Administrator’s Corner: How technology helps students in the classroom
Administrator’s Corner by Tonya Franks and Staci Waltman
Elementary media specialists collaborate with classroom and special education teachers to provide a variety of media experiences to our students. These experiences range from STEM, Makerspace, safe online practices and technology. Technology has its merits in our elementary classrooms as it helps to enhance the learning experience for our students. Here are some examples of resources our students use:
• Seesaw is an online portfolio to gather student’s work to show what they know. Students can record their reading fluency, video a science experiment, create a story or take a picture of their work. It is also a communication tool for families to view their child’s learning and support it.
• Google Classroom is a part of Google for Schools product that is used daily with students in third through fifth grade. It is web-based and allows teachers to assign and grade projects as well as store and share resources with students. It connects to other Google products such as Google Documents, Google Sheets and Google Slides.
• Hour of Code is a concept to expose students to coding starting in kindergarten and working on it through fifth grade. It can be done any time of the year, but is highlighted during Computer Science Week at the beginning of December. Students use a variety of iPad apps such as Code-a-Pillar, Kodable, Scratch Jr., Tynker and Lightbot. They can also program robots like Dash and Dot, Ozobots, Code-n-Go mice, BeeBots, and spheros. Finally, they also have the opportunity to work through coding activities on the websites code.org and scratch.mit.edu.
• Tumblerbooks and Epic Books are links to ebooks that students can enjoy reading throughout their school day. There are thousands of choices: fiction and nonfiction in a plethora of topics.
• Flipgrid is a social learning platform that creates a web of discussion with videos. Students are able to voice their thoughts and ideas, then teachers and fellow classmates can respond and add to it.
There are also several apps used, especially kindergarten through second grade on ipads that help students create and share their ideas. Some of these are a green screen app Chromavid, a collage creator Pic EDU, animation app iMotion, or creating diagrams popplet writing practice with Photocard. As you can see, our district provides many learning opportunities for students to interact with technology.
Tonya Franks is the principal at Halverson Elementary school, where Staci Waltman is a media specialist.