Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Happy Digital Learning Day!

As we celebrate our 1st Digital Learning Day in my classroom, I take a moment to reflect on how significantly technology has changed how I teach and how my students learn. Device preference aside, I am so grateful for all that my children have access to. Never before has information and literacy been so available to the young learner. My students float through the day studying images, watching short video clips and building new knowledge for themselves and their peers. What has been most exciting is how technology has empowered my students! They are sharing their thinking daily with each other and the world. Previously, my students had a small audience and shared their ideas through writing or drawing. Now, they are blogging, making movies, working in Google Docs and podcasting! The technology we have access to personalizes learning and allows students to develop deep comprehension behaviors regardless of their ability to decode text. My six and seven year-olds have a new level of agency as they see themselves as active contributors and information providers for all.

A snapshot into our learning…
Last week my class followed the Caldecott Award announcement. We were thrilled to learn that a classroom favorite, A Ball for Daisy by Chris Raschka, won! My students wanted to celebrate this accomplishment. I decided this would be a great time to introduce book trailers.
I shared several exemplary trailers with my students. Then my class created a chart detailing the attributes of a terrific book trailer. We connected with children’s author and illustrator, Katie Davis on Twitter and learned even more by studying her trailer, Little Chicken’s Big Day. Finally, my students used iMovie to create their first book trailer.

When I look at the trailers my students created, I see kids who know how to discuss literature. I observe competent technology users. I see people who know that their thinking matters and they are ready to share it with the world.

Are these first attempts at making a book trailer perfect? No, of course not. We still have lots to learn. But are their first attempts at making a book trailer powerful? Absolutely. And I’m satisfied with that for right now.

Watch the book trailer here!

Happy Digital Learning Day!

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