I am about to embark on my 1st full year of 1:1 computing in a third grade classroom!!! I teach 3rd grade at Beard Elementary School (K-6) in Fort Smith, AR. I have read articles, books, websites, blogs, research reports, etc. about 1:1 in the classroom, but an overwhelming majority has been 4-12 grade classrooms. K-3 classrooms are very different creatures from these other grades as children are learning skills to learn other content materials. My blog will be a record of my journey of integrating technology into the classroom, as a tool -not as novelty.
Last October, I received a grant for a classroom set of netbooks, management system (storage and recharging cart), wireless internet access, OpenOffice programs, and a lot of relevant professional development, leadership, and support (tech and other). The computers arrived just before Thanksgiving, giving us a little more than a semester to work with the computers.
My students were amazing! They helped each other, completed more of their assignments and created THREE integrated units. Several of my students entered their projects into a district showcase, and we are in the process of editing a class-written severe weather book with original artwork created in the Paint program.
The most challenging subject to integrate technology was reading. During this summer, I have researched ways to more effeciently use technology with reading instruction. We kept reading logs and strategy journals last year. This year I am looking into looking at free websites and the public library for downloadable eBooks and ePictureBooks as well to give us more access to quality resources.
As I'm finishing up my action research proposal for 1:1 computing and reading instruction, I will be using this blog to record my journey. I have discovered there is a consensus of elements in successful 1:1 computing intiaitives. These are:
1. Clear Vision and Communication-what's the purpose and how are you going to share that with all parties involved
2. Relevant Professional Development-You can't expect results if you don't know how to make it work
3. Reliable Leadership and Support-This is technical, school, district, and community
4. Specific Classroom Environment Components-Some are digital, some are management and materials
5. A Transformation in Adult and Social Preception in Student Capabilities-They will surprise us if given the chance, but they still need to be guided
6. Best Practice and Methodologies-High Yeild strategies still work, and they work well with technology.
I will be focusing on each of these elements in upcoming blogs. :-)