Today I had the opportunity to support a group of 1st grade teachers in integrating technology during the planning process. I’ve never taught 1st grade so this experience was definitely a welcomed one.
Each teacher had classroom access to two ipads at all times. In addition, their campus had an ipad cart that could be checked out weekly. As for ipad use, teachers had only used practice apps and games during centers. Creativity had not been heard of. Even after being told “I’m not a tech person”, this group excited me because I knew that all of these issues were ones that were within our power to address.
After discussing the intended outcomes for each lesson, I talked to teachers about creativity and how students could collaborate, even as first graders, to better enhance, explore and express their learning. When creativity is a new idea to teachers, it’s important to not overwhelm them further with tons of apps at the start. It was amazing to hear them reiterate this idea as they decided to learn one app really well and use cross curricular in lieu of allowing the apps to overtake the learning. In other words…Focus on a Few.
During the course of 55 minutes, we were able to talk about 4 apps, how kids would use them and how I would be supporting them through this process.
One of the apps that we discussed was 30 hands, which I learned about this past weekend at Edcamp Austin.