Monday, May 30, 2016

Technology and Literacy

I just finished reading Amplify: Digital Teaching and Learning in the K-6 Classroom. I was inspired to purchase the book when I saw it floating around twitter. My PLN on Twitter were tweeting and re-tweeting this books.  I found myself following the Amplify Teaching group on Facebook and I watched Katie and Kristin’s discussion in April at #TheEdCollabGathering.
     The first thing I noticed I needed to tackle was the mindset for integrating technology and literacy. I consider myself, what Mark Prensky calls, a digital immigrant. I do not automatically think in terms of what I can do with technology. I still read books aloud to students and show them the pictures from my lap. I find it easier to draw out a quick graphic organizer than use a digital drawing tool to create one. I, also, find it easier to use a dry erase board instead of a digital white board that “captures” my thinking. I want to learn how to integrate technology with literacy to amplify my students' learning.
     Katie and Kristin have shared a wealth of knowledge with me. Because of them I was introduced to Padlet and started using it!  That was a big step. I had to overcome my desire to throw in the towel every time I hit a road block.
     I began my Padlet journey with one child. I used the iPad to record his retelling of a story. Success #1! I used iMovie as a formatting/publishing tool. Success #2!
     Now come the road blocks… I had to upload the movie to the internet. I tried sending it to my email ~ unsuccessful. I tried sending it to YouTube ~ unsuccessful. I, finally, went to the staff room during lunch and asked the newbies for help. They are so in tuned with technology. They are, what Mark Prensky calls, digital natives.With some trial and error and a lot of scaffolding, I was able to get the iPad to send the movie to my Google Drive. Success #3.
     Once the video was in Google Drive, I had to get it to Padlet! Some more trial and error, a little “I want to throw this device out the window!”some deep breathes and I was successful. I put a video on Padlet and had our Facebook leader post it for families to see! WooHoo, Success #4. I feel exhausted, but successful.

     My next step is to have students begin recording their retells to each other. This will give me a chance to assess each student’s ability to retell a story and give each student a chance to authentically share their retell.
Other ideas I gleaned from Amplify!:
  • Create QR codes for each retelling and post the QR codes on the books.
  • It’s Monday, what are you reading?
  • Each student has a Padlet bulletin board to share what they are reading.
  • QR codes & Padlet that include links to our favorite authors.