I integrate technology into my classroom with some student choice and through programs we find a use for. I give students the opportunity to come to me with app they think might be helpful to the learning process. I usually let them pilot the app and decide for themselves if it is useful to the classroom and will benefit other students. Most of the time the students come back and say "Hey Mr. Garcia, this app isn't a learning app."
The kids love using the Macbooks, but they don't work for everyone. Some kids love the ipads and others enjoy the computer lab.
The kids have talked and come up with their own conclusions about what works best for them and to me, I think that collaboration is exactly what the job setting is all about.
Each student has their own Weebly website and they choose where they prefer to do their weekly posts from. Most enjoy the ease of the macbooks because they can sign into their novell and gain access to their personal settings and saved ideas. Others actually prefer the Ipad because they are used to it. ALL of the students help each other though, which I think is the best benefit of all.
For our current writing piece, the kids want to type the paper they are working on. So first we will use paper and pencil and work through our writing in a more traditional way, then we will type in a way the kids enjoy.
We have used google docs to type up things. Students work on AR letters on google docs so they can share to me to print. We also used google docs to keep a character timeline instead of paper because we wanted to keep updating it and also have it easily accessible.
My tips are to be flexible as usual. I mean really we are teachers and constantly need to be flexible so just keep with it. In a time when we are trying to squeeze in so much information, it's ok to just explore some apps together and talk about what works and doesn't.
Patience is the other piece of advice I would give. Don't get overwhelmed with an app. Let a student try it out for you and get back to you on it's value for the rest of the students. Have freedom of choice and the kids will surprise you with what they choose and the product that comes out of that choice.
Stick with it...
HAVE FUN with it!
I promise that it gets easier the more you stick through it.