Monday, May 30, 2011

It's not the tools, it's the students.. Part 3

Why do we need technology in the classroom? Why learn these new tools?

Once again, I call to my PLN: Professional Learning Network to help tell the story of technology in the classroom.

"It can give students a voice and connect them to a world outside their classrooms. Social media alone has impacted many classes across many borders."

In our first Introduction to Google Apps for Nespelem School, our teachers learned ways to connect to experts and authors to broaden the world connection for students. In grades 5-8, we have conversed with classes around the world through blog comments.  We tracked our work in Google Docs so we could choose those top five blogposts from around the world.

It's the students that who, through their engagement with a choice in technology tools, can share their voices as they read for understanding, respond with audience and purpose in mind, and write critically and correctly to explain their ideas. In the classroom, sometimes students choose Google Apps (documents or presentations), sometimes they choose a wiki, and sometimes they choose paper/pencil to apply their learning.

It's not the tech tool, it's the students. And the students need the choice to have a voice in lifelong learning. Do you think students are waiting for our lectures?

If you have read this post on our Cyberbullying Project, did you know that students had already started making up examples before we decided on the project? Did you know that they remembered our script writing from last year and wrote scripts without a reivew?  Did you know the fifth graders wrote the script format based on the play they had read in class? Did you know they were completely free to plan and organize what they would present? All they had for the lesson were 1) review of previous learning video,  2) notes on the tips, 3) a walk n' talk time to plan and write a "script", 4) back to the classroom to act out, revise, and complete their video.

It's the students: they had voice and choice, and the engagement with a tool that allowed them to express themselves as they applied the necessary skills they needed to learn.

School is changing, and our school is moving ahead with the change. What would you like to try to move forward in your classroom?

Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.

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Please remember this is a school-related site. Model digital citizenship. Thank you.