Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Digital Learning Year Round!

Today was not only the one hundredth day of school at RES, but it was also a global event, Digital Learning Day.  My colleague, coteacher and our amazing teacher librarian has blogged about how we reflected and then shared our ideas about digital learning with our fourth grade enrichment/library classes today.  I encourage you to check it out on our class blog at:

 I had originally thought about how I might also make sure that I 'covered' this event in my other classes...but I looked at my teaching plans and it did not seem to fit today to have distinct activities around DLD. In third grade, students were wrapping up our Amazing Race around the globe by taking challenges that others had created for them.  In second grade students were publishing books that they have been working on to share with K students.  In first grade students were scientifically observing bean growth and practicing the art of observation.

So I did not sign up to be a member of DL day, despite the amazing opportunities that other teachers around the globe had created.....but I do hope to in the future, and I will definitely be using ideas shared during this event in my future teaching practice.  However, I also realized another thing as the day progressed.  Even though I did not hi light technology in my classroom today, it was a part of our learning.  When students needed to figure out tricks to make the origami penguin that represented their current trip to Antarctica, they went on line to quickly call up directions.  Another student checked a fact about the height of a famous European monument.  In this same class students who finished first logged onto a blog of an RES family that is currently living in Bolivia to read about their experiences and plan some comments they would like to make.  Other students used the iPads to play geography games ( Tiny Countries is a current favorite as well as a Google Earth).  In second grade students used the iPad to take pictures of their creations.  In first grade we did not access technology today, but a recent online video of plants growing was mentioned as we discussed our plant observations. We have also just finished a project in which we used the IPads to create stop motion claymation videos, so we are intentionally shifting to a focus on real plants this week.  I feel proud that students are beginning to use technology flexibly as another tool in our classroom, and I plan to continue to reflect on improving this practice, on DLD and every day!

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