Storyboard your lessons

storyboard lesson planI have this down to a fine art now, but it wasn’t always the way. I have had to change my thinking with technology and consider how to present content and information differently. To make best use of the technology at hand you have to make an effort to find the files and resources which will best get your message across. As teacher you are the trail meme, the trouble shooter, the inspiration , the connector and the narrator. A lesson these days can be technology rich and each piece can play its part in connecting students with their learning. You are welcome to download a copy of storyboardlessontemplate if you wish. It’s basically a checklist to ensure you make maximum use of your technology resources. The next step is to work out the sequencing of materials.

Get zen with technology

Get zen with technology No two snowflakes are the same. Teachers do not use technology in the same way and neither do students. It part of the joy and dynamic nature of a classroom these days but it can also be a source of frustration. The approach has to be clear and well thought out. When you use technology in a classroom you need to :
1. Think clearly – use story boarding a mind maps to help.
2. See clearly – how can apps, software, hardware, technology options improve and enhance content delivery?
3. Speak clearly – explain tools properly . Use the tools to deliver clear content in a direct way.
4. Love what you are doing– be enthusiastic about what you are doing with your students and let them show their enthusiasm. Wow factor works every time.
5. Be creative – share what you are doing and invite feedback because it reinforces a dynamic learning loop for everyone.
6. Stay balanced – keep a perspective on how much anything to do with technology can be a help or a hindrance to learning. Don’t be so committed to doing something you are not prepared to change to a more effective option and say no to something which is half-baked.

Lots of classroom resources

readwritethinkI shall say very little. You need to go over to ReadWriteThink and have a look at the wealth of technology based resources on offer for your classroom. It is a well organised, well thought out site.

Cyberwise Daily

cyberwise dailyThe CyberWise Daily is a media literacy site designed to help educators maintain contact with current trends and issues so they can better use technology in a classroom . It also means they are more aware of the sorts of issues which affect digital citizenship. This internet daily is very practical and features a wide range of interesting articles so that you do not feel as though you are working at learning what you need to know to be effective in a technology based classroom.

Managing technology

Technology

Image: my image via befunky

A school can reasonably expect its teachers to confidently and competently use the technology it has committed to and parents may or may not be helping to supply. A school can also expect to create the scaffolding to ensure that teachers learn the use of the devices and software supplied. At the conference I was at recently I noticed the NZ teachers were very good and comfortable with iPads and they all had little keyboards for the keynote sessions. They typed their notes, took pictures, could access and contribute to social media. Outside of those sessions they could quickly access their own classroom materials from the cloud, their emails and were just very familiar with the devices. Same with the Canberra primary teachers. It tends to suggest they had been well trained. This is always easier in a smaller school and in smaller groups. It works like that in our office at school . There are about 14 teachers and then other people who come to the office for various reasons for short stays, like student teachers and a French assistant. We all have different capabilities with technology and different interests. It has evolved into a learning hub for technology. We share, we show , we engage and we fix. Recently, it’s been mobile technology focus . By the time we’d done the show and tell there were some teachers who realised they needed to upgrade and take on some of the new learning with mobile technology. There was no pressure. It just happens because we share and feel free to ask questions or ask for help. Our school has also been offering learning sessions for various things from how to better use the white boards , to Google docs and various other basics so we are all on the same page so to speak. Past that point different teachers are or aren’t pursuing different technology ideas and equipment in their classrooms. Some are working on iPads, some are developing skills in particular software, others are Windows based and continuing to develop those competencies even though we run on MacBooks.Some are reaching for the stars. We are currently installing Apple TV. Of course there are issues with all sorts of technology. It’s a school. We are all learning. While there are connection problems we go for the software. At the moment we are learning to navigate everything and anything. It’s exploring. As we do that you can see that some are really developing some good educational uses for what they have been trying. Others are more encouraged to try. We are educators. Some software and some technology will normalise in the classroom but we all have to be ready to get out there and give something else a try because things are changing quickly. There should be no one approach and no single dedicated classroom model. We are not there yet. If we opt for one thing, we shall be missing out on the changes on the developments. What is important is that you have a mix of teachers with a mix of interests and skills. You need the risk takers and pioneers, you need to supply scaffolding for basics and expected knowledge and past that point you let people know what’s around or you just install it and let people find out. Getting the right tool for the job is important. Knowing what is available and what its educational possibilities are comes from creating learning hubs and allowing people to discover what suits them and fits their classroom needs.

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