Had an excellent meeting on Wednesday 11/10 with more elementary school teachers. I love working with these people on technology integration. I think it’s because they are so tech-starved and under-equipped that they NEED technology. What happens in my class when there’s a great need? The students turn into sponges. They start every conversation with, “I need some ideas” and not, “Can you show me how to put a link on my Schoolwires page?”(last Schoolwires bash I promise*). We have moved our elementary teachers forward in technology integration more in the past 2 months than high school teachers have budged in 3 years. I’m extremely proud of us and those elementary school teachers for the work we’ve put in.
So the ideas that have fallen out of Wednesday’s meetings...
1. Comic Life - kids create comic books and use photographs of themselves to build their own digital story. Without futzing around in movie maker, iMovie, or some other Web 2.0 tool that is blocked. I rarely see a need to purchase software (save Fathom) but can see potential here.
2. Google Earth - I want to find pre-created maps for every possible subject area that uses Google Earth. Then we’ll compile them all into one location, let students/teachers use them once, then never let them use them again. You want them? Make them! What better way to learn ancient history than to create a map about what you think is important. Not just a concept map...a real one!
3. Grade Level Sharing - A common place (wiki) for every grade level to share ideas, links, resources, etc. I'm thinking that when something good comes up (blogging a Heritage project, podcasts/movies of students reading, games created in SMART notebook) we can add it to the appropriate grade level. Now, if we could just get people to actually go to the Tech Tools Wiki...wait, not yet, I need to have the Diigo feeds show links more recent than August.
4. Networked Learning - There's no reason to isolate students, be it individually or by classrooms. Every kid in Grade 6 should share learning experiences with every other kid. To a further extent, it should be shared to all other grades above and below. More to come on this subject as I explore and completely ramp up this idea in the future...like an online AP Stat textbook being created from my Class Wiki. If every Stat student had a hand in organizing, adding, and filtering information found on an endless homepage we could make a sweet textbook.
Smartboards are something that comes up frequently in my elementary school interactions. Every teacher wants one, no teacher needs one. Your students need it, so let them use it.