Check out the UbD unit I created with Mary and Chad: Communicating Computational Fluency. This is a math lesson where students use Explain Everything to show and explain their mathematical thinking about computations. The lesson was designed for a second or third grade classroom, but can be adapted for any grade by changing the type of computation. I don’t think doing this final project made me look at technology in my classroom any differently, but I really like this tech tool as a way for students to communicate their thinking. Often, I think the technology we use just replaces something we used to do that was just as effective, but makes it a little cooler or more fun. This is a case where the technology has enhanced the way students are able to communicate and the clarity of their communication, and it increases the audience they are able to reach. Explain Everything allows students to record their writing and speaking and share the slides with their peers, teacher, and parents.
As I look back over the last few weeks we’ve been in Coetail, I’m most excited about my exposure to a bunch of new tools I can immediately use in my classroom and to conversation and discussion about where our classrooms should be headed. I’m still struggling with the same big questions – what does tech integration look like in second grade? What technology tools are really worth using in math class? How and when do we make time for continued tech training that reaches all teachers? I am beginning to collect answers to these questions, but it’s a journey that I will be continuing. The best thing about being in this course is that technology is always on my mind and I am constantly thinking about new ways to use technology in the classroom. We just gave the second graders blogs to use as e-portfolios in preparation for our student-lead goal creating conferences. They created videos explaining their Needs and how they meet them, which became their first blog posts. Second graders are not efficient typers, so this will mostly house pictures, videos, and recordings of their work.
Where do I go from here? I keep exploring new ideas and applications, keep talking with my colleagues and tech facilitators, and keep using web tools to gather ideas that appropriate, relevant, engaging, and useful for second graders. I try things out and see what works and what doesn’t. We’ll see how goes!