Friday, September 2, 2011

Introducing Technology to Your Students

If you are planning to use technology tools as important components of your teaching and your students' learning this year, this is the time to begin teaching students how to use those tools. You may be planning to use a wiki to organize your students' learning, Glogster to let your students show what they know, Edmodo for students to communicate, or Wallwisher for idea sharing. Go ahead and use those tools in meaningful ways so students begin to get familiar with them and understand your expectations for their use.

Many technology tools that you will use for learning later on can be helpful in beginning-of-the-year tasks right now. A few examples:

  • Use a polling site now to vote on classroom rules and later to take quick, informal assessments of student learning (
  • Use Wallwisher now to find out what students know about a topic and later as a word wall (
  • Use Glogster EDU or Popplet now for students to introduce themselves and later as a reading response tool (,
  • Use VoiceThread now to conduct a scavenger hunt around the school and later for peer sharing of student work (

Giving your students experience with those tools now will make teaching and learning with them so much easier. The time you spend now teaching students how to utilize tech tools will save you a lot of time later on.

Ms. Simpson, 5th grade teacher at South Newton, is participating in the iPad pilot program this year. We've spent time this week training students how to do a variety of tasks that they will be doing on a regular basis once the iPads arrive. We are planning to continue training students on the iPads so they can be used as a seamless part of classroom instruction. Ms. Simpson won't lose any instructional time later on because her students are already developing the skills they'll need.

If you're wanting to introduce and teach some technology tools to your students but don't know where to start, I'd love to work with you. I can help you brainstorm ideas, plan lessons, teach the tools to the students, or support you in any other way. Please let me know how I can help you jump-start your students' learning with technology.

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