Let's Go Digital!

04:00


We've all been inundated and sometimes overwhelmed with facts, professional development and a bit of wheedling from administrators and colleagues about incorporating digital activities in our teacher toolboxes over the last few years!  Have you taken the leap or still on the fence?


You most likely have heard all the reasons why you should go digital:
  • No glue
  • No scissors
  • Automatically saves
  • No lost assignments
Those are all true, but the number one reason is that it is highly engaging!  Most of us struggle daily to get that one student to focus and if you work in a high needs school like I have, it can mean trying to get the majority of your kids on board because they face so many distractions in their lives. According to research, there are rules to get and keep kids engaged:

  • Make it meaningful
  • Foster a sense of competence
  • Provide autonomy support
  • Embrace collaborative learning
  • Establish Positive Teacher-Student Relationships
  • Promote Mastery Orientation
Incorporating digital learning promotes each one of these "rules," and it's not just for the computer lab teacher or the technology specialist in your building.  With the advent of 1:1 classrooms, whole group digital learning is possible, but if you are not fortunate enough to be blessed with a ton of equipment, setting up a digital learning center with just a few computers and devices will still do the job.

Digital learning is also a great vehicle for computer lab teachers to incorporate core subject matter into their instruction as they teach the technology skills and standards outlined by their state curriculums as well as ISTE.  We always hear how classroom teachers are urged to incorporate technology.  Let's flip the scenario and challenge computer lab teachers to incorporate classroom topics into their teaching!  I speak from experience when I tell you that collaborating on digital projects with classroom teachers can really rev up what's being taught in the lab and it helps kids make those all important connections needed to become a productive learner and worker.

Too busy to develop your own activities or not sure where to start?  I wrote a 2-3 day set of activities called Martin Luther King's Journey.  Students learn about Dr. King and his work, study a timeline, and make an interactive digital map showing his travels in the United States with the major events in his life.  Imaging how much more captivating this would be for your kids instead of the typical worksheet or online scavenger hunt!  All you need is a free Google account to get started.  If you are interested in learning more, please visit me here.


by Nancy@ThatTechChick

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