Now that the school year has begun, I'm starting to get quite a few emails regarding the use of class sets of devices (iPads and Chromebooks) in the classroom. How do I set up routines with the devices? Where do I start with the apps? How can my students use Chromebooks in class? What should I do about digital citizenship? There are tons of questions that teachers ask regarding technology, especially if this is the first time that they've used devices in the classroom.
Last year, I wrote a BLOG post called "Back to School Device Boot Camp" where I outlined some best practices for introducing students to devices in the classroom. Creating a "Device Boot Camp" for your students is a fun way to familiarize them with the device, while also "laying down the law" of what is expected of them with regards to technology. Here is an example of a device boot camp presentation that I've used with students in the past. Think about the specific rules (big and small) that you have and also the consequences for breaking those rules. Some of the rules I like to enforce with iPads are no selfies or videos (unless told to do so), consistent wallpaper/backgrounds, no app folders (I hate those), and only download certain apps.
As far as apps to start with ... I always go Google! As a Google district, all of our students have school Google accounts. Begin by having them log in to those accounts with their ID number and birth date (ddmmyyyy). Show them their Google Drive and have them create a folder for this school year. Create a Google Classroom for your students to join. Post a fun activity in the classroom for students to complete, and show them how to turn in an assignment.
Is Google a little too much for your K-2 students? Start with Seesaw!! Create a teacher account, add your students, them have them login with the QR code. Post a fun "getting to know you activity" and have students respond. Can't think of an activity? Don't worry, Seesaw has already created activities for you to use.
Don't be afraid to try things out with your devices! If something is not working for you or your students, then change it. Technology is a tool for learning, so make it work for you. Need ideas about how to do that? Sign up for EdTech support, and I would love to help you with your devices.
How do you introduce devices in your classroom? Leave a comment below, sharing your ideas.
When I first accepted a position in Oceanside, it was to facilitate a STEM Lab as an EdTech TOSA. It was the greatest job! I was able to inspire students to discover new things, facilitate meaningful learning experiences, and basically play with robots and K'Nex all day (Haha!). I've learned so much in these past three years and have really had the opportunity to refine my teaching practice. I've been able to discover and explore innovative teaching and practice integrating technology in the classroom for multiple grade levels.
My role as an EdTech TOSA in Oceanside has changed since beginning my position in Oceanside. I am no longer in the STEM Lab, but rather support teachers and students at three schools in Oceanside. I still get to support the work in the STEM Labs at these sites (my favorite thing), while also pushing in to classrooms to model tech-infused lessons and co-tech PLTW, our new engineering curriculum.
I think that I will eventually go back to the classroom, so that I can use all of my new-found ideas with a self-contained K-5 class. I'm also interested in exploring ways to infuse technology with all subjects areas - language arts, science, social studies, and math - and the best way to do that is as a classroom teacher.
For now, I'm loving my time working with classroom teachers and students to support their learning!
Follow my work on Twitter: @mrslovefleck
This is the week before teachers return to school for Oceanside Unified School District. Many of my colleagues have already begin working in their classrooms, creating bulletin boards, organizing classroom libraries, and so much more. I ended last school year on maternity leave, so I haven't been in the "school state of mind" since May 4th. I'm slowly starting to plan out my first few weeks back and create my "To Do" list of items that I need to accomplish.
I'm so grateful to return to my position of EdTech TOSA for the 3 base schools in OUSD. This year I will work on supporting all teachers with the implementation of PLTW in their classrooms. I will also continue to support Google in the classrooms and the use of the STEM Labs at each site. I'm looking forward to beginning the new school year and I am excited to support student and teacher learning with technology.
What is your favorite part about beginning a new school year? Leave a comment below!
All thoughts, opinions, reflections, and ideas are that of Heather Love-Fleck, and not the school district that employs her. She reserves the right to change her thoughts, opinions, reflections, and ideas at any time.