As the 2020/2021 school year approaches, teachers have a lot of questions about what it will look like. When we ask this question, it seems like all we hear is “We don’t know yet.” Since governors, district leaders and administrators don’t know what schools will look like next year, teachers are struggling to figure out how to prepare. In this blog series, we are looking at 10 ways that we can prepare this summer without wasting our time. Each way will prove beneficial to you, whether your district ends up using distance learning, traditional classrooms, or a hybrid education approach. Included in each blog post in this series will be tech tool suggestions, free resources, and a giveaway entry form.
Yesterday we talked about setting up your digital classroom. Today we will discuss something else all teachers should do to prepare for next school year:
You can explore a new technology tool.
So if you have read my blog for any length of time, you know that I am a super techie. I LOVE trying out new technology tools and playing with new ways to incorporate technology into my classroom. However, I fought trying new things during my 6 weeks of distance learning instruction. Our time with distance learning was so short that by the time the student and I adjusted and were ready to try new tech tools, our time was about up.
However, I did try one new tool during the last week of instruction. I started using Whiteboard.fi with my class while I was doing "live lesson" Google Meets. As soon as I started using it, I wished I had been using it the whole time. It was such a beneficial tool during our Google Meet classes because I could see what each kiddo was doing and knew who was stuck and who was ready to move on. I could create a template and send it to all of my students. I could actually feel like I was teaching instead of just talking at my kiddos.
Of course, as soon as I started playing with this new technology tool, I thought of ways to use this in a brick and mortar school. Students could have an assignment pushed to them that they could work on as they rotate through a computer center. Then we could look at everyone's work all together. It could be used in small groups to save paper and practice computer skills. In a one to one device situation students could work out math problems, circle parts of words or even draw visualization pictures of a read aloud. Then we can review whole group and be able to see each and every students' thinking.
Learning Technology Tools Takes Time
So why did I start using this technology tool so late into the process? Because I was overwhelmed with trying to learn how to use these other technology tools. Each new tool that we use has to be learned, played with and tried out. What better time to explore and find new technology tools than when we are staying at home trying to prepare for next year. If we end up back in our classrooms next year, then we will have great new tools for presentation, extension and technology integration. If we end up doing distance learning, we will have some new important ways to teach from far away. Either way, it's a win/win!
Looking for some technology tools to check out? I suggest checking out these blog posts:
Top Tech Tools for Teachers
Technology Infused Math Lessons
Creating Collaborative Slide Shows
Using Voice Recording Software
You also might want to check out these specific tech tools:
Smart Learning Suite.
FREE Resources for Your Classroom
As you take some time to explore new tech tools this summer, here are some free resources which may help you out:
Earth Day Video Creation Project - This video creation project guides you and your students through the creation of a video about the 3Rs - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.
Online Book Report - This resource helps students create a digital book report about any book that they have read.
June Digital Learning Resource Bundle Giveaway
Now time for our giveaway!!! With today's giveaway entry form, you will be entering to win my 5th Grade Internet Scavenger Hunt Bundle. This bundle includes: 8 different internet scavenger hunts. Each scavenger hunt comes with 4 different formats: .doc format that allows students to type on them, a .pdf that allows students to click the links, a QR code version that allows students to scan QR codes and a Google Classroom version that includes a Google Doc and a Google Form. Enter to win this Internet Scavenger Hunt Bundle, by completing the June Giveaway Entry Form #2.
All winners will be chosen on July 1st. Winners will receive the bundle directly to the provided email. All those who enter will also receive my monthly Raki's Rad Resources News Releases.
Interested in more tips on how to prepare for the unpreparable 2020/2021 school year? Come back tomorrow for tip #3!
Missed a day? This blog post contains the entire list of 10 Things You Can Do to Prepare for Next School Year.
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