wireless network is not yet quite in place, and Glogster would only run on Chrome.

If you're interested in this project, check back here for updates.

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