Saturday, 12 March 2016

1:1 with 7y olds

(Reflection & planning post, any feedback & suggestions very welcome!)

My very supportive principal has given me the opportunity to turn my classroom into a 1:1 environment (I have 18 y3s in Literacy, and 21 mixed y3-4 in Maths). I have 10 new HP Chromebooks as well as a share of currently 13 iPads (I hope to permanently assign 8 of them to some of my students with Literacy at the lower levels) as well as 6 older but still reliable desktops. How can I use this technology so that it not only enhances my students' learning, but transforms it?

So far, we have been using our devices mainly to re-inforce and practise skills, e.g. Xtramaths and Mathletics, Wishball 10 and Slide 100, online Listening Post and websites as part of our Reading Programme. Looking at the SAMR model, I would say we have been at the Augmentation level. We have also been posting examples of our learning to our individual blogs, but we haven't done anything further with that yet; this might be touching into Modification, but we're definitely not Redefinig yet.

Sharing devices between classes and using different devices in every lesson has been a barrier (you probably can imagine how much time it takes to rediscover the iPad with a particular student's work on it? They're only just learning to use Google Apps.) This barrier is hopefully gone now.

Another barrier is typing speed and / or limited literacy. I want to make time for improving typing skills, probably as one of the Must Dos. I personally like BBC Dance Mat Typing, but I would prefer sth. that's as engaging but has a Teacher Dashboard with it. I also need to find sth. that works for the students with iPads. Does anyone have any suggestions, please?
I regards to limits in literacy, I want to make more use of speech to text functionality. I really like Voice Input in Google Docs, and I have pushed out the Read & Write Extension to all our students (y3-5) esp. for text to speech. One of our y4s proudly showed me his writing during my CRT on Thursday, and he learnt from it that he needed a blank after a full stop as the voice 'would not take a breath' (talk about a target student being excited about writing!). I'll have to doublecheck, but I'm certain the iPads have voice typing in Google Docs.

My littelies have had limited experience working in their Google Drive yet, so that is sth. I have to address. I'm tossing up between a 'WALT use GDrive', and just using it as a tool in a task. Given what I know about them so far and how they learn, I think they need a session on the former and then lots of little practise tasks.

With only a couple of days at school before we go on camp, this could be the ideal time to introduce some of these ideas and tools to them - and have some of them promptly foget it all by the time we're back lol. But that will give me a good idea of who the experts in the class are, so that we can start using our devices more effectively and give us a better chance to move to a higher level on the SAMR model. I also want to teach them about quality commenting so that they can start using their blogs for richer learning.

Sometimes blogging for me is all about sorting out the muddled thoughts in my head; please feel free to comment with any ideas and suggestions - thank you!!!

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