I have the fantastic opportunity to work with PSD administrators and teachers on integrating technology and curriculum effectively in the classroom. There are times that I am also able to connect with students and see how they are using technology and how they can utilize various tools and resources to enable them to demonstrate their learning. Specifically, I am seeing that both teachers and students are quite willing to utilize the various tools and resources available in the Google Apps for Education environment. Collaboration is occurring via the use of Google documents with small group work where everyone is able to add to the document simultaneously or even whenever they like since the document is available 24/7. As well, the ability for a student to do research within the Google document or slide allows for quicker access to information.
The Chrome extensions like Speak It! (reads text out loud), TLDR (text summarizer called Too Long Didn’t Read), Readability (declutters websites), VoiceNote (dictation) and Chrome apps like Creately (online diagramming), Kaizena (voice commenting), SoundCloud (audio recording) and WeVideo (video editor) allow students to interact with their learning environment more easily and in a more engaging way.
Relationships, learning needs and preferences enable teachers to connect the appropriate technology tools for the tasks at hand in the classroom. I see that students are exploring, creating, consuming, collaborating and using their imagination to learn about their communities, their province, their country and their world. It is great to see and read the various reflective blog posts that students and teachers are sharing about their learning and how technology is making strides to engage them in meaningful and authentic ways.