Monday, April 20, 2015

#EdTechTidBits of the Week (April 13, 2015)

I'm beginning a new blogging series that I'm calling "#EdTechTidBits of the Week" which will consist of EdTech related resource (apps, sites, tips, articles, events, etc.) that I found most interesting from the previous week. As a part of my goal to blog more this year, I hope to post this weekly, and my aim is to publish it every Monday.

So here are my #EdTechTidBits for the week of April 13, 2015. Free apps, lesson planning tips, and why you should have more screen time for your child!

(These resources are in no particular order.)

Article: "10 Questions to Ask When Planning Tech Infused Units

+Lucy Gray wrote a great article with 10 perfect questions you should ask yourself while you're planning a lesson or unit that will utilize some form of technology. What appreciate about this article are the lists of resources that Lucy provides for each question. My favorite question has to be #10: How am I connecting my students to others? To experts? To other Classrooms? Learning becomes authentic, meaningful, and more powerful when students are able to connect their learning to the world around them, and experience it and share it with people beyond their classroom. Consider an expert or another class somewhere else in the world, before the textbook.

Free Apps! "4 FREE Poetry Apps from the International Reading Association"

For National Poetry Month in April, the International Reading Association has made it's 4 poem apps free for the iPad! I learned about this recently from a Google+ post by +G. Lytle on her appydazeblog. She published a post with information and links to the four iPad apps: Diamante Poem, Theme Poem, Haiku Poem, and Acrostic Poem. My favorite of the bunch is the Haiku Poem app! You can customize the design of the print out and it turns out really nice in the end! Here is a link to the original appdazeblog blog post.

Article: "No Screen-time Until (free printables)"

I happened across this article by on Facebook one day. It contains a free printable poster for parents that suggests 5 activities that a child can do before they are allowed to have screen-time. As I read the items on the list, I couldn't help but think how most of these activities could actually be done on a device with the same (if not more) benefits. A child could enjoyably read a book on a tablet (especially if its interactive), they could type a paragraph about their day in Google Docs or complete some math problems on a digital writing surface like Doodle Buddy, and even play, build, and create something with a myriad of apps (like Minecraft PE, Toontastic, or ScratchJr). Whats wrong with doing these activities on a device? It'd be hard for me to argue with my child if they questioned me. Now, don't get me wrong. I understand the benefits of having your child play outside. And I also enjoy reading a physical book. And it's important to teach responsibility through chores and room cleaning. But let's not shun the "screen-time" so easily. That device resting on the dining room table could be just as beneficial, depending on how you let your child use it.

Thank you for reading the first post in my series "#EdTechTidBits of the Week". Follow and use the hashtag on social media and share your own tidbits! Until next week!

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