#DigiLit Sunday Preparing for a New School Year: Purposeful Use of Tech Tools

Thank you to Margaret Simon for bringing us together to share our thoughts on Digital Literacy on Sundays! 

My new third grade students will be heading back to the classroom in one month, as school officially starts on September 6th. While one month can feel like a long time away, I'm starting to slightly panic that time is running out for me to learn all I wanted to this summer and jumpstart my planning and preparation for the new year! Last year was my second year teaching third grade (after many years teaching kindergarten and previously 6th grade). I tried many digital tools last year, and this year I want to refine what I've been doing, teach the tools more purposefully and provide more consistent use of digital tools to increase student agency and engagement. 

Here are a few ideas I have:

  • Begin the year with launching a shared class blog through our class website: Last year, I launched our class hub, thanks to what I learned from Cathy Mere in #cyberPD. This year, I want to utilize the blog option on the website and teach students about blogging from the first day of school with a shared blogging experience. The class blog will be a record of our learning but will also teach students the basics of blogging before we launch our own Kidblog pages. 
  • Use Padelt for reading records: I LOVE Padlet! Last year, I tried Biblionaisum as a way for kids to record what they've been reading on a digital shelf. While this was really visual, my students had to login first to access the page and we never really looked at each other's shelves all that often. I'm thinking of creating a Padlet for each student and housing the links on our class webpage. Students can click on their Padlet and add the title or image for the book that was read (or even a selfie with the book). I can also access their Padlet. I can add digital badges to their Padlet when they complete a genre in the 40 Book Challenge, which I am hoping to do again with my new class. Padlet seems more accessible but still has that visual component. 
  • Make screencasts for students and families on ways to access the technology sites we use, like Kidblog, Padlet, and even Twitter. I would also like to try to "flip" some of my lessons this year!
  • Utilize SeeSaw digital portfolios for students as a place to showcase their thinking, writing, and speaking. I began using SeeSaw last year and want to use it more consistently this year. 
These are a few of my ideas I'm thinking about in terms of digital tools and literacy! I'm excited to read what others are planning and grow more ideas! 


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