I not sure where to begin today… I’m so very excited about the work I have been doing with some colleagues over the past weeks and it’s hard to compress my thinking into one coherent paragraph. I have recently moved into a grade one classroom after five years of teaching in grade four. I LOVE it. Many days I feel like I actually get paid to play. The difference in technical abilities from grade 4 to grade 1 is significant; I actually laughed out loud when I took my students to the lab for the first time and many of them jabbed at the computer monitor, so familiar were they with tablets that they were unable to differentiate between the tablet and the laptop computer! “No, no,” I said, “Drag the mouse across the screen.” So they did. Literally.
Ok… back up… So… what have I been able to do with my students? I have one who blogs regularly, (note this content is password protected, as required by my school board) inserting her own photos and writing on her own. This is such a powerful enrichment tool and I would so much like to use it as a regular tool in my classroom that I have a very hard time restraining myself from spending my own money to buy a pod of iPads. I have another student who has begun blogging on her own and will soon introduce it to some others.
We have recently instituted our own genius hour, where students may share their own “genius”. This may mean reading something they wrote, sharing something they found interesting,
In the past I have worked with maekers 1Legoson, who was a resident expert in my classroom. It’s sometimes hard for teachers to relinquish the role of “expert”. We are used to being “knowers” and not accustomed to the role of guiding students in finding their own answers. Legoson’s blog is an example of what an older child can do when allowed to roam with technology.
My mentors are Daniele Maley who does fantastic things with young children and technology. I also began my career with the very talented Cathy Cassidy, who I began on Project Lighthouse with, too many years ago to count. Both work with young children and technology. While our challenge in an immersion school is slightly different, I believe our students have the same ability to create and share.