If you're not familiar with ISTE (International Society for Technology in Education), I suggest spending a lot of time clicking around their website. The resources, ideas, inspiration they provide are worth their weight in a stadium full of iPads. Grab a coffee or glass of wine and surf their site. I hope that you come across their STANDARDS for technology in the classroom, as they provide Standards for students, teachers, administration, coaches, and computer science educators. They seem daunting, but when broken down, they are quite accessible.
Today, I want to focus on the Student Standard of Creative Communicator. This is easily my favourite standard as I am a natural storyteller. I love telling stories and I love communicating ideas by creative media means. The fact that there is so much text on my site so far bothers me, but I need to get things out of my head and on to the web!! More creative assets will come, I promise.
That's not the point, though. A few weeks ago, I had the pleasure of working with teachers from Dhahran British Grammar School. This school has recently gone BYOD in their Secondary school and they have a 2:1 program in their Primary (Years 1 - 4). And for these sessions, we focused on what it means for students to be Creative Communicators in the classroom.
Fun, right? Totally!!
I spent 30 minutes giving an overview of fabulous creation apps and the teachers spent 60 - 90 minutes completing as many challenges as they could.
What. A. Hoot.
Just for kicks and giggles, here's one video two teachers created using ChatterPix:
Why is this important or relevant? (And this really is the zillion dollar question)
Unless a teacher is familiar with apps or platforms that are effective in communicating ideas, s/he is less likely to provide students the opportunity to create and communicate using such apps. But knowing about an app or platform is NOT enough. A teacher needs time to practise and play around with these apps and platforms and CREATE. Time is needed to understand the capabilities and potential of these apps and then start IMAGINING what students could do with these tools if they were given the opportunity.
NOTE: Administration needs to provide the time and space for teachers to learn and play around with these apps / platforms. Teachers have enough to do during evenings and weekends. Professional athletes aren't expected to practice with the team outside of their working hours and neither should teachers.
So, where do schools and teachers begin?
Here are all the teacher challenges I created (a few of them I used from other sources and I have mentioned those in the challenges) according to Year/Grade level. I haven't changed them since I delivered the sessions so they are built for the DBGS audience.
FS 1 - Year 2 / Pre-School - Grade 1
Years 3 - 6 / Grades 2 - 5
Years 7 - 9 / Grades 6 - 8
Years 10 - 13 / Grades 9 - 12
Copy them. Alter them. Suit to fit. Just provide credit and a link back to this site.
Have fun and enjoy creating!!
This work by Sandra Paetkau is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.