Saturday, September 6, 2014

Slow and Steady

1:1 is now our reality, and we couldn't be happier!

The moment finally happened.  Boxes full of iPad minis were delivered to our classroom nearly three weeks ago, and it may have very well been one of the happiest moments of our teaching lives.  The world of 1:1 is now our reality, and we couldn't be happier.

You might say we've been chomping at the bit for quite some time, and suddenly we found ourselves at the starting gate ready to go.  

Whoa, girls.

I think we all know the old parable of the turtle and hare, and how the arrogance and quick-pace of that old rabbit turned out to be disastrous in the end.  We've learned very quickly that initiating 1:1 in the primary classroom has much to be learned from the moral, "Slow and steady wins the race."

You see, this summer we filled our little minds with as much new and exciting edtech knowledge as we possibly could.  It's so easy to become renewed and refreshed throughout those learning months, and then the reality and exhaustion of putting those ideals into action becomes increasingly clear from day one!  As Dave Burgess says, "It isn't meant to be easy.  It's meant to be worth it." 

Oh, Mr. Pirate Dave- it has been!

Here are a few of our reflections from the past three weeks of fully implementing a 1:1 classroom of iPad minis into the little and capable hands of our primary kiddos.

  • steps!  You don't have to do everything at once and you shouldn't.  Start small and let them get comfortable with the device.  We strongly believe the camera is the most powerful tool on any digital device your students have.  Let them engage in meaningful play.  Really.  We let our kiddos make as many silly faces as they needed to in that photo booth to get it out of their system.  The grins and giggles will have you smiling in no time as well.  Then move on.  Challenge them a day or two at a time.  Reflect.  Which apps are most important to your classroom routines?  For us, apps like KidBlog, PicCollage, and DoodleBuddy were easy places to get the students started.  They also allowed us to quickly use these apps in station activities as well as whole group learning.  Check out our classroom blog links below to catch up with what we've been doing.  

PicCollage is an easy way to personalize our learning.
This first grade student shows off his character map complete with describing words and a mustache!  Below is an example of a kindergarten color scavenger hunt completed in PicCollage.  The possibilities are endless when you open your mind, but the key is to focus on student creation. 

DoodleBuddy has a 1001 uses.
This first grader uses it to share a rough draft sentence for Writer's Workshop.

KidBlog allows the students to become published authors with a large audience and take ownership in their writing.  First graders and kindergartners alike are both fullycapable of sharing experiences through blogging.
  • Follow your district's policies and procedures.  They are there for a reason.  This will save you, your students, and your busy tech department from many headaches and lots of time.  
  • Be flexible.  Glitches are a guarantee at any time of the year, but especially in the beginning as the kinks get worked out.  Have a Plan B, and always- always stay calm.  (Even if you feel like a mess on the inside!)  
  • Most importantly, HAVE FUN and REJOICE!  The world is now at your students' fingertips, and you have unlimited resources at your disposal.  What isn't awesome about that?  

We hope that this year's blogposts are helpful to you as we travel this race together.   Be sure to check out our classroom blogs as well for even more glimpses into our techie classrooms!  

-Two Techie Teachers


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