Our team met with Susan Watt, an IT consultant with our board, for instruction in using the iPad in our classroom and for creating student websites/eportfolio. She taught us about the theory being technology integration and insights into what makes kids “good digital citizens.” She also shared with us information on how the role of the teacher is changing and how we can change with it. She taught us about the following apps: Pic Collage, QR Reader, iMovie, Explain Everything, Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Classroom, Google sites, Sock Puppets, iMotion, Word Cloud and Lego Movie. As we learned about the variety of apps available, she shared how she had used it in the classroom or how she had seen it used and then we brainstormed how we would/could use it.
Professional Learning Goals
- which apps are applicable to the junior program
- what each app is capable of doing
- how to set up students for using an iPad
- how to overcome the idea that the teacher must be a master of the app before introducing it to students
- what higher order thinking skills students are using while using specific apps
- how to integrate devices into the program
- how to create individual student websites
- the evolution of teaching (teacher becomes facilitator)
Activities and Resources
- met with an IT consultant on three occasions
- implemented what we learned between each meeting with our consultant so that when she returned we could share and solve any issues we had
- shared amongst our team members what we did and how it worked so that we could expand our knowledge base
- took risks
This opportunity surpassed our expectations and ended up being some of the best PD we have ever had in our 25 years of teaching. What we learned we took back and implemented, thus having a direct and powerful impact on student learning.
The biggest challenge was the lack of technology devices available within the school (and to have them returned, properly signed out and charged).
Enhancing Student Learning and Development
Students began to have technology integrated into their day on a regular basis. We went from using devices for word processing and research to using applications for learning. With respect to the SAMR model, we moved from the lowest level of substitution.
- less fear, more trying things on own (e.g., Kahoot! and Google Classroom)
- we attended tech conference (learning carousel) to see innovative teachers in our board
Our project was highly successful! There was a shift in our thinking towards how technology could and should be used in our classrooms with a variety of devices. We were able to implement our learning immediately into our classroom practice.
The only change I would make would be to begin sooner in the year and to request more days for more learning with our IT consultant.
Our IT consultant made us aware of other resources to facilitate the learning in our classrooms and for ourselves.
IT consultant with WRDSB