In my ideal world, I would have iPads in my classroom for my kiddos so that they can use them regularly and tech usage would be student-centered instead of teacher-centric. But alas! I have just one iPad (mine) and one computer to work with (I guess I should be thankful I have that at least).
Now do keep in mind that in Pre-K it’s all about ‘visual literacy’, they cannot read or write. Their pictures are indecipherable but they have a wealth of meaning behind each. My little ones have been working with Seesaw since the beginning of the year and now they are at a stage where I do not have to tell them how to log in to their account and start doing what they want to – be it recording themselves or their friends while (pretend or picture) reading, drawing or simply taking a picture (all related to the unit of course). Of course the pictures or the videos are not good enough but hey they’re just four years old.
My class recently started using Puppet Pals (Technology – TPACK) for our unit ‘How We Express Ourselves’ (Content – TPACK). It is mostly controlled by me but yes the students choose the characters and setting. They are learning to use their voice to portray the characters and their emotions. They are getting better at recording and then replaying to listen. So I guess we’re going back and forth between ‘substitution‘, ‘augmentation‘ and the ‘modification‘ stage. The fact is that my students would not have been able to share with their parents what they’re doing in class if not for these two platforms. Oh and let’s not forget our class Twitter account.
How would I evaluate my own practice of technology integration?
It could be that I am not looking in the right direction, but most of the blogs or websites that I read for integrating technology were not geared towards preschool. While reading “What Is Successful Technology Integration?” I came across the following:
- Routine and transparent
- Accessible and readily available for the task at hand
- Supporting the curricular goals, and helping the students to effectively reach their goals
Based on just this, in my classroom, technology is NOT
- being used on a daily basis (but we’re using it at least thrice in a week)
- students do not have access to it themselves (I get the iPads from the bookstore when I need the students to work on them)
- other than their parents they are not collaborating with anyone else
Yet on the other hand they are
- getting the opportunities for expressing their understanding
- learning in an active and engaged environment with content that is relevant and this also gives me an opportunity to assess them in an authentic manner.
So then what level of Technology Integration am I on? I guess it differs with grade level work. For Pre-K, I am dangling between basic and comfortable since my students are using two different platforms (Seesaw and Puppet Pals) on a fairly regular basis. But they are not using a variety of tools and this could be because I am not competent enough.
The past few weeks I have been mentoring the Grade 5 students for their PYP Exhibition and I got them to work with Canva and iMovie for their final presentation. I do have a small group of students in my Coding Club working on different ‘plugged’ and ‘unplugged’ activities. Previously, I have used Kidblog with second graders where they have collaborated with each other in the classroom as well as the class parents. so here I might be tottering on the ‘comfortable’ stage.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that varies between not just integration in different grade levels but in my own professional practice. Does that mean I am climbing the SAMR ladder? Haah if only that were so. I still have a long way to go, but this CoETaIL journey is certainly helping me wrap my mind around it.