Dr. Katie Van Sluys from Apple Computer provided a half-day training for administrators and coaches focused on how we can use technology to improve student learning and transform our classrooms. Her discussions referenced the SAMR Model shown below. This model was developed by Dr. Ruben Puentedura. The model aims to enable teachers to design, develop, and integrate digital learning experiences that utilize technology to transform learning experiences to lead to high levels of achievement for students. She identified and gave specific examples of how we use technology in the classroom and where that use fits in the SAMR continuum.
Dr. Van Sluys provided powerful learning opportunities in using text to speech on the laptops and iPads. Students can find various Internet articles, hit the “Reader” button in the search bar, select items to be read and use the Text to Speech Command to have the computer or iPad read the text. This takes us beyond substitution and can be very helpful for literacy including use for EL kids in corrective speech.
She demonstrated how we can take that speech and save it to iTunes as a reference for students or the teacher to use to assist in reading and fluency.
The question posed, where does that fall? We can use this in Centers for EL kids that struggle to read on their own. This is also good for students to be exposed to more complex text. This allows kids to engage more in the content versus focusing their attention on decoding.
We also learned how to use Keynote to produce a presentation, use our voice to create written text in the Keynote, record the Keynote and save to Quicktime.
This is a powerful example of how we strategically and capably use technology. This is an example of we can create a multimodal assignment that is focused on the student message, (the content of the assignment). The assignments should be rich, relevant and meaningful.
When we think of innovating with technology, we should focus more on the richness of the assignment and not the technology because kids already know how to use the technology. We need to reach them to use these technology tools in smarter ways. Students do not know how to ask best the best questions, and we are to help them ask those questions as they use the tools. We ask them what they are doing and why does that matter.
A powerful app: Shakespeare in Bits (several tools for word annunciation, definition, relationship story tree, video highlights and provides historical references).