Cohort 21

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Here it goes...Blog #2

I found our 2nd FTF session informative and interesting.  I really enjoyed the ideate and iterate stage. I liked reading other HMW questions and suggestions from other Cohort 21 members. I thought it was very helpful to receive ideas and guidance from other members. Thank you for your help!

I enjoyed the design thinking experience because it forced me to think about my teaching and reflect on it. I can never seem to find time to do this! Not only did it allow me to reflect, but the empathizing stage was something I never really ever considered. It is so important to think about how the users may be affected. In this case, the students are very eager to embrace any kind of technology they are introduced to.

Some of my HMW questions included:

  1. HMW use meaningful technology to increase student engagement?
  2. HMW find more meaningful technology to improve the primary classroom experience?
  3. HMW use more technology to communicate with others about what we are doing in the classroom?
  4. HMW find out what kind of meaningful technology is out there if we don't even know what exists?

I have decided that my action plan focus will be: HMW become aware of meaningful technology that exists and how do we implement it to improve the primary classroom experience?

With suggestions from others, I have already implemented a few ideas in my classroom. The Google Hangouts were a hit. We were able to connect with an ornithologist and zoologist. The feedback from my students, parents, and colleagues were all very positive. Kahoot! is also a big hit, although I have some little ones who are overly competitive... Lastly, Sesame HQ has also been implemented and the students and parents enjoy looking at photos, videos, and school work on their feed. The students were recently taught how to login to their accounts with QR codes, snap pictures or videos, and reflect on their work. The children love the independence and it helps me since the students are also adding work to their portfolios.

Next steps: We are heading into our World Fair unit. I am hoping to connect with classes via Connected Classrooms (I have recently joined and am currently trying to set something up- our biggest challenge is going to be time zones!) I recently learned about Belouga  (https://belouga.org/) which I will have to learn more about in the next couple of days.  I think these are going to be invaluable resources. I've tested out 2 types of virtual reality goggles so we can 'travel' to other countries. One challenge I've come across is how to find enough devices to support this activity. The students at this age are very young and many do not have their own device. We have access to ipads, but the experience wouldn't be the same. Please let me know if you have any suggestions.

I know some of this seems very basic, but this is all very new to me. Any guidance or suggestions are welcome.

My questions to you are: What meaningful technology have you used to enhance your primary program? What obstacles did you face and how did you overcome them?