I created this post as a reflection on my current technology integration in the classroom, as well as some goals for the upcoming school year. I created this post on Pen.io, an anonymous blogging platform. You do need a login to use it. It has a very simple and clean interface. You basically write and publish. Here is the link to my post. I have also included the original text below:
Paths Towards Integration
I certainly have a few tools that I use mostly for instructional purposes. My SmartBoard is mostly used for videos, Google Docs, and images from my document camera. My students only interact on the SmartBoard once a day: during the Morning Message. Because we don’t have the ability to have more than one student use the board at the same time, it is usually used to disseminate information to my students from me. I use the SmartBoard more than my students do.
I don’t like downloading software to my computer, because then it is only on my school computer. I do most of my planning on my personal laptop because I like the Mac interface better than the PC interface. I put most of my plans on Google Docs so that I don’t have to transfer documents through a flash drive. If someone is downloaded onto my school computer, it is unlikely to get into my lesson plans because I don’t have access to it on my home computer.
I do use websites on my SmartBoard a lot. We use ebooks to research information together and practice oral reading fluency. We watch videos that connect to our science and history lessons. The main science resource I used this year was a website with explanatory and step-by-step videos that walked students through lab procedures. We use the virtual manipulatives provided by our math curriculum. I use Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides to share presentations and information to my students. Because we do not have a class set of devices–just my one school computer–most of the websites are directed by me and utilized by my students.
I use my phone to take a lot of pictures of my students while they are working. I created a private Facebook account that my students’ parents could “friend” and follow what we were doing each day. We also wrote a daily post to summarize what we had learned and done that day in class. I was the user of the phone to takes pictures, and I typed up the daily summary while my students told me what to say.
This year, I am planning on using a lot more Web 2.0 tools with my students. I am teaching 5th grade this coming year, so I am excited to hand them the reigns with technology more. I would love for them to write our daily post and have them take and share pictures. I want them to write in Google Drive so their classmates can give them feedback and not just me. I am toying with the idea of having the students publish blogs/writing online. Since I have increased my usage of Twitter this summer, I would also like to get them to connect with authors and scientists using that platform.
Unfortunately, I am the only teacher in my grade, and we no longer have a tech teacher at my school. My usage of technology has always been a fairly lonely road, and I really wish I had a teacher at my school with whom I could collaborate. I am thankful for groups like this to increase my PLN outside of my classroom walls.
Due to the fact that you need a login to use this site, I will probably not use it with my students. There are several other simple blogging platforms that do not require logins–I will discuss them at a later date–so I would rather use those with my 5th graders. But I can appreciate how easy it is to use and how quickly you can publish a blog post. Those are very useful features.