I have learned a great deal this year as a Learning Leader for Parkland Village School, including how to use several incredible apps to support my teaching and to provide my students with a wider variety of engaging ways to present their ideas. My favourite apps that I have used throughout the project are Google Drive and Haiku Deck. Google drive has provided me with a simple and convenient way to organize and share all of my documents from anywhere. I am using this app so much now, that I’m not sure that I could function efficiently without it at this point! As for my second choice, Haiku Deck, I just love how simple it is for students to create presentations. One of my favourite features is how structured it is, so kids don’t get caught up in all of the minor things like font choice and other things that consume a lot of time in programs, such as PowerPoint.
In teaching, there are always so many “Ah-Ha” moments, but I have found this journey with technology to be particularly full of them this year. I suppose the one that really stands out is just recognizing the power of social media and how much it opens our previously restricted knowledge base and professional community up to having the ability to connect and collaborate with incredible educators from around the globe. As a beginning teacher, I heard so many times that it is such a solitary profession, but clearly this is not the case anymore. Teachers no longer have to “re-invent the wheel” on their own year after year. Now, we have the ability to connect and share our ideas and build on that wheel, making it better together and to provide our students with limitless and diverse opportunities within our own classrooms on a daily basis. How incredible!
In our sessions that we delivered to the staff, Tirzah and I shared our learning with Haiku Deck and Google Drive. I could see the value that they both had for our K-4 students and Teachers and found that many staff members enjoyed the sessions and took the information away with the intent to use it in their classrooms right away. Many of them have been using one or both of these apps and have gone on to find more apps that are similar, but fit the needs of their classrooms even better.