Sarah O’Connor has seen technology integration pay dividends for her students and herself because she sees her students as individual learners.
“Technology integration has allowed me to teach to meet the needs of all my students by being able to effectively differentiate instruction. Students are eager to try learning in multiple ways through the variety of apps and by using Canvas. When creating class projects it is amazing to see the variety of technology resources students will use to reach their goals. On my end, technology has impacted me by seeing the reaction on my student’s faces because they are able to use it to reach multiple goals. Technology makes students eager to learn and probes the young mind for further learning.” – Sarah O’Connor
Many districts are hesitant to allow devices to go home at early levels like first grade, but Sarah sees the benefits clearly.
“Students come to school daily and share what they do at home, from the books they make, stories they read, or problems they solve. I can see the skills I am teaching them at school being used at home and where they continue their learning because they are so excited by what they can accomplish and create.” – Sarah O’Connor
So what are some of your classroom highlights so far this school year?
“This year we are currently publishing a class book through student iPads and laptops through Student Treasures. This is a project I have done every year and am excited for it to now become technology based. It has gotten students very excited on being able to write a story by using technology. The biggest factor is that each child has a page that adds to a whole story, we are working together to create one piece. They are very eager to see the end result. (The picture below is of my class and I. We are writing our class book based off of Mo Willems Pig and Elephant books. We are currently writing Pig and Elephant Visit Ludington)
Another great experience in my classroom this year is when my students learned how to blog and be part of a conversation when using the app Kid Blog. I am able to use Kid Blog to add discussion about many lessons that go on in my classroom. Students are able to take pictures and post their thoughts. They highly enjoy using this to share what they have learned, ask questions, and post results. I have currently been using this for my weather unit in science and students are eager to share their findings through pictures and discussions.
I have also started using Osmo to enhance student learning. With this interactive tool students are able to solve problems by using their iPad and manipulatives. It is amazing to see students take their learning in their own hands to solve problems.” – Sarah O’Connor
That’s impressive. How do you get to a point where you can incorporate so many digital resources?
“It does take time to plan but it gets easier over time. With continual practice it gets easier for students and even yourself. Take a step at a time to reach a goal and you will get there. Students understand a lot more than we think, they are a great resource for teaching each other. I many times have classroom student ‘experts’ in different areas and they are willing to help other students. It is amazing to see the interactions between students and what they learn from each other.” – Sarah O’Connor
Keep up the great work Sarah!