By Suzy Brooks
Suzy strives incessantly to make strong, positive connections with her students, their families, and her colleagues. It is through these relationships that she has found the encouragement to share her knowledge and enthusiasm for all things technical. Visit her blog to learn all about life in her classroom at http://blogs.falmouth.k12.ma.us/simplysuzy/
Putting a mobile device into a student’s hand opens up a world of possibilities when it comes to learning. For some teachers, finding ways to use these devices effectively can be daunting at first. While the ultimate goal is to transform teaching and learning through the Substitution Augmentation Modification Redefinition (SAMR) model and others like it (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gYYcvADUovY#t=16), it is a good idea to get your feet wet first. Here are some lesson ideas for getting started.
1. Let’s Work Together!
Students are more engaged and willing to share their work when they know that their audience goes beyond their teacher. Find a collaborative space online where students can post, comment, and interact with one another during the school year. Consider collaborative online forums such as Google Drive, Titan Pad, and Padlet. Student blogging platforms like KidBlog and EduBlogs expand the concept of audience and develop overall technology skills. Self-contained learning environments are also a great way to get students to work collaboratively. Check out Edmodo and Schoology as possible options for your classroom. Start simple; become better as you grow!
2. Where Are We?
Spend some time with mapping apps and web sites. One of my favorite things to do with students is to have them find our school. From that point, we spend time locating landmarks around town as well as their homes and well-known businesses. When students are not allowed to type an address in the search box, they must use more-creative means to find their way around. Have students take a screenshot of their destination and annotate a description of how they arrived there. Expand the concept later to include map studies in history or social studies.
3. Skills and Strategies for Reading
The vast array of images available on the Internet is amazing. Use compelling photographs to teach reading, writing, and speaking skills. Students can respond to a picture-inspired writing prompt or record their voice giving an opinion after viewing a historical artifact. I use images to teach the more abstract skills and strategies of reading. My students learn to compare, contrast, generalize, predict, and question from viewing images I have collected on an online Pinterest board. Later, they are better able to apply those skills in reading assignments. 2 in 1 devices can be used to view images, record voices, and type responses.
Ideally, we should all be designing lessons that allow us to modify or redefine how technology is used for student learning. For newcomers, it will take smaller steps and simpler projects to broaden skills and build confidence. 2 in 1 devices allow students to access an entire realm of learning not even possible before. Be sure to rely on your students; they will help take you to the next level!
This lesson plan is brought to you by Intel Education. Follow @intelEDU on Twitter for more great lesson plans and ideas like this one.