Thursday, January 07, 2016

Hmmm - where to start?

It feels good to be lost in the right direction. ~Unknown

Day 2: Write about one piece of technology that you would like to try this year, and why. You might also write about what you’re hoping to see out of this edtech integration.

I'm finding day two to be a bit of a challenge - day two!! Perhaps it is because of my role. I am the technology for learning coordinator (love the acronym - TLC) for the primary section of our school and so technology integration is sort of my thing. One piece of technology? How could I ever choose?

Personally, I love new things - apps, gadgets, devices. I love testing out new technologies to see what they might be able to do for students (and for teachers). If I had my dithers I'd try every new technology that was available for me to try. But the reality is there is only so much time in the day and money in my budget and so my explorations need to remain a little more focused. A better question for me would be how do I decide what to promote for integration?

I suppose the most important guideline for selecting a piece of technology to integrate would be purpose. Why introduce something new? For newness sake? I remember a former principal saying that any decision we made as a school should be based on how it would impact the students' experience at school. That was fifteen years ago - I agreed with her then and feel it still holds true today. Any technology we introduce should be to support and/or enhance teaching and learning. Why else would we make the investment in devices and training?

That being said, I believe all students should have access to the internet and powerful creation tools. Many of these tools are web-based, so I think it's important that all students have access to some sort of device that connects to the internet. I think these devices should be readily available when needed (i.e. 1:1 scenario or BYOD). I want to have access to tools that will allow students to create - make and build in both the virtual and real worlds.

But I ramble... So what piece of technology do I want to try this year. I think I am most keen to develop the digital badge system for the Primary section aligned to our Google Apps and the PYP. I would love to conduct a small action research project to see if personalising learning and using badges has a positive effect on student engagement and digital literacy skills. What will it look like exactly? Not quite sure yet. I've made a start at mapping out the badges I would like to roll out, but will know more once I begin using them with the students. I would love any feedback!

There - day two not as hard as I thought. Happy to be back in the blogging saddle.

Image Credit: Possibilities by Geralt on Pixabay CC-0 Public Domain

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