This year I was incredibly fortunate to be given the role of Digital Technologies teacher at my school. This change in role has seen the Apptive Learning Lab shift from a small, single classroom entity to a digital learning hub for students from Prep to Year Six. Hence, the blog posts that follow will cover a range of curriculum areas and ability levels. It has been very exciting for me to design a digital curriculum that compliments what students are learning in their own classrooms. I hope that the posts to come engage and inspire you to try something new with your students!
At the end of last term I presented an iPad workshop for teachers on planning Apptivities based on the SAMR Model. Teachers are all too familiar with the lesson planning procedure: We think of the outcomes of the lesson or task and plan how we will assist the students to reach an end product. In my experience, when presented with new technology, some teachers can become overwhelmed by of a lack of confidence and technological knowledge. At times they forget the planning procedure and rely too heavily on the tools rather than the process and the end product. The aim of my workshop was to remind teachers of the lesson planning fundamentals and show them how they still need to be in the forefront of our minds in a lesson that utilises iPads.
Teachers were presented with an exemplar Apptivity planning sheet and the matching Apptivity. We discussed the importance of establishing the outcomes of the task first, before deciding on suitable apps to help students achieve the outcomes and complete the task. We evaluated the level of the task in accordance with the SAMR Model, aiming to ‘teach above the line’. Examples were provided on how the task could be modified to sit higher in the SAMR model, within the context of the modelled response.
Year level teams were then given their own planning sheets to map out an Apptivity for an upcoming unit of work. They were given laminated cut-outs of app icons to physically manipulate in order to see a visual representation of their app smash. Within a short time frame each year level team followed the outlined plan and produced an idea for an innovative, rich task. All teachers were excited by the app smashing and SAMR concepts, and were eager to get to work on building a bank of rich, relevant, content specific Apptivities for their year level.
I am unashamedly enthusiastic about the transformation Twitter has made to learning in my classroom. Twitter has ignited my students’ excitement about sharing their work and learning with others around the world. I continue to encourage other teachers to jump on the Twitter bandwagon to see the positive effects for themselves.
This week it was the class’ turn to present at the year level assembly. Naturally, we decided to share some of our memorable moments from our use of Twitter since the beginning of the year. We recorded our presentation while practising our phrasing and fluency. Maybe the video will encourage more teachers to give Twitter a go!
My 2014 Learning Labbers are with me for another year, and now that they are quite tech savvy, we are ready to open our classroom to the world through our own class twitter feed. We are looking forward to communicating with experts on topics we are studying at school to make learning more meaningful. We are excited to extend our learning beyond the walls of our classroom and share and engage in educational discussions with other classes around the world. You can follow The Apptive Learning Lab on the next step of our learning journey @2EwithMrsBB.Tweets by @2EwithMrsBB