I am going to start a small series! Every Tuesday I am going to post about how I use technology in my classroom. Just about everything I post will be FREE. Because lets be honest who's got that kinda money. In my classroom we are not 1:1 However I do my very best to pretend like we are! I have six iPads in my room at all times. I am also able to share with my fellow third grade teachers. So we are able to be 1:1 at least once a day for about 30 minutes.
Okay this week I am going to start off with how to become that techy go to person. And how to do it FAST! These 5 tips have nothing to do with apps just your mindset!
The best thing that I have learned this far about technology are:
Do not be scared of technology. It is here to enhance your lessons! With that being said technology is kind of like a dog. It can smell your fear. I swear if you are nervous about using technology or nervous for a lesson that is technology heavy, it is not going to go well. Your students will sense your discomfort, your patience will suddenly leave you, and the technology will act up! (Maybe not that part -but I swear this used to happen to me the minute I was nervous about using a new app! The app could sense my lack of comfort!)
If you don't know something ASK! We have all heard that quote "The only dumb question is the one not asked!" Speak up! Also don't be afraid to contact the company. Many times I had trouble with an app or a website I shot them an email and they got back to me within an hour! They were very friendly and most of the time it was a glitch! Not even my fault. That could be happening to you. So ask for help. Email those companies your working with and they will assist you!
Technology should not be an after thought of a lesson. For example a child gets done with an assignment early-Ohh go ahead and play a game on the iPad. NO!! Yes, they are probably education games. Yes, the kids LOVE it. BUT, there are so many things you can expose your students to that are simple, education, and FREE! Doesn't get better than that!
I know this can be scary to some. Especially our friends out there who did not grow up with technology. What if it doesn't work? What if something goes wrong. What if I need a sub? The questions can go on and on. Have a back up plan if worst comes to worse. BUT if you are following these tips you will be that confident techy gooroo who will be able to handle the technology fiascos!
We always tell our students your not going to get better unless you practice. Well now is that time to practice what we preach! Play with the app BEFORE you introduce it to your class. You don't have to be an expert but to have a successful, meaningful lesson with technology, become familiar with the program you are using.
Here are a list of times I bring my iPad just to play!
1. 10 minutes before I go to bed
2. Bring it to the lunch room! If your a teacher your a pro at multitasking. Eat, chat, and play!
3. PD, meetings, ect. on these work days we often have a lot of down time bring that new program you learned about and play with it! You will look great in front of your colleagues! Plus you might be able to give them a few tips. :)
4. In the car! Not when your driving of coarse. But make that hubby drive and jump on that program!
5. Recess duty
The very first time you introduce a new program, ALWAYS build in time to let the kids explore first. This will save you the hassle of repeating yourself 12343235342 times AND the kids might find something you didn't! Encourage your students to explore the program and see what they can find out first. This way when you are introducing other programs in the future they are more likely to figure a process out by themselves. Encouraging your students to explore promotes independence and truly helps you out in the process. However, when it comes to instruction time, game on, time to pay attention.
You might be saying to yourself who has time for that! It really only takes about 10 minutes. Let them see the program find a few gadgets and move onto the lesson. Your students are more likely to remember how to do it next time and will become independent navigators in the future!
I have started living by this quote. You may not be as comfortable as you wish with technology but fake it until you make it -Especially in front of those kiddos. It's okay if the technology isn't working how you want it to or you didn't realize you didn't have access to the whole website unless you paid for it. Just role with it! Take a second to google it. If that doesn't work move on! Say you will try again tomorrow. With those coworkers who now go to you for their technology troubles. Tell them you will play with it! You don't have to have a masters in technology to navigate these programs just be confidant!
Don't forget to use google to your advantage as well. Google what you are having trouble with. I can assure you 9 out of 10 times that will do the trick!
I hope these tips and tricks can help you become the techy gooroo you would like to be! Follow my blog for next week's post about technology in my classroom!