Tuesday, December 31, 2013

What do you have there?

A few days ago I spent some time at Caribou Coffee, working on my graduate school application. A man around the same age as my dad, sat down next to me and said "What do you have there? Is that an Apple? I just bought a MacBook." This led into a conversation about my computer. I shared a few helpful time saving tips and tricks with him, which evolved into what I do and why I have an Apple computer. Which turned into sharing with him all of the tech gadgets I had in my backpack at the time

  • iPad Mini
  • iPhone
  • Samsung Chromebook

    He was curious about each device and why I had it. As a teacher, there are many devices that can and are used in classrooms and I am often asked "What is the best?" My answer is to pick the best tool for the job, it could be different for different lessons and different age levels. If you are in a 1:1 setting, then picking the right app or program is a starting place. If you are in a school with carts of different devices then understanding your options is where you can start. The district I work for is fortunate enough to have a Media Specialist in each building, and a Technology Integrationist (me) for the district. We are great resources for these types of situations. The district I work for has a combination of Chromebooks, iPads, and iPods in a cart based system with the exception of our STEM school that is building a 1:1 iPad program.

    My Advice...

    First, teachers should plan their lessons according to the curriculum of the district and standards being used. Then, think about how your students will show their understanding. The great thing about having access to mobile devices is that this can look very different for each student in your classroom, if you allow it to.

    A Few Examples...


    www.educreations.com is a tool that can be used on a variety of devices, however when used on an iPad more features are present.
    There are two ways it can be used.

    1. As a teacher, you can record videos for your students to watch.  
    If you are thinking about flipping your classroom this is a great tool for you to use.
    It is up to you how and when students watch these videos.

    Here is an example of how teachers can use Educreations to help their students and families. 

    2. As a student, you can record yourself and your videos are shared with your teacher as soon as you are
     done. They are kept private unless the link of the video is shared with others. 

    The following example is built on the Common Core Standards which can be found here http://www.corestandards.org
    CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.1 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic or the name of the book they are writing about and state an opinion or preference about the topic or book (e.g., My favorite book is...).

    Here is an example of how a student can use Educreations to share opinions. 

    Google Forms

    A Google Form is a tool that can be used on any device that can access the Internet, however when it is best
    to create a Form on a device that has a supported browser.

    1. As a teacher, there are many ways to use Forms. A popular use is to collect student work.
    Here is an example of what your submission form could look like. 

    All of the information submitted from students can be sorted and filtered on a spreadsheet to make it easy to manage and access.

    2. As a student, Forms are a great tool to gather and analyze data. 
    • CCSS.Math.Content.2.MD.D.10 Draw a picture graph and a bar graph (with single-unit scale) to represent a data set with up to four categories. Solve simple put-together, take-apart, and compare problems1 using information presented in a bar graph.

    I only mentioned a few ways different tools can be used on a few different devices. Are you doing the same things? Are you doing something different you would like to share? Do you have any tips to enhance my examples? I would love to continue the conversation on Twitter, you can find me @MrsKalthoff

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