Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Using Tech in PE: Yup, that happened!

I totally get the screen time argument. I don't want my own kids sitting in front of an iPad or a TV for hours on end.  However, sometimes I think that argument is used to discredit technology being used in the classroom--that teachers don't want to contribute to the screen time dilemma.

Some have this vision of students sitting at their desks just staring at the screen of a device, but I think that is totally underestimating tech and what it could look like in a classroom.

Technology can be active.  Technology should be hands-on.

Technology shouldn't stop at playing an app on a device when it can be so much more.

Our PE teacher has been wanting to try a game with her students and I'll be honest, I hadn't thought through setting up the tablet with the projector in the gym until yesterday, so the fact that it took until yesterday was my fault alone.

Her kinders through 2nd graders were working on throwing and accuracy when throwing.

We added the Jitterbug app to one of the Android tablets we have in the building and connected that tablet to the projector using an Android Miracast.

The kids lined up in the gym and their job was to smoosh the bugs with their throws.  If a student hit a bug with their throw, the teacher clicked the bug on the tablet and made it disappear.  Even cuter, the students thought it was them the whole time! They had so much fun!

Check out a video of the craziness here!

Later today we are going on a nature walk where students to will capture photos from nature to create Animoto poetry videos from their pictures and their writing.

Technology shouldn't just be students sitting in their seats quietly obeying; tech should be fun, hands-on, active, and engaging!

Putting technology in students' hands means being open to opportunities of which we could have never dreamed as students ourselves.

When I was in school, we would have practiced throwing and accuracy by throwing the ball through a hoop or toward a circle tapped on the wall.  Which do you think looks like more fun?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Quick Mother's Day Writing/Gift Idea

I see so many of my elementary teachers trying desperately to put something together to send home a little Mother's Day gift this coming weekend.  So in a combination of mom and ed tech coach, with a little bit of inspiration from DoInk's Twitter feed, the video Mother's Day card was born.

One of our first grade teachers had her students draw a picture and write about their moms: what they loved about them, what they did together, and what makes them the best.  No doubt, some of them are humorous, but they are genuine.

I took their art and writing to snap a quick photo with just a construction paper background.

Then, we opened up our FAVORITE green screen app, Do Ink, and got to work.

It is super simple and took little to no time at all.

I loaded the picture I had taken of their work into Do Ink, placed the students in front of the green screen (literally a wall painted green in my classroom but a green plastic tablecloth works too) and had them tell me about their moms.

After I recorded all the students, I moved them into a Google Drive folder, changed the share settings, and turned each video recording into a QR code.

From there, the QR codes were passed off to the teacher who printed them and the students put them into Mother's Day cards.

So simple.  So heartfelt.  So adorable.

To all the moms, Happy Mother's Day!