Effective integration and use of technology in the classroom takes time. I am a primary teacher from the Czech Republic, and I don’t often meet teachers who use tablets during their lessons. I use one and find it very effective and engaging for students. As such, I thought I’d share my story.
At the beginning of this school year 2015/16, I invited parents of my 7-year-olds to an unusual parents evening. They were to bring their tablets, smartphones and other devices that are able to connect to our school Wi-Fi network. They had no trouble using the SMART Shout It Out activity – part of the SMART Learning Suite – and they really appreciated the idea of learning with new technologies. They were so thrilled and agreed to provide their children their own devices to study once a week like this – in a virtual class.
In the first lesson, I taught the little pupils how to connect to our school Wi-Fi. This small step required a lot of patience, but it absolutely paid off. The next time, the children connected on their own.
In October, we started to work with just a handful of devices in the classroom. Now, we have BYOD Fridays, which is awesome because we usually have 15 – 18 devices available! Other days we work in groups with school tablets. It is fantastic watching the children helping each other to use technology, explaining how to write some symbols, how some applications work and what should they do to finish the task.
Some Easy-to-use Applications
It is not difficult at all for these little children to use Shout It Out, even the sorting version is very easy for them.
My tip for intermediate users is to turn off the board and let children to write short sentences. Finally you can read many ideas and compare them. If there is a mistake, you can use the trash can to remove the incorrect answer.
Another idea is to create a fairy tale together, each group can send a sentence, but first they have to read the contributions of their classmates.
Generally you can compete with Shout It Out. It is a very good tool for group work, brainstorming activities, reading activities and you can support their creativity and let them express their own opinions.
Other Education Tools to Try
In school, it is also important to improve the soft skills of our pupils. That is why I presented to my children Quiver and augmented reality. This application that I uploaded into my smartphone is fantastic. Children now love colouring in my class. They can watch their pictures moving thanks to Quiver, and it motivates them to colour their pictures very well.
My advice for beginners in using tablets in class is to observe Quiver and print some handouts. There are also plenty of pictures appropriate for secondary school.
For improving reading skills you can work with quizzes that you can prepare at Kahoot. Children compete in their knowledge and increase their pace of reading as well as understanding.
At the beginning of December we took part in Hour of Code, where the children could program their favourite game, like Minecraft or Star Wars. I was really proud of them, because in one hour they solved many riddles and above all they connected the text with reality. They could visualize what they programmed and strengthen their logical thinking and 3D imagination.
I hope that you can see now the advantages of using technologies in your lessons. It can accomplish many skills of children and what is very important for me is the fact that children LOVE LEARNING AND LOVE SCHOOL because every lesson with technologies is different, but all the time amusing.
Let your students play Shout It Out. Discover SMART Learning Suite today.