A lesson with tablets

Next year one of my classes will be using tablets. I am thrilled at the idea of experimenting what I have learnt so far and am now planning because I know that planning is essential if you want your work to be successful. 

In addition I really don’t want to focus on the technology itself, but I am interested in considering how tools and apps can really help my students get knowledge and above all the skills that they will need in the future.

I have just read an interesting article Learning is not about the Technology and I think this exactly is the point.

At the moment I have created a sort of warming-up activity for the first days at school.  Next I am going to create other lessons but above all to study the right way to integrate technology in my daily routine at school.

In my first lessons what I intend to do is:

Make the students work in groups so to foster their team-working skills;

Make the students get familiar with some tools they will use throughout the school year and which hopefully will allow them to express their creativity but also skills related to analysis and synthesis;

Make the students practise reading skills and language analysis 

I have chosen a funny story from the ones presented here 

I have cut the story into short paragraphs/sentences and with the words I have created some word clouds, using Wordle. 

Image

Students are divided into groups of four and are now asked to reconstruct the paragraphs. I have used Wordle because it has the right layout, it uses all the words I need and the most used ones are made bigger.

In order to rebuild the paragraphs, they are expected to read all the words carefully and find out the right way to join them, taking into account capital letters, their function in the sentence, and anything else that might link words together.

When they have finished, they have to upload their paragraph to Edmodo in order to share and see what the other groups have found out.

All the paragraphs are of course in a jumble order and they have now to put them together correctly and rebuild the whole story. Here too they have to analyse all the sentences carefully and decide together on their right order.

Finally they have to suggest an appropriate title for the story; a poll is now created on Edmodo and they use it to choose the best one. 

Since this is class of students who already know how to use Animoto, Vimeo, Toondoo, Audioboo, EduCreations, as a follow up activity, they can now choose to

write a story of their own; 

illustrate the story using comics or a video; 

create an image which presents the story;

dramatise the story;

rewrite the story but set it in another country and consider what should be changed;

create an audio version of the story.

They can prepare such activity as homework working together in groups using Edmodo while in the next classes they can work together to improve and complete it.

A class will be devoted to their performances or presentations, which could be filmed to be shown also to parents, for example.

Is this an activity which could be made even without tablets? 

 Image

Let’s see. I should print all the wordles, ask the students to write their paragraphs, photocopy all their paragraphs or write them all on the blackboard in order to give them the possibility to reconstruct the story, ask them to write their suggestions for the title, read them and ask them to vote, maybe raising their hands, and then ….comics, audiorecordings, videos… well, no , I don’t think I could do it; you can of course create content even without tablets but not this way and not so easily.

I don’t know if this is the right way to integrate technology in the classroom, but I think it is an honest attempt.

 

 

 

 

4 thoughts on “A lesson with tablets

  1. Dear Alessandra,
    I often ask myself the same question – and I believe that teachers today should give technology a go if they have the opportunity, of course. Only when we try out some new tools will we know what works and what doesn’t, what needs to be changed and what is beneficial for our students. There’s no other way to find out if this is the right strategy but trying it out with students. Some might argue that we don’t have the right to experiment with students learning – but if we don’t experiment we’ll never know how to effectively use technology for learning and teaching.

    Your lesson plan is great and your students are lucky to have you. I’m looking forward to learning more about using tablets in the classroom.
    Rgds
    Arjana.

    • Hi Arjana and thanks for stopping by 🙂
      I think that learning by doing is true for teachers as well and that it is our duty to cope with a world that changes at such a fast rate. Our students are using new ways to get information or knowledge and if we don’t try to stay close to them, we might risk to lose them and also to miss an opportunity.

  2. Ale, thank you very much: every post of yours is a new source of ideas and tools for me.

    Regarding technology in classrooms, I’m reading “To save everything click here” by Evgeni Morozov (which I recommend) and right at the beginning the problems related to technology and education are considered. One sentence cought my attention: “Digital technologies might be a perfect solution to some problems, but those problems don’t include education—not if by education we mean the development of the skills to think critically about any given issue”. Well, you need to read on to understand his point of view, but my humble comment is that your idea of using technology in education is the right way to go (not “substituting” teachers by technology…). (BTW, why don’t you joing Goodreads?)

    Then, I have some questions for you. After giving a look at my daughter’s school programme relate to computing, I shivered! Talking of Windows and Word is not my idea of education in technology for the first grade of primary school! Fortunately they had no time and so they postponed the topic. (Phewww!)
    I offered to help them on this, maybe directly in classroom with kids, maybe with some tiny courses for the teachers. I was thinking of some games involving notebooks, tablets etc. but still have to get to a real teaching plan. Do you have any suggestions, in particular related to existing experiments or success stories? I’ll appreciate.

    And now, English. I met a friend of mines, whose daughter’s attending a private school in Milan with all lessons in English. She’s 6 now and she already knows English so well! Both written and spoken.
    I am thinking now of helping my daugher’s English lessons myself at home, trying to be regular in a couple of hours per week. Again, I’m poor in a (good) programme for that age. Any advice?

    Thanks a lot.

    Ivan

  3. Thanks Ivan for your kind comment and your suggestion. BTW I Have joined Goodreads and have been there for some years, but not so active probably.
    As for your questions, I need some time because primary school is not my field of expertise. I will anyway contact you and give the information you need very soon!
    Ale

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