I learned about so many different ways to incorporate technology into teacher instruction as well as for student use. At the beginning of the course, I thought that the technology we would be introduced to would be primarily for the teacher. I was pleasantly surprised to find so many apps and tools that are available and accessible for students of all ages. I’m student teaching in a 1st grade classroom currently, and I wasn’t sure if any of the technology would be appropriate for my students. While there are apps that are more appropriate and designed for higher grade levels, there were still plenty of tools that we learned that I could incorporate into my classroom instruction. I would have to say I might call myself a “tech-savvy teacher” after this course!
I really enjoyed that this class was project-based as opposed to paper writing and tests. I honestly think I learned much more by actually being able to explore each app or tech tool and see how it worked and then complete a project. In terms of student motivation, I was much more motivated to complete the assignment because I was able to be hands-on and experiment with the different types of technology tools. I wouldn’t have the same experience if I was asked to check out the tool and then be tested on it. I liked how we were tasked with creating projects with the app, but then we had the freedom to personalize it by choosing what we designed with each.
I really like the Loom tool for screen casting. It’s convenient, easy to use and has a lot of free options. I used Loom in the classroom that I’m currently doing my student teaching for a nature conservationist project we did as part of a larger unit about endangered species. The students worked in groups of 4 to conduct research on a famous conservationist and create a poster to share their information. At my school we have a weekly “community meeting” where grades 1-5 come together in one space and grades take turns sharing student work and projects. We used Loom to create a video of the posters and had students share a brief description of each.
For our final project, we created a lesson for 3rd grade students. This lesson is intended to be part of a larger unit on genre studies. This particular lesson focuses on the Folk Tale genre and explores the different types of tales, or sub-genres. Students work in groups to explore one type of Folk Tale. Each group is given a ThingLink with a variety of different resources to explore. Students will work within their groups to analyze the information provided within the ThingLink and then record their responses using Padlet. A link to Padlet has been provided to each student that has questions posted for each sub-genre. Students will record their responses in real time and will be able view each groups’ answers. This information will be gathered and used in a next lesson that explores the entire genre and involves group discussion.
Thinglink is a great tool for this project because it allows content to be presented to students in a variety of ways. In our ThingLinks, students are given multimodal access through pictures, videos and textual information. Padlet allows students to record their answers, share their information and view the other groups’ findings. This is an easy outlet for students to record their information and for the teacher to observe and respond in real time.
I decided to use EDpuzzle for this project because I think it’s a really neat tool for the classroom. I liked how you can add questions throughout the video and it pauses the video to allow students to respond. You can put multiple choice questions, open-ended questions or comments. You also have the ability to add audio notes and commentary throughout the video if you want to elaborate a point for your students. I think this is a great tool for the classroom that has a lot of flexibility and opportunities to create student learning.
I chose to use Google Tour to showcase a few stops along the Columbia River Gorge. The three places I decided to showcase are the Vista House, Multnomah Falls and The Rowena Crest Trail and Viewpoint. There are several points of interest at each stop.
I chose to use Google Tour because I thought it would work the best for content, but I did have some difficulties. Google Tour can be very limiting because you have to have scenes that Google has good street images of. I found it tricky to find the exact photos with views that I wanted to use. It did seem pretty self-explanatory to use and create a tour though, compared to ThingLink. I thought this was a fun activity, but I think that ThingLink makes more sense to use in a classroom. I think it’s easier for students to use and navigate while learning.
I would say that I prefer Adobe Spark over Sway. I found that it was much easier to use and navigate Spark than it was with Sway. Also with Sway, I think that it was hard to visualize what the final product was going to look like as opposed to with Spark. In Sway you had to add boxes of content and then click on preview to see what the layout really looked like. With Spark it was easier to see in the moment what your page was going to look like. The pictures were the same size when you added them as they were going to be in the final product. I think the products work in a lot of the same ways, but I would prefer to use Spark.
I think that Sway would be useful in the classroom for presentations. It would be helpful for students who need guidance or an outline when creating a presentation. I do like that you are able to collaborate with others on a presentation. I liked using Sway, but I felt limited in some of the customization. It was nice to have different templates and styles to choose from, but I felt that I wasn’t really able to make adjustments or customize within a given style. I can see giving this tool as an option for students to use, but I’m not sure I would recommend it.
I chose to use AdobeSpark to retell the story of Charlotte’s Web. I’ve been working with my students to retell stories in their own words using the main ideas and the beginning, middle and end. We recently finished reading Charlotte’s Web as a class and I thought this would be a great way to demonstrate a way to retell the story. Students can use this tool to help showcase their understanding of a story and a different way to represent it.
I chose to use Padlet for a classroom poetry project. We are currently doing a similar version in my current classroom but with paper that we pass around and write on. Using Padlet makes this much easier because all students can log on and collaborate at the same time. The teacher puts five different animals with pictures on Padlet. The students then log in and post one word that comes to mind when they think of each animal, and there can’t be any repeats. We will then use these words to create concrete poems as a class.
I really like Padlet and think it could be used for such a wide variety of activities in the classroom. It allows for students to be collaborative and share ideas instantly.
This is our first attempt at using Google Sites. Our site contains different technology activities to use in your classroom. Some are created by us, and others have been created by others that we really like. Enjoy!
This is a map following the Oregon Trail. Typically in the 4th grade students learn about the Oregon trail and having an interactive map that leads to outside sources with information. The map conveys the path of the trail and can see what the topographical map would have looked like then as well as how long it would have taken then to travel across the continent versus what it takes now.
This lesson is intended for a social studies lesson in second grade. I would use this as a post-assessment after students have learned about identifying continents. The students should be able to identify continent locations and names. This lesson also expands by providing students access to more information and facts about each continent by clicking on them after accurately identifying them.