Lately, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about how much I count on technology on a daily basis. There’s a mental checklist running through my mind before the day even begins. Laptop for note- taking, check. iPhone with recorded message for students, check. SMART Board lesson set up, check.
Most recently, I’ve added the best one of all to this list: iPad to encourage higher-level thinking and problem-solving. CHECK!!! (no, I do not work for Apple on the side…).
I have used the iPad to teach my students a number of skills:
-how to make webs as a springboard to writing (using Popplet)
-how to use audio recordings to explain what they do when they choose the “right” books to read
-how to make puppet shows that re-enact some tough choices they have made in their lives (using Puppet Pals)
I’ve never been a huge fan of paper-pencil tasks because I see how they can sometimes limit students who have a lot to say and who are creative thinkers. By using technology to engage my students, not only am I getting a more accurate picture of what they can do, but I am also preparing them to be what we always talk about in teaching: critical thinkers.
Their generation will be asked to do more thinking, more analysis, more decision-making, so why not start now?