Today's question: What is one piece of learning technology I'd like to try this year and why?
My initial reaction? Easy, student blogging. But then I thought about using Socrative to engage those introverts in my class, Aurasma because I've been dying to try out augmented reality, oh and QR codes seem like a really interesting tool too, and I've been really wanting to get more of my struggling writers using Evernote & speech-to-text efficiently. Hmmm, I guess this is why they call it reflective teaching.
If I had to narrow it down (it does say one piece), I think I'd choose speech-to-text, followed closely by student blogging.
Speech-to-text - I have been using speech-to-text apps for some time now and know the power they can have for struggling writers. Last year, I integrated it with Evernote for some kids and was really pleased (as were the parents & kids) with the ease of access across multiple platforms and locations. However, I have come to realize that very few struggling writers struggle solely with the act of writing, whereby giving them a speech-to-text tool instantly remedies their writer's block. For the majority of my young struggling writers, a large part of their issues with writing lies in their inability to properly sequence and structure their writing, something that cannot be remedied by speech-to-text alone. If, however, I can get these students proficient in brainstorming and outlining their writing (using Evernote & Skitch, for example) then speech-to-text should be a beneficial tool for them. Luckily, my partner-in-crime, Kristi, has been doing tons of research about writing, particularly about getting little boys to write; coincidentally, these tend to be our highest proportion of struggling writers. I think I feel a joint project coming on...
Student blogging - Ok, so I know it said one but I came across this fantastic article about increasing student engagement through blogging. The basic premise is that students will write more and put more effort in to it if they know that people beyond their teacher are reading their work. It introduces a site called quadblogging.com which partners four classes together to blog and respond to one another's blogs. I love this idea because it ensures that someone other than classmates are reading the blog, providing authentic feedback and lots of opportunity to develop not only one's writing skills but also one's critiquing skills (thereby creating a feedback loop that will, hopefully, continuously improve everyone's writing). After reading this article I got so jazzed about the idea that I knew that I would definitely be trying it out this year. Of course, lacking a class of my own, I am going to have to convince one of my teachers that they want to go down this road with me...
Well, Day 2 down and I am looking forward to tomorrow. That, and a school year that actually gets off the ground sooner rather than later.
I'm Bryn, teacher, mom, book lover, athlete. I am passionate about literacy, collaborative teaching and finding new and innovative ways to engage & motivate all kids. I hope you find something that speaks to you here on my blog and would love to hear from you too!