Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Highlights from Teacher Tech Integration Planning

This afternoon, I had the opportunity to plan with the first grade team at Pearcy Elementary. Tech integration planning is one of the many roles that we get to play as instructional technology specialists and aside from working directly with students, this is one of my favorite roles.

At the start of the meeting, one of the teachers proclaimed that she was definitely NOT tech savvy as she pointed to two other teachers proclaiming that they were. This happens often and it's actually pretty amazing assuring teachers that they don't have to be experts and that we will support them throughout the process.

When I work with teachers it's always great to know what type of technology is available either in classroom or by cart. Each of these teachers had classroom access to two ipads at all times but could get the full cart once per week. Knowing that I planned to discuss collaboration and creativity, I knew that the limited access would be alright.

After we discussed intended student outcomes, I purposefully shared a few selected creativity apps with teachers. One question that I was asked...

"What's the purpose of creativity? Are the kids teaching each other? Is it an assessment? What do we do with it?"
Those questions were definitely valid questions and after discussing further we came to the conclusion that students create in order to expand on their learning. A student created product can better express what students know and do not know beyond what they consume.

 Each teacher decided to take an app and become the expert of it before their next planning meeting. They also decided to focus on one app at a time as a team and incorporate into multiple content areas. That's the beauty of using creativity apps. They can be utilized everywhere!

Below are the apps that I shared as well as ideas...

30 Hands is a digital storytelling app that allows users to add voice to an existing image or draw and then add voice. Once the presentation is complete, it becomes a video that can be saved to camera roll or uploaded to the 30 hands cloud service.

For these 1st grade classes, I suggested that students collaboratively create so that each person has a slide which means that each student would share a part of the story. 30 Hands is super simple to use and is an amazing tool for student creativity.

Tellagami is a tool that allows users to record 30 seconds of voice to tell a story. Users can even use text to speech which makes tellagami an ideal tool for students that need verbal assistance. Tellagami incorporates a customizable avatar as well as backgrounds which can then be annotated by students. Tellagami videos can be saved to camera role or shared online via special link. 

Some suggestions were that each student could record an idea based on learned concepts and using the link provided when uploading, QR codes could be made and posted beside work typically hung in the hallway. For their upcoming open house, parents could scan the QR codes and hear students explaining their work.

For collaboration, I suggested that students could record their part and save. Each tellagami could then be edited together via imovie to make one movie. For first grade students, this step is something that may be done by the teacher if needed.

Haiku Deck is a digital presentation tool which places more focus on the image telling the story over words. Presentations could then be exported as pdf, ppt or keynote files.

There was some excitement in using Haiku Deck for their 100 day presentation as well as for learning vocabulary. I shared a Haiku Deck created by my nephew in which he used it to associate images to his vocabulary sentences. 

Educreations is a whiteboard app which allows users to create video explanations about any topic. Users write on the screen and record their voice while they write.

For first graders, the suggestion was that they could teach each other how to solve different math problems. They could take pictures of manipulatives and explain their numeric meanings while annotating in the app.

All of these apps were brand new to these teachers and its important to remember that our goal is to support and help teachers to grow...not overwhelm. I believe that I left these teachers with goals and a place to start. The next step is to implement and I look forward to revisiting them during this process.

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