Digital Literacy Journey: Messy and Organic

Margaret Simon, of Reflections on The Techehas started this wonderful Sunday link up on how we are using technology to enhance literacy in our classrooms. Read all the posts that link up with her on Sundays and learn!

My digital literacy journey in the classroom has been messy and interesting. It has been less than perfect and has taken more time than anticipated. While I’d like to be the master of all knowledge and be able to direct students to the best apps to enhance their learning, but I can’t. So I give them time to try things out. They are the testers and the teachers.

We test things out mostly outside reading and writing blocks, during Genius Hour time, tech team (at recess), and after school. Technology takes experimentation and time. Once things seem to be doable and  applicable for reading or writing we’ll take the tech there.

I give students the time (Genius Hour is once a week) and the trust to explore. I might introduce them to an app or a site and ask them if they would like to play with it to see what they can make of it. Sometimes we run into roadblocks, like we did with Animoto and Smores. Both are fantastic tools but the lack of bandwidth at school stopped us cold, so we set it aside while the district works on upgrades.

Students  welcome the opportunity to learn and teach technology. They are passionate about it and pursue it as choice. What students find and share becomes reason for them to come in off the yard at recess and after school to experiment on their own time.

Stopmotion and Paper 53 (a sketch pad/story boarding tool) were discovered by “T” and “M” through the Animation Chef’s website. Students loved their short animations and found these apps help them compose and tell story.

Our current dilemma is writing about reading on the blog. Blogging about reading is one way students discuss their books. It allows for comments and feedback. Clarifications have been made and concerns about spoiling the story have been cited. Both allow for us to grow as a community of readers and writers.

Organic and messy in nature we are working together  to increase our digital literacy.

Next Steps..  I’m looking to introduce  Padlet  for our read aloud discussion. Students can post their comments or questions immediately after read aloud. If we get good at this, what’s to stop us from using this as a tool for posting questions on the books they are reading in clubs. The other way I’m thinking about using Padlet is to enhance our argument writing. Currently students are working on whether zoos are good or bad. I’ve linked a web page to this Padlet. They can read and comment and even copy quotes for their essays. Perhaps share their own links to support their positions.

Thanks to all who linked up today. I got some great ideas. I’m looking forward to using Thinglink with students for our Colonial work coming up in May (thank you Tara for those virtual tours and the connection to Thinglink) and Soundcloud to add to their blog posts on poetry (thanks to Kevin and Linda for being great mentors).

Thank you Margaret for this link up and all for adding so much to my digital literacy.

 

4 thoughts on “Digital Literacy Journey: Messy and Organic

  1. Julianne,
    I just love these stops because there is always so much more to think about. Your idea to have a tech team is a smart idea! Students are teachers as we try to learn new things. I’m looking forward to having my students try a few new things before we end this year so I can learn how to use them with my groups next year. I’m planning to give Padlet for read aloud (inspired by Franki Sibberson) and Today’s Meet (inspired by Karen Lirenman) for science. We’ll see if first graders can manage these.

    I haven’t done much with animation. I’d love to hear more about how your students are using animation in their learning.

    Thanks for sharing,
    Cathy

  2. Hi Julieanne, this is great stuff. Thank you for the animation links. I’ll certainly pass them on. There are always students at school doing animation. Thanks too for the compliment. If we all keep going with this, I imagine we’ll learn so much. After I read Kevin’s post today, I created a Tapestry with a poem. It was easy, & I think looks great. Have a good week. Am going to follow you so I won’t miss what you’re posting!

  3. Can’t wait to try some of these. I know they are way more ready than me. It is a matter of equipment, time, and courage. I have tons of the last one, but not much of the first two…Thanks for the good ideas!

  4. I know how overwhelming all this technology can seem. I feel like we are just getting the hang of PowerPoint and now there are so many more sites that can help with presentations. We can’t do them all, so having a team of student experts is a great idea. Let them do the discovery and teach each other. It’s actually a better model for education than teacher as leader.
    Thanks for linking up!

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