As summer break comes to a close, many teachers have already begun to think about the upcoming school year. Decorating classrooms, planning lessons, and searching for “first week of school” activities on Pinterest are a few things that teachers begin working on during the final weeks of vacation. If you will have technology (iPads, Chromebooks, etc.) in your classroom, you should also be thinking about how you will introduce those devices to your students. As a classroom teacher, I always liked to plan a “Boot Camp” during the first week of school to introduce my new students to the device that they would be using for the school year. The following post will include a few things to consider when introducing devices to your new class, as well as what I, personally, like to include in a device boot camp.
A Few Things to Consider
Before school begins, and you are planning your first week activities, consider the following questions regarding the devices that your students will be using. Even better, discuss these questions in your grade level planning time so that you and your teammates are on the same pages as far as expectations for devices.
What to Include in Your Device Boot Camp
During the first 1-2 weeks of the school year, I take my new students through a very detailed device boot camp. Here are some areas that I address during my device boot camp.
Include some fun “get to know you” type activities in the device boot camp. Let students practice using the device for fun, so that they become familiar with the apps that you will be using throughout the year. For example, take selfie and and type a few sentences about themselves, respond to a flipgrid prompt, post something in seesaw, create a Google slide deck as a class, etc. Start with one or two apps, then build from there. You could even do an “App of the Day” for the first couple weeks, to familiarize your students with the tools they will be using throughout the year.
Incorporating a device boot camp in your “first week of school” plans might seem overwhelming. However, in my experience, setting clear expectations with technology at the beginning of the year saves time later, and also sets students up for success. So, as you plan those team building activities, laminate homework folders, and create colorful name tags, I hope you will also plan for a device boot camp for the upcoming school year.
I've recently discovered HyperDocs ... and I'm absolutely obsessed with them now! If you haven't heard of them before, a HyperDoc is basically a Google Doc with a ton of hyperlinks included. Student follow the directions of the HyperDoc, watching videos, reading articles, and accomplishing various tasks along the way. I really like using them with my Middle School students in the STEM Lab. HyperDocs make things easier because there are usually about 15 different things happening in the Lab with my Middle School students. I also really like them for Extra Credit assignments, since they can work through the HyperDoc independently.
One of the first HyperDocs that I used with my Middle School students was "Comic Life Digital Citizenship." This HyperDoc walked students through creating a Super Digital Citizen character that protects people online. It's based on a lesson from Common Sense Education, but also incorporates the Comic Life software that I use in my lab.
Check out this awesome student work!
A great resource for sharing HyperDocs is Teachers Give Teachers. This website has a massive amount of HyperDocs that you can easily add to your Google Drive, make a copy of, then modify however you need to. I just recently downloaded a "Getting to Know GAFE" HyperDoc that I'm excited to share with my Middle School students.
Try out a HyperDoc with your students today!
As I've mentioned in a previous post, teaching digital citizenship is a big goal for Stuart Mesa Elementary this year. One of the many hats that I'm wearing, as a site-based EdTech TOSA, is to model lessons and support classroom teachers as they present Digital Citizenship lessons to their students. I created a bulletin board in my STEM Lab that is all about the Digital Footprint, as a way to remind students that they should pause and think before posting anything online. I'm super happy with the way the bulletin board turned out, and wanted to share all of the pieces that I've created with all of you!! I cannot take complete credit for the bulletin board idea. I found some great inspiration on pinterest for this board, and put several of those ideas together with some of the excellent resources from common sense education.
All of the pieces that I created for this bulletin board can be found in this Google Folder. The giant footprint was traced on black butcher paper, using a google image of a footprint projected on my whiteboard. Feel free to use these resources for your own classroom and share the link with colleagues too! Add a photo of your own Digital Citizenship bulletin board in the comments, or share it with me on twitter @mrslovefleck. Good luck on your Digital Citizenship journey this school year!
Although I haven't begun to see students in the STEM Lab yet, I've been visiting classrooms to talk about digital citizenship. This year, Stuart Mesa has set the goal of becoming A Digital Citizenship certified school. Woohoo!! Basically, this means that students will receive lessons that focus on various areas of digital citizenship. So, why is digital citizenship so important? Watch the video below to get a better idea of the amount of time tweens and teens spend online.
So, excluding the time spent using media for school or homework, tweens (age 8-12) spend about 6 hours and teens (age 13-18) spend about 9 hours online each day. It is important that students are learning about what it takes to be a good digital citizen! We will be providing lessons on digital citizenship and handing out literature to parents as well. Join Stuart Mesa in our effort to create good digital citizens, one student at a time.