Wednesday, December 16, 2015

10 Simple Ways to Integrate Technology in the Classroom

I am a technology junky!  At any given time you will find a collection of iPads, laptops, iPhones, smart T.V.s, e-readers, you name it.  If you haven't read Goodnight iPad by Ann Droyd, you really should.  This may very well have taken place in my house.  ;)

If you aren't sold on the importance of integrating technology in the classroom or have doubts, this video is an absolute MUST!!  This video is one of the most powerful videos that I have watched lately.

This year I was fortunate to receive Chromebooks for all of my students.  Receiving these Chromebooks and feeling the pressure (mostly self-induced) to use them often and effectively was, and still is, overwhelming.

To keep my sanity in check, I decided to start small.  By starting small, I saved my sanity and also my students'.

Whether you have one, two, three or many technology devices available for your students, start small!!

To get you started or to simply get your creative technology juices flowing, I have a list of 10 simple ways to integrate technology into the classroom, and they are all free.  These tools and resources are great for the classroom that is 1:1 with technology, or the classroom that has only one iPad or tablet.  Do you only have one device?  Create a center that focuses on the use of technology.

1.  Listen/Watch digital stories.  There are many free websites available where students can go, choose a book, and listen to the story.  Zing and Storyonline are a perfect start!

2.  Have students begin with a little research.  Provide them with a topic and have them gather 3-5 facts.  Here, on Upper Elementary Snapshots, we have a list of child-safe search engines that you can find HERE.

3.  Create a Google form for students to choose their lunch choice for the day.

4.  Practice math skills on IXL.  IXL is a paid subscription, but students can practice for free until they have reached the daily problem limit.

5.  Create a Kahoot to review for an upcoming test.  They are a hoot and students LOVE them!

6.  Have students visit Wonderopolis, read the wonder of the day, and reflect in their writing journal.

7.  Create a classroom blog using Google's free Blogger.  Post an open-ended reading question for students to comment.

8.  For Social Studies, use to practice their geography skills.

9.  If you are familiar with QR codes, create a question of the day and require students to check their answer by scanning the code.

10.  Can students ever get enough practice with basic math facts?!?!  XtraMath is a perfect free solution!

Remember to start slow!  Focus on one area of your choice.  Allow students to become comfortable with using the tool and allow yourself to become comfortable implementing it.  Once you and your students are comfortable, think about adding a new focus.  Taking baby steps with ultimately lead to success!