Connecting Online- A ‘Day in the Life’ of my Technology Use

I have a deep appreciation for technology, both in my personal and working lives. I spend a ridiculous amount of time researching, getting excited by, and exploring new technologies, both in the online and hardware sense. (Currently, I’m reading multiple reviews a day on ‘Bookshelf Speakers’ in an effort to find something to replace my aging classroom speakers.)

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Edifier R1280T- The possible pick to replace my classroom speakers. Likely not within classroom budget, but possibly something I want to buy myself anyways. Image taken from the Amazon listing found here: https://bitly.is/3sIoWQL

This being said, as I become more established in my career, I’ve began finding myself raising my proverbial bar when it comes to technology that I use personally, or will introduce to my students. I often look for resources that help achieve tasks in a more creative, or efficient manner, while seeking to avoid using technology ‘simply for the sake of using it.’ I’ve found that finding quality resources is increasingly important, yet often difficult to the sheer quantity of new information and tools made available every day.

Within my classroom, I use technology to a relatively high degree, and if not for the finite number of student laptops in my building, I would use it even more. The majority of my classroom use can be broken down into 3 use cases: Project Creation, Formative Assessment/Review, and Research uses. I’ve compiled a list of some favourite tools below, each of which I’ve used in the classroom this year.

Project Creation:

Formative Assessment:

  • Kahoot (Review/Quiz Game)
  • Blooket (Similar to Kahoot, but with additional Mini-Games- great for keeping engagement with lower level learners who may be frustrated with Kahoots)
  • Formative (Online Assessment Tool- great amount of flexibility for your use case)
  • Microsoft Forms (Similar to Formative, but works well with our division’s Microsoft Accounts)
  • Plickers (Great Alternative to Kahoot for younger grades or classes with less access to technology as it only requires one teacher device and zero student devices.
Plickers are essentially individual QR codes that allow students to answer 4 choice multiple choice questions by rotating their code and holding it in the air. The teacher device scans the room and grades each answer. Each code is numbered, and when kept constant with your student roster, is a quick and easy way to gather formative assessment- particularly when technology may be short.

Research:

  • Britannica School– The school version of the popular online encyclopedia allows you to sort their traditional pages into grade level, and reading level appropriate content. For example, you may find the page on the Second World War, but there are up to 9 variations of grade/reading level to pick through. I believe this is a subscription service that your school division may or may not pay for. For those of you in Saskatchewan, I access it from this link from EdOnline.

Screenshots taken britannicalearn.com.

Culturegrams– I currently only have access to dated physical copies, but I am hoping to get digital licenses in the future! These are concise summaries of several different cultural aspects of nearly every country in the world. Very helpful for research projects with students, particularly in the late elementary/middle school years.

Outside the classroom, I find myself using technology constantly to connect with others, but the majority of this communication is with those I’m already connected to. I use a variety of social media apps to connect with family and friends, but rarely comment in public online spaces. During one of my blog posts for Alec Curos’ (@courosa) EC&I 831, I wrote about ‘lurking,’ more than participating in many online communities. I’ve come to appreciate my Ed. Tech. classes pushing me out of my comfort zone, to try and connect more with others online. Joining conversations online, such as #SaskEdChat on Twitter, have allowed me to build confidence in my participation, while also expanding my personal learning network, and digital identity. I find the more comfort I build in these spaces, will better allow me to convey digital citizenship ideals with my students.

I’d love to hear about any other Ed. Tech Tools that you enjoy using with students, or any other tips for participating in online conversations (especially Twitter!) Feel free to leave ideas below or follow me on Twitter (@MrLundED) and share there!

2 thoughts on “Connecting Online- A ‘Day in the Life’ of my Technology Use

  1. Hello Colton,
    I enjoy your annotated list of Ed. Tech tools! I can relate to your feeling of “lurking” in digital communities, and I have been trying to become a citizen in my digital spaces, but it is difficult! I find it easier to engage when there are members that I know offline. I sometimes feel when I engage in my professional spaces it comes across as performative rather than authentic engagement, even if it is authentic! This is something I have to work on. I’m interested to see what you end up buying for classroom speakers, I’ve been looking at getting a sound bar and sub combo. Not sure how you plan on using it. I look forward to reading more of your posts!

    Like

  2. Colton! I am glad to see you back, and that we have another course together! Although this one is much shorter due to it being a Spring course, I look forward to seeing all of the creative things that you come up with once again. Looking forward to working with you this semester!

    Like

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