While I am not a “tech” person, I do recognize the important role that it has in the 21st century and that it does have a place in early childhood education, not only to facilitate learning but also to prepare students for life in the “real world”. I am anxious to learn about strategies and resources for incorporating ICT into my classroom that will enhance my teaching and student learning.
So far, we’ve been introduced to several resources that we’ve had the opportunity to use. Listed below is a description of these resources which include; Padlet, Google+, Wordle, Tagxedo, Blogger and WordPress.
Padlet (www.padlet.com) is like an online bulletin board where students can go to answer questions, ask questions, express their thoughts or share various content. In class, we used Padlet as an admit slip to answer several questions. In this case, it was used as an introductory activity to share some details about ourselves.
Using Padlet for admit or exit slips can also be used as a great way to recap a daily lesson as well as assess student understanding. By having the option of posting anonymously, students wouldn’t have to “put themselves out there” which would allow myself as a teacher to better help those students. Another great activation strategy that Padlet would be ideal for is the KWL strategy. In the early years classroom, I might be the one in charge of posting what students know, want to know and learned about a topic. However, in a middle or early years, they could do this independently.
Google+ is another social media platform that enables users to communicate and share information and connect based on particular topics of interest. I think this is a great resource for older students to communicate and share information with classmates.
Both of these sites, http://www.tagxedo.com and http://www.wordle.com, allow you to create word clouds with the text you choose. You can get creative by choosing your own layout, font, and colours. I actually already had to opportunity to use a word cloud that I created on Tagxedo in my Evaluation and Assessment course. I used a word cloud as an activation strategy to introduce several new terms from a case study review before discussing them with group members. Word clouds would also be a great introductory activity for students.
Both http://www.blogger.com and http://www.wordpress.com are sites that allow anyone to create and publish their own blogs. As you can see, I chose to go with blogger because (from the limited experience I have with both sites) it seemed the most simple and user friendly. However, I do want more time to explore WordPress because it appears as though you can get a little bit more creative with the blog layout. In terms of blogging for teaching, keeping a class blog is an interactive way for teachers to stay in touch with parents and to allow them a peek inside the classroom each week.