In the Hands of Students: Student Device Grant Winner
Two things I really like are education and technology. To me, they are like chocolate and peanut butter (which, BTW, are two other things I really like). And just like chocolate and peanut butter, education and technology are even better when they go together. Unfortunately, and again, like chocolate and peanut butter, my students and I just can’t get enough. I say unfortunately because with lack of funding and resources we can’t get enough technology in our classrooms. So when we saw the EdTechTeam’s tweet about the Student Device Grant, we knew we had to take our chances. We knew it was a long shot but one we were willing to take, because win or lose, we were going to make an absolutely awesome video!
So what are we going to do with a class set a Chromebooks? Well, the majority of the students I teach are either new immigrants or Special Education students. As a result, most of the students I teach are English as a Second Language (ESL) learners and students with special needs who have an Individual Education Program (IEP). In addition to the daily challenges these students face as they adjust to their new lives, or life in general, access to the curriculum can be a major hurdle for them. Additionally, the majority of these students do not have access to technology outside of school. Therefore, a class set of Chromebooks will have a great impact on my students’ learning in two major ways. Firstly, one-to-one Chromebooks will provide equal access to the curriculum for ALL of my students, especially those who are ESL learners or students with an IEP. Secondly, a personal Chromebook will greatly increase the opportunities for learning and creativity, allowing students to independently learn at their own pace, as well as pursue their own interests and inquiries.
In order to help facilitate my students’ inquiry and creation using their Chromebooks, both in school and at home, I will be teaching them how to use G Suite (for Education) apps such as Google Drive, Classroom, Docs, Translate, Slides, Draw, and Sites. With these tools, the students will learn skills like; organizing files, creating and editing text documents, slide shows or drawings, sharing their work with others, handing in assignments, and participating in online forums and discussions. Additionally, using Google Classroom, I can provide a safe environment for the students to engage in online, moderated forums and discussions, helping them to learn about online etiquette and digital citizenship, as they build their online identities. As they become more comfortable with the basics of these apps, I will introduce them to more sophisticated features, such as Voice Typing or Explore in Google Docs. As well, students will be continuously introduced to other online learning resources and creation tools such as; Read & Write for Google, Mindomo, Pixlr, and Scratch. My students and I would like to thank the EdTechTeam for this very generous grant and amazing learning opportunity. We are all very excited and looking forward to beginning our edu•technocational expedition!
OCT, M.Ed. Primary/Junior Teacher