Introducing Technology in the Classroom


Don't let this be you. - https://www.flickr.com/photos/uxud/3396427350

With all of the excitement of using technology in the classroom, teachers sometimes forget to take care with how it is introduced. This can lead to damaged hardware or inappropriate online interactions.

Being intentional with your introduction can  pay dividends all year long. Consider taking a page from the Responsive Classroom approach of Guided Discovery:

  1. Introduction and Naming - Generate Interest/Build Common Knowledge Base - Try asking:
    1. “Have you used ____ (Chromebooks, iPads etc) before?”
    2. “How have you used ____ before?”
    3. “What is something you notice about ____?”
    4. Other open ended questions
  2. Generating and Modeling Students' Ideas
    1. Accept student responses for how you might use the particular technology - “I wonder how you could use ____”
    2. After having students give some ideas for using the technology, if appropriate and easily done, have them model it. Invite students to show possibilities to your device attached to a projector if possible, which would streamline the process and reduce wait time.
      1. This may be easier to do if you already have an activity in mind...like a digital icebreaker.
  3. Exploration and Experimentation - A Brief Exploratory Time
    1. Now tell the children they will have a chance to explore the technology.  If you were using Chromebooks or laptops, you might have students add to a doc or use a digital icebreaker idea from above, especially Padlet.
    2. Allow students to experiment with other ideas outside of the list generated in step 2 if appropriate.
  4. Sharing Exploratory Work  - Ask things like:
    1. “Who can share one thing that they did/discovered?”
    2. “What did you learn from someone else?”
    3. Other examples that seem relevant
  5. Cleanup and Care of Materials - Ask things like:
    1. “Who can show us a safe and careful way to put back ____ when you’re done with it?”
    2. “What do you notice about how (student) put ___ away?”
    3. Have students put away materials.
    4. Depending on your students, you may decide to model cleanup and care yourself.
    5. Keep in mind ways to prevent damage to hardware - like carrying technology from the base instead of the screen, placing it on the table gently, carrying it with two hands down the hallway, etc.

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