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Social Media can be an amazing tool, even for our youngest learners. Nelson Mandela stated: "Education is the most powerful weapon, which you can use to change the world". The tools available to make transformative change in the educational world of today's children are amazing. When coming out of my education program in just 2005, I could have never imagined using a mobile technology device (iPad) as a foundational aspect of my first grade classroom. I would have laughed when imagining my young students creating digital artifacts ,such as movies, about their understandings and wonderings which they would then share with student's across the world through blogging and Twitter. I mean it's called Twitter. Who could have imagined?!? As educators we have to be life long learners. That is a term that I have used in many interviews. It is almost a required term to drop in today's hiring process. Technology is certainly a part of an educator's lifelong growth, and social media is a pivotal tool and instructional practice in today's classrooms. Students need to feel ownership of their learning, and sharing and collaborating are crucial skills in that process. Why wouldn't we utilize tools that make students authentic audience...the world!!
My expectation for this dive into the deep end of social media learning is to learn how to use social media to make a bigger impact in the educational world both for my future students and for myself. Blogging and sharing is a passion of mine and I truly want to improve so I can share my passions with more educators around the world. I am looking forward to a new educational learning journey this fall and I hope you see the impact I hope to create on this blog and beyond.
I just created a lesson that people in iPad classrooms might want to try this year! This was a grade school assignment but I figured I would post here too!
Teacher: Jake Lee
Lesson Title: SeeSaw Blogging Fun
Grade Level: First Grade
Lesson Type: Beginning of School Year
Technology Environment: 1 to 1 iPad Classroom
Blogging Platform: SeeSaw Class Blogs
Students will have learned how to create digital artifacts using the app Book Creator. They will have created a digital story called “5 Things to Know About Me” in our writer’s workshop time. Students will also have practiced adding items to their SeeSaw Learning Journal. This lesson’s focus will be on learning to hit the “blog” button to add an item to our classroom blog. This lesson will also be a chance to practice using digital citizenship as students comment on each other’s blog.
Lesson Flow: This lesson will be done in 3 parts either in the same day or different days.
Part 1: Adding item to SeeSaw
Part 2: How to comment responsibly
Part 3: Commenting on our classroom blog
I will also guide parents to visit our classroom blog to see the student’s interactions. I always hope that the students commenting will also guide and be a model to parents as they comment on their child’s learning journal and our classroom blog. Also, I always leave a portion of my back to school night to speak to parents about commenting on their child’s work. Parents are encouraged to keep it constructive and positive. I like to have this lesson complete so I can share it with parents as a model lesson.
I am about to embark on a year of creating, blogging, and presenting content for families. I believe in the true value of parent's "connecting" with their kids as co-creators with their technology tools. Children need to learn that mobile devices and tablets are not only means for consumption. The true power of mobile devices lie in the ability for kids to document the world around them while creating amazing multimedia digital artifacts using this technology. So I present at conference called HomeDadCon in September where I will present activities and ideas for parents to create with their kids using mobile technology. Kids today need their parents to be positive media mentors so I am hoping the presentation I am creating will help build on this necessity. So I have a questions as I build this presentation.
What mobile device does your family use?
The results from the poll will help me as I build my presentation this month.
As I embark on my first full school year at home with my family, I am beginning to brainstorm ideas on how to stay active in the educational technology community. Seeing as I will be a full-time parent, transitioning my technology lens from teacher to parent seems to be the sweet spot for my future development as a blogger and presenter. So how do I view a parent's role in technology?
Disclaimer as I continue, but I am educational technology fanboy who was a first grade teacher for over a decade. I present at conferences on technology integration and am an Apple Distinguished Educator, so I know the power 21st century technology tools hold in a classroom setting. I am constantly witnessing amazing projects from my peers that truly leave me inspired and in awe.
But that is in the classroom. It is always somewhat hilarious to me that I can leave a classroom where kids created movies about field trips or coded a game for their peers or designed a game for a robot they coded and walk through my door at home with so much angst about my own child’s technology use.
Because while in the classroom there is clear expectation that technology tools are being used to enhance the curriculum or focus on academic tasks, we know at home that it’s not that simple! Because at home there is laundry, dishes, vacuuming, random morning where kids wake up at 5:00 am, and god forbid a moment where you want to have an adult conversation at a meal. There is also the parent on parent crime of judgment about how much your kids are on their devices. Don’t act high and mighty. We have all been there people.
The American Academy of Pediatrics just updated their recommendations on technology use and screen time for kids. And while they highlight the need for monitoring your child’s technology use when they say ““Families should proactively think about their children’s media use and talk with children about it, because too much media use can mean that children don’t have enough time during the day to play, study, talk, or sleep,” Which could easily be construed to say “look technology is keeping our kids from sleeping, talking, playing, eating. However makes an important statement when they say: “What’s most important is that parents be their child’s ‘media mentor.’ That means teaching them how to use it as a tool to create, connect and learn.”
So my family just moved from Oregon and I am dedicating myself to this transition. We are raising former foster kids so helping them adjust and settle is necessary. However, it also provided me the opportunity to work on a passion project, which happens to be creating video and tutorials on how parents can become the “media mentors” that their children need. So stay tuned and follow me on Twitter and check out my YouTube Channel because when your child starts to become a content creator who is documenting your family’s adventures then you can relieve yourself of some of that technology parent guilt and technology can become another thing that brings your family together.
I leave you with a little adventure my five year old and I took the other afternoon using the Green Screen App by Do Ink to give you a little idea about what I’m all about and some of the adventures I hope to take you all on in the next few months. Here's to a new blogging focus!!!
With all this talk of blogging and tweeting online with our kiddos, I always have digital citizenship on my mind. A core part of each child's development is social interaction. In our new digital world, we are also having to add online interactions into the developmental fray. Anyone with a smartphone has probably run into tricky social situations with online communication. It is so easy to text or message people in today's world. Many of those messages happen when we are joyful and happy! But most of us have had those dreaded text or message "arguments" where it so hard to interpret the tone, meaning, and purpose of their texts.
Did they just message that?
What the heck was that emoji?
Was that rude or them just being funny?
Without seeing the person and hearing their tone, it is so hard to truly know what they mean even as adults. Now, we are sending kids out to thes online platforms on their iPads, Xbox, and tons of other technology tools during key stages in their social development. Digital Citizenship needs to be a mandated part of curriculum starting at a young age. The more we prepare our children the better chance we have to avoid any possible trouble in the future. Common Sense Media has an amazing curriculum to aid teachers in teaching this vital topic. You can find the curriculum here.
They also have some great videos that you can use with your kids to start meaningful conversations in your classrooms. Here are a few of my favorites below and the descriptions will even tell you what curriculum unit the video ties to!
What ways do you teach digital citizenship in your classroom? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below.
I am going to be honest...I have absolutely loved teaching with Apple iOS devices. iPads transformed my teaching and took my classroom learning to new heights! I taught at an independent school in Hawaii that has a lot of funding and resources so I was able to pilot and implement a 2:1 iPad program as well as a 1:1 iPad program. I became an Apple Distinguished Educator which connected me to so many amazing educators who were also were transforming the learning process with Apple technology.
However, I recently moved my family to Oregon and I have observed that many of the schools and districts here are implementing and touting 1:1 Chromebook classrooms. I am familiar with the Google Suite of apps and know it's power for collaborating and sharing work. However, I am not too familiar with the creative possibilities these devices hold. I am completely open to learning the creative opportunities, especially with younger/primary level children. So I did some research on the iPad vs. Chromebook....
With anything, there seems be a big debate. I found an article on EdSurge by Joshua Kim that argues Chromebooks over iPads. You can find the article here.
The author use to be an Apple advocate for 1:1 iOS programs, but seems to have recently switched and outlines 3 reasons why. Reason 1 was that Chromebooks were for creating and iPads were for consuming. Ok, so he lost me there! It seems like quite the opposite to me. iPads have so many different creation and creativity based apps. The iPad has 2 cameras and is mobile! Elementary aged students can create and share so easily. I say this as someone who taught in an Apple classroom and can provide you tons of examples of kids creating and consuming. I do have an Apple bias. However, if the writer comes right out of the gate and suggests that iPads are only for consuming, then I just have to disagree and shake my head. The writers suggests that Chromebooks do not keep kids only in apps and let's them connect and find information from the web. This is a fair point, but I come at this from the lens of a primary level teacher where I prefer my kids in grades K-5 to be in apps rather than exploring the entire web. The final reason is the access to Google Suite of apps. The author acts as thought this final most powerful point. However, iPads have a Google Chrome app as well as all the Google Suite apps. So I am evolving my thought and creative process to include Chromebooks, but I am going to need a more convincing argument then they one Mr. Kim puts forth.
He references and I read another article that is pro-iPad for 1:1 programs by Tim Holt. You can find that article here.
The premise of his article is that there is no real debate between iPads and Chromebooks because they are different. The iPad is a mobile device and the Chromebook a laptop. He says it comes down to cost which I completely agree with and understand. Cost is a huge factor when selecting technology tools! Tim Holt outlines all the amazing possibilities hold and end the article with this point:
"If you listen to folks talk about Chromebooks, it is almost never in terms of what students can do with the device. Instead, it's almost always about how the devices can be managed (old school IT department thinking) and how low the cost is (finance department academic decision-making), or how it integrates with Google Docs which is code for, “It can do almost everything Microsoft Office does.” That conversation has to change--especially if the “bring-your-own-device” mentality takes off in school districts.
I am really open to learning more about Chromebooks seeing as I will most likely land in a district next year that is using them. So I am going to end this post with a poll. What type of technology does your school and district implement? Please answer and leave any thoughts about this debate in the comments below.
I use to love to listen to books on tape as a kid. When I taught first grade, kids loved listening to books on C.D. in our "listen to reading station". With mobile technology, I have been tinkering with a way to create a read along experience much like my favorites from the past. I think I found the the perfect tool. I did some research and found the app Just Press Record. You can find the app here.
As you see in the video, this app is super simple and easy to use! You simply press record and the app creates an audio file that can be shared to iTunes, email, messages, and many more places.
So how can you create a read along experience with your kids? Here are simple and easy ways to get started!
1. Choose your family's favorite book! We chose I'll Wait, Mr. Panda by Steven Antony.
2. Next, open up the app, Just Press Record, and read the story aloud! Make sure to add a signal to let your kids know when to turn the page. You will hear in my recording that I make a "beep" sound to let my kids know when to turn the page.
3. After recording, AirDrop the file to your computer and then import it to iTunes. .
4. Now create a playlist and start listening to read alongs with your kids anywhere! You can listen in the house, in the car, and even when you are out to dinner!
To give you an idea of what your audio recording can sound like, please listen to the audio file below.
When kids listen to books, it teaches them fluency while boosting their vocabulary and love for reading! So get recording and enjoy listening to your favorite stories with your family.
Check out these amazing teaching and learning blogs
Michael Fricano's Blog
2 Guys and Some iPads
Kristin Ziemke's Page
Don Goble's Blog
Mrs. Wideen's Blog