This quote from Walt Disney is one I aspire to live by, especially as an educator. Reflection about our practice is necessary, but if we dwell for too long on our past failures, we become frozen and struggle to move forward. The new inquiry-based BC curriculum allows us the opportunity to be curious and try new things, with our students, and with our practice.
In my role as Teacher-Librarian, I am privileged to work with all 14 divisions in my school – students and teachers. My time with each division is limited, but I try and make an effort to collaborate with each teacher so that I can connect my library lessons with the classroom. I have recently embraced a larger role within the school and I’m now working with primary classes for two extra blocks per week. I’m using this time to teach the students, and the teachers, ways to integrate technology more effectively for learning and assessment.
WHERE DO WE BEGIN?
A small group of teachers has expressed an interest in learning more about ways to use technology, particularly G Suite for Education. Weekly lunch meetings have provided an opportunity for some teachers to “take the initiative to learn more about the innovation” by exploring Google Drive, Google Slides, and Google Docs, and asking questions (Level 0I. Orientation of CBAM, Loucks-Horsley, 1996). After our ‘Google Group’ sessions, a few teachers expressed an interest in creating “definite plans to begin using the innovation” (Level II. Preparation of CBAM, Loucks-Horsley, 1996). A few teachers have asked for assistance in finding ways to integrate technology into their classrooms. Though this assignment does specify working with colleagues about ‘reference resources’, I feel that by helping teachers become more comfortable with purposefully integrating technology (iPads, Chromebooks, and MacBooks) into their practice, they will feel more comfortable accessing the databases available in our District.
INTRODUCING THE SAMR MODEL
I like using the SAMR model to provide teachers “a method of seeing how computer technology might impact teaching and learning” (SAMR Model). Many teachers are unaware of the SAMR model, so this brief video by John Spencer provides background.
This video with Dr. Ruben Puentedura provides a more detailed explanation of each level of the SAMR model, and includes classroom examples of how simple assignments can be transformed to move through each level of the model.
WHERE TO NEXT?
Now that we have an understanding of the benefits of including technology in our teaching, I have created plans for two teachers – Teacher A and Teacher B – to introduce and increase their use of technology and reference resources into their teaching.
|AN experienced primary teacher, who is willing to learn and adapt their teaching to include new ideas and technologies. Their preference is to become very competent and comfortable with a topic or technology before using it with their students. This can be a bit of a limitation as it restricts the ability for students to explore new topics.||An experienced Grade 5 teacher who has taught a variety of grades, both primary and intermediate. They are very comfortable with technology and brings others into their classroom to improve both their, and their students, skills. With the implementation of the new curriculum, they have embraced inquiry in their classroom and encourages students to follow their passions.|
|CURRENT USE OF TECHNOLOGY AND REFERENCE MATERIALS|
|· 5 iPads in the classroom, and scheduled access to MacBooks
· uses print reference resources and non-fiction books from the library to teach information skills in the classroom
· is unfamiliar with online databases
· is willing to learn how to incorporate G Suite for Education, and other online reference tools, into their classroom
· willing to ask questions and expand their knowledge
|· 7 iPads in the classroom, a shared Chromebook cart with another intermediate class, and scheduled access to MacBooks
· uses print reference resources and non-fiction books from library to teach information skills
· is learning how to use online databases and wants to incorporate them into their practice
· is incorporating G Suite for Education and online reference
|· Through our collaborative inquiry into animals, assist this teacher in finding more ways to incorporate technology into their teaching
· Incorporate the use of online reference databases in the classroom
|· Through our collaborative teaching of the inquiry process, where students will be pursuing independent projects, Teacher B will learn about online databases and best methods for helping students find information|
Teacher A and B have made efforts to learn more about G Suite for Education and are willing to explore resources that will assist their students. My experience with many teachers and technology has been that once students have learned how to use a tool, and teachers see what the students can accomplish, the teachers will ask how to use it in their practice, and then it will slowly be introduced to the classroom. This is a slow and steady process and will take some time for teachers to fully embrace using online reference resources, and technology, with their students.
|Students have recently created their Google accounts in anticipation of learning how to use Google Slides in Term 3. Google Slides will be used to showcase their learning during our study of Burns Bog, and though not a reference resource, it does demonstrate what they found using the reference resources.
As these students are only in Grade 3, some of the online resources, websites and databases, will be provided, which students will access using QR codes.
|Students have been learning how Google searches, how to conduct a proper Google search, how to determine the reliability of a website using the 5Ws, and how to access the databases in our District.
In Term 3, Teacher A and I will be collaborating and co-teaching this independent inquiry project together. This will provide an opportunity for Teacher A to learn along with the students as I teach further information skills using the online databases.
EMBEDDING INTO PRACTICE
I feel that the online databases available in our District are not being fully utilized in our building. My plan is to create posters using QR codes for ALL divisions that will directly link staff and students to the database home page. This will allow easy access for all students as every class in our building has iPads for student use.
The Grade 3 – 7 students regularly use the Chromebooks in the library. I am showing all of the students how to bookmark the District database page on Google Chrome, as well as adding the link to the ‘About’ page in each of my Google Classrooms for library.
This strategy cannot ensure that Teacher A and B will embed the use of the online databases into their practice, but a constant reminder on their classroom wall will hopefully spark their memory these online reference resources are available.
Print reference resources are an important part of libraries, but as technology has improved and become more accessible, the ability for libraries to purchase resources such as encyclopedias is becoming more difficult. It is far most cost-effective to purchase a subscription to online encyclopedias and databases. As we have learned in our discussion of the deep web, these resources are only a small portion of the information available online. Our job as Teacher-Librarians is to teach our colleagues, and our students, how to access this information and use technology for learning. By working closely with Teacher A and B, through co-teaching and collaboration, my hope is these teachers will see the benefits of using technology for teaching and learning, and ultimately incorporate the tools into their practice.
Technology is Learning, SAMR Model, , retrieved on March 4, 2017, from https://sites.google.com/a/msad60.org/technology-is-learning/samr-model
Kathy Schrock’s Guide to Everything, SAMR and Bloom’s, retrieved on March 4, 2017, from http://www.schrockguide.net/samr.html
Puentedura, R., How to apply the SAMR model with Ruben Puentedura, retrieved on March 4, 2017, from https://youtu.be/ZQTx2UQQvbU
Spencer, J., What is the SAMR model and what does it look like in schools?, retrieved on March 4, 2017, from https://youtu.be/SC5ARwUkVQg