Welcome to Technology Tuesday! Every Tuesday I'll post something technology related that I've discovered or tried in my classroom.
A little background: This year my classroom is one of several in my district piloting having 1:1 devices in the classroom. We have a class set of Lenovo Thinkpad laptop/tablets we share with a sixth grade classroom at my school. The devices are stored on a rolling cart her sixth graders roll back and forth for us. It's working out well. Luckily the teacher I share them with is a really nice person and it was easy to work out a schedule for using the Thinkpads.
I've spent a lot of time searching for websites my 2nd graders (and K-1) kiddos could use for digital writing. The K-2 Common Core standard reads "With guidance and support from adults, explore a variety of digital tools to produce and publish writing, including in collaboration with peers." So far we've explored Padlet.com and Storyboardthat.com and I like both of them very much and my students do too!
Padlet.com is a fun, easy to use, and very versatile website where students can share and collaborate with each other. As a teacher it is very easy to set up an account- and it's free! As a student it's easy to log on to the padlet wall the teacher sets up. We use Padlet.com on Thursday and Friday mornings to answer a quick "question of the day' that I make up.
The first wall I set up asked my 2nd graders to tell what their favorite food is. Students typed their name then the answer to the question. In real time they see their responses and those of the other students pop up on the screen. After some of them got their responses up I showed them how they could add a photo of themselves. As these started to pop up they started shouting WoW! It was really fun to see their reactions! I wish I could show you our wall, but with names and photos I probably shouldn't. So I'll leave you with this short video tutorial that go me started. If you try Padlet.com or you already have, I'd love to hear how you use it!
Storyboardthat.com gives the students a chance to create a 3-frame or 6-frame storyboard, like a comic strip. They add a background to each square in the storyboard as well as characters and dialog bubbles the website calls "textables." I love that term! There is no end to how creative kids can be with this tool. I would recommend it for 2nd grade and above, maybe 1st grade in late spring. Students can get on Storyboardthat.com and create for free, but a teacher account your students can save their work to go back to later and you can easily see what students are working on. I used the free 14-day account and will probably pay small fee to keep my account. The website looks complicated so the first time we used it I had the whole class make the same storyboard step by step with me. After that they have used it on their own. It amazes me how quickly they figured out what to do! If you're looking for a digital writing tool for your class, you might want to explore
Storyboardthat.com. Here is the video tutorial that helped me figure it out.
Yesterday we had a district Tech Expo in place of a regular professional development day. It was set up like a conference where teachers could choose the sessions they wanted to attend. It was so much better than the traditional way we've done PD days before. I presented (my first time presenting to a group of teachers! I very nervous!) about these websites and teachers seemed to like them so I thought I'd share them with you.
I hope you'll join me on every Tuesday on my journey to learn how to implement technology in my classroom!
And for any of you who might be a veteran, be married to one, be the mother or father of one, thank you for your service and the sacrifices you made so that we could enjoy our freedom!