At DAA we LOVE good old-fashioned books, paper, markers, and glitter. But every once in a while we love diving into computer learning tools. There are four ways that I integrate technology into learning time: 1) Teaching with a smart board and ELMO, 2) using a program called Osmo on our tablet, 3) using Chromebooks for reading and math centers, and 4) our after school enrichment coding program.
Teaching with a smart board IS as cool as it sounds. We have used the smart boards to solve tough math problems, have dance parties, and to project high quality work on the board. The students are immediately engaged when the smart board comes on. They know that they will be able to interact with learning in their favorite way. The ELMO document camera allows students to post their work on the board and show all their friends all the ways that they met the criteria for success. You should see their faces when their work is magnified and the crew gives the students warm feedback.
The Osmo is the newest edition to our technology clan. You can attach a piece to your tablet and the table comes to life. Students create words, count and add, and create objects using blocks. They are truly OBSESSED with the Osmo. This piece of technology also challenges the students to use the best form of cooperation. The rule is, “if I hear an argument that is not resolved, both of you have to leave the Osmo.” So, students work to share, take turns, and talk to one another all in a whisper voice. IT’S AMAZING!
The Chromebooks are the kids’ favorite piece of technology. Everyday students log on to their Reading A-Z and Front Row accounts and have 20 minutes of learning through technology. They get to interact with questions that force critical thinking and use reading strategies independently. The nature of working on the computer forces children to use skills that cannot be taught. They gain knowledge on ways to solve problems, in more ways than one, to get what they need to learn.
Lastly, coding is a new program brought to DAA by our lovely ACE coordinator. Students learn ways to create websites and do things on that Internet that I am just learning way after college. Through this program, they truly feel like masters of the World Wide Web and it truly supports our Habit of Character of 'Curiosity and Creativity.'
Through it all, integrating technology into learn is a great way for students to use what they love to gather all the things that they need: knowledge.