kindergarten technology

The Magic of “Interactive” WhiteBoards

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This video below displays the true magic and capabilities of the Interactive White Board. I have been so blessed to have one in my classroom and the children just love it. However, what they love most is when it is their turn to “touch” or interact with the board.

When I first integrated the Interactive Whiteboard into my classroom, I was unsure of how to involve each and every child. I must admit that I used it to show short videos and read-aloud animated story books. However, as I became more comfortable with its capabilities, I learned how to manage my students so that each child truly interacted and had a turn at some point in the day. This took practice and patience (from my students). I finally came to the point that each time we sat down for a lesson or activity at the IWB, not each child would have a turn. I helped them understand that if they did not have a turn at that moment, that they would later. Since tracking who had a turn was a challenge for me, I gave each child a number. They learned their numbers so quickly. Whenever it was time for a child’s turn, I simply called out the next number. And believe me-no one forgot when it was their turn, who had a turn already or who was absent and couldn’t have a turn!

I must emphasize that the most important feature is its capability to interact. The worst thing that it can be used for is a tv or movie player. Let’s face it, our students go home and watch tv-and most likely – alot. Their brains need interactive stimulation. They need to stand up and move their bodies and fingers. They need to think about the appropriate action. They do not need to just sit and listen. The IWB should not be used as another “teacher” who just talks and provides knowledge.

So, I encourage you to allow the students to interact with the board. Remember-its not just a whiteboard. It’s an Interactive White Board!

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21st Century Learning Skills-Do you have them?


By: Andrea Chouhan

“For students to succeed in the coming decades, they must also learn to be creative, think critically, communicate, and collaborate.” New literacies of information, media and technology skills are additional skills that are vital for 21st Century Learning. Young children are already self-learning how to digitally think critically.

Let’s face it-children and students crave technology. Technology grabs their attention, is exciting and is engaging in many ways. Other than handheld blinking light toys, 2- 3 year olds first technology is the iPod or iPad. Its ease of use and simple directions are learned quickly. Young children learn that if they touch the screen-something exciting will happen. Sounds and animation are a given. This interactive technology wins against watching a cartoon on t.v.

The next type of technology that young children interact with is laptop computers. Like the iPad, it is handheld and interactive but in a different way. The computer allows a child to learn by searching the internet, using the keyboard to type letters and words, and using the mouse to click and drag objects on the screen.

All the above technologies foster learning by reaching out to so many learning styles: tactile, visual and auditory. Students today are influenced by the media-rich and instant technology based environment. Technology provides immediate, fast, engaging, and dynamic learning experiences. Students’ methods of learning are different than earlier generations. Students collaborate, network and communicate via technology, like Twitter, blogs, texting and Facebook. They learn online and rely on digital media for information and socialization. They crave this technology, just like prior generations craved the radio and talking on the home telephone.

It almost seems unfair that children have such easy access to technologies that were not even created when we were in high school. This brings up the fact that these children have the opportunity to learn more efficiently, than we did as children.

“Today’s students need to be prepared for life in a world that will require new skills. That need puts schools at the forefront of technology adoption and education.” In order for teachers to meet students “where they are at” schools must create a learning environment that inspires students to attain the 21st century skills that society demands of us. The classroom should be student-centered instead of teacher centered. In a student centered classroom, learners are engaged in meaningful conversations, interactions with technology and group-based tasks. The direction of learning is facilitated by the teacher, as opposed to being dogmatic about covering specific standards. Long gone should be teacher-centered classrooms, where the teacher stands in front of the classroom and talks while the students take notes and listen. Who actually likes to sit and take notes anyway? This is not a conducive style of learning for most people. This requires tough change, which begins with the school and then the teacher. This change begins with integrating and aligning technology within curriculum, instruction, learning standards, teacher professional development and student assessment. In order for schools, teachers and parents to nurture student learning, they must learn about these new technologies. Just as teenagers acquire more knowledge from the internet than they do their parents, we adults need to follow their example. To start with, I encourage you to investigate some of the new technologies that I have discovered. A simple Google search provided me with knowledge on the following: Augmented reality learning, iStation computer assessments, Animation-ish software. By clicking on the links below, you can begin your journey towards critical and creative thinking. Can you use these new technologies? Can your child or student use them? If so, how? Enjoy your learning journey!

References:

e-book, “21st Century Learning”: Tech & Learning Online Magazine http://newbay.ebookhost.net/tl/lenovo/1/index.php?e=41&open=1

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Computer-based Reading Assessment- http://www.istation.com/Assessment/ISIPEarlyReading

Animation-ish Graphic design Software for children- http://shop.fablevisionlearning.com/animationish/fa/shop.detail/productID/2542/

Letters Alive, Augmented Reality 3-D Software for the Whiteboard http://www.logicalchoice.com/archive/archive/augmented-reality-for-teaching-learning/letters-alive-curriculum-pre-k-k/

http://www.howstuffworks.com/augmented-reality.htm

http://www.scoop.it/t/augmented-reality-in-education-and-training

Augmented Reality Technology Brings Sesame Street Characters to Life | Augmented Reality in Education and Training | Scoop.it

http://popartoys.com/2011/05/3-d-interactive-augmented-reality-childrens-book-series-popar-debuts-at-the-new-york-international-book-fair/

Interesting Parenting Article: http://www.psfk.com/2010/10/the-digital-birth-of-the-modern-child.htmly

Brain Pop Jr. is a great online tool for teaching!

                             images from google

If you have never used brain pop jr. or brain pop…you have to try it! Educators and parents can use brainpop jr. It is appropriate for younger students (I would say up to first grade). However, brainpop ,is for older kids. There is a cute little robot named Moby that guides the lessons and his friend does all the talking and explaining. It has such great content and depth, but is at the children’s level. One of my favorite lessons is about story characters. Moby gets dressed up with a Goldilocks wig and re-enacts the story. Hearing my students laugh and learn, at the same time, is such a wonderful thing to see! Some of my other favorite topics on brainpopjr. are: recycling, animal habitats, space, rocks & minerals, holidays, bike safety, family and so much more! Their website is: http://www.brainpopjr.com

Here is a link at the educator’s section that shows how a teacher uses brain pop in her classroom and in the computer lab: http://www.brainpop.com/video_tutorials/brainpop_jr_in_the_classroom/

So, there is a catch. Daily video’s are free. To view everything, you must subscribe. I never had to pay a dime because our PTO paid for it. You may even could write a grant to cover the costs. It is worth every penny, though. If my school ever stopped paying, I would do it myself. I cannot imagine teaching Science or Social Studies without brainpop jr.!

Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy…low and high levels of technology!

Have you heard of it? Well, I have heard of Bloom’s Taxonomy, but never “Bloom’s Digital Taxonomy.” So, here it is-and I can’t wait to use it in my classroom! I will outline some key points from Andrew Churches document, based on Bloom’s levels of learning.

1. Remembering (Knowledge)- finding, locating, using a google search or bookmarking, social networking

2. Understanding (Comprehension)- explaining, blog journaling, subscribing, using twitter

3. Applying (Application)- using, executing, uploading, sharing, editing, hacking, playing, running

4. Analyzing (Analysis)- organizing, linking, validating, cracking, organizing, media clipping

5. Evaluating (Critical thinking)- judging, experimenting, critiquing, posting, moderating, blog commenting, reviewing, networking

6. Creating (Creative thinking)- designing, constructing, producing, inventing, programming, filming, animating, video blogging, wiki-ing, publishing, podcasting

I was so happy to stumble upon this information at an article found at the following blog: http://coolcatteacher.blogspot.com/

The original contents comes from a very thorough document created by Andrew Churches:

http://edorigami.wikispaces.com/file/view/bloom%27s+Digital+taxonomy+v3.01.pdf