Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Its All About The Tech

Many articles, tweets, and posts about integrating technology ttell us that it is not the technology,  but how we use it to change our teaching that matters. I agree,  how use technology within the classroom is important and that it is a tool not an end in itself. We should  use technology in creative and collaborative ways.

However. I think in my classroom its all about the technology.

 We have 5 ipads, and a cart of Macbooks that we can use daily, and the students can BYOD. If we had more we would use more, but it is certainly not essential to have a 1:1 setup. In fact, even when avaliable we usually work in pairs or teams to ensure collaboration, and to promote peer to peer support. I would much rather have 5 iPads all the time than sign out class sets that we share with the school. We use them exclusively for creating: making videos, slide shows, photography, blogging and skyping. We need them to be available at all times because,  just like our other classroom tools, we use them throughout the day. Having our own class iPads means they are always charged; they are always updated; they only contain our apps and content; and they do not get too full. We have them synced through iCloud and they are very manageable with little effort.

Now, back to the all about the technology...

Technology has transformed our classroom. It enables us to reach out to the world through daily blogging, skyping, Youtube and Twitter, We are able to share our learning with others and to participate in other classes' projects, experiments and blogs. It has enabled us to experience first hand sources for research such as the pictures, maps and diary entries within Passageways  and the information from the Government of Canada to become explorers and to blog about our travels.

It enables us to use rich resources such as Discovery learning, or to watch video  clips from credible sources such as the BBC,  NASA, and National Geographic,  to better understand what we are learning  and to produce our own videos and share them with others on Youtube.

Technology has enabled us to publish our learning in our blogs and given new importance to our writing and artwork while providing parents and others a window to our work. We have been able to reach out to others and to share globally through initiatives such as Global Read Aloud and given us choices in how we present our learning. Publishing and sharing has brought us confidence and inspired us as we learn. It has given us purpose, self direction and choice.

Our Class is all about the technology: http://mrsdycksclass.weebly.com/

Thursday, May 1, 2014

My Students Speak out

Again this year I asked my students to weigh in on the importance of using technology as a tool in class. They all were asked to blog about it. They also had the opportunity to speak out using the iPads. This is what they had to say:

“Using technology in my class has helped me so much on my writing. In the beginning of the year in September and October I wasn’t really good at writing but now all I feel doing is writing”

“I think the main reason using electronics is better is because it helps you do better because the world is going to see it.”
“And instead of writing a whole paragraph about B.C. our teacher told us to make a little video with pictures of B.C.  Our whole class made  a  video of My Surrey, My BC or My Canada. That project helped us learn a lot about our country Canada”

“When you write something on a piece of paper and than forget about it, instead of writing it on a blog and people could go see your beautiful work.  Now, it wouldn’t be so beautiful if you had spelling mistakes and never knew it, would it?”

“It was very fun taking pics, drawing, filming, talking as a character But without technology none of this stuff would have happen. We’d be stuck in our desks writing a legend when we should be doing one.  The legends took several weeks but it seemed like hours.”

“It would be the same if we had a text book and got the info from there, but avously the computers are best! I would honestly die, if  I moved to a school with no technology. It is a big “NO” to take technology away from me  (or my school).”