Throughout this class, we have learned about a variety of technological tools that can be valuable for an interactive learning experience in the classroom. The majority of these tools I was unaware of, so I think it has been extremely useful to learn how to integrate these into our future lessons.
One great tool that we got to try is Toontastic. Toontastic allows students to create their own short, animated videos. This is a great resource for students to report on knowledge they have learned, whether it be on a book or on a science experiment, or to tell a short story. There are many options for students to customize their story on the app.
For our final project, we are proposing using Toontastic and screen casting in a science lesson. Ideally, this lesson would be done in a third or fourth grade classroom on their iPads. First there would be a lesson done on what the scientific method is. Then, we would do a screencast on how to use Toontastic. Finally, students would be able to create their own Toontastic video based off of a science project they have decided to do at home. Toontastic would work well for this because there is already a template available to make videos in the format of a science experiment. This would obviously be created for students to use, rather than a demonstration for teachers. I think that this would be a good introductory lesson if we decided to do a book including a variety of science lessons.
For my lesson, I found a TedEd Video of the metamorphosis of a butterfly because my current field placement has been discussing life cycles this entire year. I thought this could be the introduction to a new unit on butterflies for the end of the year. So far they have done owls, frogs, worms, chicks, and many more animals. I liked this video because it had a lot of basic facts that a kindergartener could understand and could help them get used to using the internet to learn new facts. The use of pictures is helpful for younger grades that are not able to read as much and a video is an alternative to this.
Last class, we got to have fun making videos on a variety of different apps including Adobe Spark, Toontastic, and Clips. I chose to mess around making videos on Toontastic, which actually ended up being really fun. I think Toontastic would be great to have students use to make book or science reports. Students get to make their own characters and are given clear instructions as well as information on the different parts of a story or science report. The app is free as well, so if students have access to iPads in the classroom it would be easy and cost efficient for teachers to download. Overall, I think Toontastic is a great tool to use to promote creativity in the classroom.
Here are some videos we made using Toontastic:
Learning to use iMovie is a really great tool to know for my future classroom, especially since it is so simple for students to learn how to use as well. We saw a few examples of what it could be used for in class such as a trailer or a short video including pictures and videos. From this, I thought a really interesting way you could have your students use iMovie is for a book report. Movie trailers for a book that they have read to discuss the main ideas and favorite parts of the book. One to two minutes long, and have a day or week that all students get to share their book reports. This may be easiest to do as a group project, for different books from book groups, or maybe an individual project that each reader had a different story to read.
From this idea, I found a few examples of this that had already been used in other classrooms.
I think this would be a really awesome way to get students involved in movie making and learning how to use the basics of iMovie while also teaching others about what they read!
If you thought technology was taking over the classroom back in 2018, wait till you see its advancements in 2033! It seemed like just yesterday that I was sitting in Ed Tech class learning how to involve technology in my teaching, and now there is no way around it. There are so many amazing ways that technology helps your students nowadays, from holographic images of historical events to personal devices given to all students that contains their homework, books, planners, paper and so much more. Schools now provide this device to all students in hopes of reducing the amount of paper used, and it seems to be working fairly well! Although there are so many forms of technology available, we still have hard copies of books in a well stocked library, face to face interactions, and outside time. Technology may have enhanced our classroom learning, but it sure didn’t take away the important interactions we need to learn about in school as well.
In just 15 short years, a classroom looks so different than it did when I was back in college. It is so important to continue having an open mind as you did sitting in Ed Tech class, because who knows where this technology will take us in the next fifty plus years!
-Your future self
Hanna and Laura’s Padlet is a book genre board where students can find a variety of books to read. There is a list of multiple books in each genre, as well as a description of what the genre is. This would be a useful tool to have students use before going to the library so they can easily choose which book they are going to pick out.
See exactly where Hanna and Laura are from by looking at this interactive Sway presentation!
From videos, to pictures, to maps, you’ll know exactly where to go the next time you’re in the city! Portland has unique foods to try, many entertainment options, and there are never too many books to go read at Powell’s. San Jose’s greatest visit is any place that sells boba, according to Laura, but there are many great landmarks to visit as well.
By Dylan Hite, Hanna Knouf, and Laura Barros
Title of Book: Apples to Oregon: Being the (Slightly) True Narrative of How a Brave Pioneer Father Brought Apples, Peaches, Pears, Plums, Grapes, and Cherries (and Children) Across the Plains
Author: Deborah Hopkinson
Illustrator: Nancy Carpenter
Year written: 2004
This story is about a family of farmers who travel across the country from Iowa to Oregon in search of a new home and more land. They take all of their crops in their wagon in order to start a new life out West, and the book tells some of the experiences that they have, and ones which many pioneers experienced on the Oregon Trail.
Excerpt from book: “So Daddy built two of the biggest boxes you could ever hope to see. He set them into a sturdy wagon and shoveled in good, wormy dirt. Then he filled every inch with little plants and trees. Hundreds of them! Daddy was ready for the most daring adventure in the history of fruit.”
This book could be used for a lesson on the Oregon Trail because it shows another perspective from the pioneers that is relate-able and easy to read. Students can use Google My Maps to create their own journey that the characters go on, where they write the descriptions, pick the pictures, and turn it into their own post. I think Google My Maps allows for a lot of creativity in the classroom and for students to get more engaged in what they are reading and studying! Teachers could also make this a collaborative effort like it was for us, so that ideas can be shared among many students.
Hanna and Laura’s lesson teaches students how to make nachos! Students can go through each slide to see different steps in the nacho making process. At the end, we ask students to order the pictures correctly in the comments section, allowing them to try using technology themselves. They also have an activity where they draw their own nachos, which we did since we are both in kindergarten classrooms.
The activity above will use the colors, lines, and shapes to help students see the similarities between images. They will discuss the similarities they found and further explain more. They will then go deeper and discuss how the colors change the mood after looking at each one.
- Look at the three images.
- Find the similarities in the pictures.
- Find the differences.
- How do lines direct your eye?
- Does the shape of the main object effect how you feel about the picture?
- Henry Burrows
Being in the midst of a booming digital era, it is only fitting that teachers learn the same skills that their students have been picking up over the few years of their lives. The classrooms that students are learning in today are entirely different from the classrooms these teachers once saw growing up. Technology has completely taken over, and to have any commonalities with their students in the future, teachers must adapt to this new era. Learning skills, from browsing the internet for educational videos to be used in a classroom lesson to relating to students’ interests on the tablets and phones they now possess, will only benefit the teacher further in keeping control of that classroom. Becoming a tech savvy teacher ensures that a deeper student-teacher relationship can be formed, and because of that, students will have a better learning experience.