How to get started on integrating technology

The tweets from the The Role of ICT in the PYP (#ICTinPYP), as well as several blog posts, have made me think more about ICT and how it is taught or integrated at schools.

At my school, ICT is NOT a subject taught separately. However, the fact that the Primary and Middle school share a set of 7 laptops, have one computer in class and there is a computer lab, makes it hard to integrate technology. But lets face it, we can complain all the time… perspective is everything!

How can we go about integrating technology when we have “limited resources”?

  • Think of technology as a tool and not as a lesson: If you do it, the students will follow suit… use technology for a reason, nor for its own sake.
  • Make use of the computer lab, try to go there when you need it (and it is available) and not just for the scheduled time.
  • Get the laptops into class on a regular basis, do not make a big deal out of it… they are laptops, we use them all the time!
  • Think about how technology can enhance and transform the learning in your class… how will students be able to express their understanding of a big idea or concept through technology?
  • Technology isn’t everything… don’t forget that students also love to paint, write, and express themselves in a variety of ways!

I’m a tech person, I talk about wikis, twitter, voicethreads and toondoo and people look at me as though I am speaking a foreign language. Right now I am wondering how I can use my strength to have a positive impact  on my school. To get people on board. What do you think?

Using portfolios effectively

I posted this on the IB Online Curriculum Center Forum, but so far I had no replies. I would really treasure your input!

I am struggling a bit with making portfolios a meaningful and integrated part in my classroom.

We just started the year and have used portfolios at the beginning to establish some goals for the term. The purpose is to refer back to those goals all the time. We also added some work samples in already, but it felt more like an unrelated exercise.

How do people integrate portfolios so they become a part of learning?

Where is the inquiry?

I have been busy blogging at PYP Explorers, so if you find nothing new here… pop over there! Thanks!

Today during a collaborative planning meeting involving the PYP coordinator and my teaching partner, I was painfully aware of the lack of inquiry in our unit.
A  lot of what we have been doing has been incredibly teacher-guided and I don’t see a change happening.
The unit itself could be classified as a “tough one”, maybe. The central idea Rights and responsibilities are important aspects of community life could be examined for relevance to 7 year-olds. The concepts ofrights, interdependence and community (related concepts), and perspective, responsibility and causation (key) are however accessible.

What am I trying to say? I am stuck. I want student-initiated inquires, student questions. I want obvious engagement, motivation, and action. But it seems that little so far has happened.

Any ideas?

Grade Three

Grade Three have started their school year yesterday. I am their class teacher. Every single year I have had the privilege to be classroom teacher, I have felt honoured and happy to be a class’ teacher. This year as well.

The first two days just passed so quickly, they literally flew by. Getting organized, creating a warm, caring and safe environment. Getting to know every child, assessing their numeracy and literacy…. finding out their little specialties and favourite actitivies.

My focus on the last two days was on the social development of each child, their reading, their oral comprehension, their level of English, and their familiarity with Math manipulatives and addition/subtraction facts. I’m amazed how “small” the seven year-olds are, in comparison to my previous two classes (7/8 yr olds and 8/9 yr olds).

We started our unit of inquiry, but more on that another time.

I look forward to the year!