About this course
Hi everyone! I am so glad you have hung in here for the final lesson! Look at you! Wow! Many of you got your ABCs of Tech Tools in place , so you are ready to now maximize the use of them in your class. I also want to bust through any myths , so you can use these with confidence.
Today, I am going to keep things simple because you already have done the hard parts.
It does not take having a bakery full of every kind of app to be techy in your class or to maximize tech in your classroom to meet your student’s needs. All these things being bombarded at us surely make us feel that way, but really, you just need the main ingredients to bake cookies. You can always add “new ingredients” as you go. Later on, you may want to add some video or an app that looks appealing for your classroom. Chances are that video can be incorporated with tech tool B & C, and maybe that final product from that appealing app can be shared easily in a learning management system.
Even if you do not add anything on, you can certainly feel great that you have set the foundation for the next teacher to build on the following year. You are doing great even if you only stick with these tools! There is so much you can do with these tools to cover a lot of different standards!
I want to bust through some myths with some helpful tips to overcome these obstacles, so you can walk into your classroom with confidence to reach your students.
I get it that sometimes we don’t get the luxury of picking usernames and passwords. Those can sometimes be hard for young students too. However, there are some workarounds to this that might have you skipping past logging in constantly.
If you do have to get students to log in regularly though, I promise it is not the end of the world. I mainly have spent time in kindergarten, and I had students logging in daily with great success. Sure there is usually a few hiccups along the way, but it really is not that bad! I had kindergarten students who had to log in daily to special software for either English language learning or because of special needs, and they would do that just fine as part of centers while I was teaching across the room in a small group. Just make sure they have that accessible with something like my free editable secret agent badges linked below.
Now, I will go over some work arounds for Google Classroom and Microsoft Teams. If you have to use another LMS, you may want to read both of those to see if you can get one of those work arounds to work for your learning management system. I would especially be looking for the toggle feature.
Google usually does not log you out unless you log out, and a lot of other apps will keep you logged in also.
If you are 1:1, then why not use the passcode to get into the device and stay logged into that actual app? That is way more simpler. Passcodes to access a device are usually just four numbers. It secures the device from others accessing it. Assign students an iPad, and give them a unique passcode to access the device. That way, they can bypass needing to enter a username and longer password, which takes time.
If you are not 1:1, you can still use the passcode method if using Google Classroom. Google has a way where more than one person can be logged into the same device at the same time. That means, they only need to toggle to their account, which is way easier than trying to log into their account.
When assigning more than one student to the same device, I recommend looking at your small groups to make sure students are not assigned to using the same device at the same time during small groups. Use small groups as guides to assigning the devices. Although, I would not recommend the toggle method for older grades, but with primary students, I think students can be trusted more. Clear expectations also helps! I have a blogpost here that shows how students can toggle to log in easily with Google Classroom. I will link the post below.
If you are using Microsoft Teams, this information was covered in the video from lesson four. If you watched that and got it, you can skim on down. For those who dazed off, this is for you! (That would be me, haha! I absorb more with reading than video.) In Teams, you might not have a toggle. However, students do stay logged in, so if you are 1:1, you don’t have to worry about them logging in every time. You can simply secure the device with a passcode.
If students have to share a device on a desktop, you can assign them each a different browser. Teams currently works in updated versions Chrome, Internet Explorer, Firefox, and Microsoft Edge.
If students will be sharing a tablet or iPad, they will need to log in when switching. However, there is an option to pick from different usernames once signed out, so they would only need to enter the password since it will store more than one username. They will need to be signed out to do that though.
I do encourage you all to ask Microsoft for a toggle feature through their Office 365 for Education area. They recently added one to OneDrive, so it is possible! This educational version of teams is currently pretty new, and I think they are willing to listen to some feedback to improve this resource for educators. The more people request it, the more likely they will add it.
If you are using the OneDrive folder system, then you can also just keep logged in and secure the devices with four-digit pass codes as long as that is fine with your school.
Students pick up things easily with technology. Sure, there are some fancy features in these apps, but students do not need to know all those features. Stick with showing them the basic features to accomplish the projects on their levels, and they will pick it up! The basic features are not complicated at all. I know some of my chat in this mini-course might has included some techy talk, but that was so you could understand what to choose for your class.
With the free webinar, I am going to walk you through how to introduce these tools to your students in three easy steps and include some lessons for the primary grades to use with those steps. It will also include free tutorials you can show your students in your class! These student tutorials are simple, short, and to the point of what they need to do. You can do this! They can do this! You are going to reach more students using these tools, so don’t let doubt steal that it-can-be-done mindset!
While actually getting it set-up and reinforcing this to students might take some extra moments in a lesson, it is going to save you time in the long run in many other ways. While the webinar will give you lesson ideas for using these tools to reach more students, my weekly newsletter is going to send you time hacks, ways to save time with your responsibilities as a teacher, lesson ideas that will help you extend your reach to students, and more. Extending your reach to students also reduces class time by keeping your class moving forward.
The only way tech won’t save you time in the classroom is if you don’t have a good system and you are trying to use 101+ apps that you are not familiar with at all. Knowing your tech tools and having a system that maximizes the use of those features saves you time. Bottom line.
It is true that technical issues happen to us all. Technology may seem magical sometimes, but it really is still just a baby that needs to grow up. It can give us fits. It can sometimes not be so intuitive to use. That is all true. However, you don't have to do tech all alone. With support from others, you can overcome those tech complications because someone probably has an answer to help you overcome that difficulty right in the group. Support can be found in the Technology in the K-2 Classroom Facebook group.
Find the login badges here.
Here is the post I referenced above about using Google Classroom when you are not 1:1. Click here to link.
Using tech in the primary classroom is going to help you reach more students. With a simple system like the one presented in the video for lesson one, you can easily integrate technology in the classroom. Tech tools A, B & C are versatile applications that can be incorporated across different subjects and content. You can do so much with these three tools!
Also, make sure to check for my newsletter, where I will share more ideas for using with these tools. Thanks so much for going through this mini-course. I hope you found this very resourceful, and that the content and free resources here will help you to help more students to thrive in their learning.
Thanks and God bless,
Jolene Mathew from the Candy Class
Welcome! Welcome! Welcome to the Using Technology to Reach More Students in the K-2 Classroom mini-course!
I am so glad you have decided to use this course, so you can get a good system in place for using technology in the classroom. This course is going to benefit you whether you use technology like a pro or you feel tech challenged because it puts a simple three-step system into place.
Before we jump into the content, I recommend covering one lesson a day. It is best to cover them between 5-6 days in a row, so it is easy to fit into your schedule. Of course, you can always binge watch it too. Do what works best for your schedule.
Today, we are going to talk about the why of tech, do a short overview of the tech tools, and I am going to introduce you to the three step system through a webinar I previously filmed. I will also share ideas to go with the recommend tech tools.
Then we will go over the tech tools after that, and I will share some videos on how to set-up or use the tools with your primary students.
Today’s lesson will be the longest because it does include a 40 minute video. The other lessons should only take you between 15-20 minutes.
Are you ready?
Whether you are familiar with using technology in the classroom, or it appeals to you as much as staying an extra five hours in a faculty meeting on a Saturday, this free course teaches you a simplified system to get you up and running with using technology in your primary classroom.
Now, let’s go over the what this is. This system moves beyond having you download a few non-data gleaning apps that have students just pressing a bunch of buttons basically. Those can be resourceful….I am not knocking them because there is an effective way to use those in the classroom too. I just think we need to embrace the use of technology more in different ways more frequently than with those.
What are these different ways? These other ways involve using tech in ways that lead students to use more higher-order thinking. It's maximizing the use of tech in your classroom with teaching strategies that are best practices.
It's leading students to not just be consumers of tech, but to be creators with tech.
Now, my philosophy with tech in the classroom takes a middle ground. I believe tech should not only be used to be creative, but that content should be integrated in there too. After all, Bloom's Taxonomy has knowledge at the bottom for a reason...it is foundational. I mean, you can't expect a student to write about penguins if they have never even heard of one! Plus, you got standards to teach...I don't think I need to convince you that content is important! Of course, we want them to take that content up to higher levels from just knowledge.
There are other ways to teach content though besides pressing a button to get an answer. However, a lot of tech resources these days that actually has content seems to limit it to just that more times than the other way around.
But please don't feel bad if you have used mainly only that for tech. I spent a lot of time this past year reading professional development on using technology in the classroom, and it made me realize I needed to improve in this area when it comes to what I create for students to use too. We are all in this together!
These tech tools that I am going to help you get set-up will be easy to use with activities that meet teaching standards and involve more higher-levels of thinking.
The email course is not just about what tech tools to use to simplify things and how to set those up. I will also show you short-cuts and the simplest methods I could find with the tech available currently.
This course will give you everything you need to get this going in your classroom. I even give access to free student tutorials too!
I will include some teaching strategies and ideas for K-2 in today’s video, but you will also want to tune in for my free weekly newsletter after that for more.
My weekly newsletter will include numerous teaching ideas, strategies, and activities that can be used with these tech tools! There will be some freebies here and there too. I will also help you wade into using technology more...one step at a time.
So why tech in the primary grades? Why not leave this to the upper grades?
First, it fills in gaps of meeting student needs that traditional approaches don’t always accomplish because of the unique capabilities offered with computers, tablets, and other devices.
Second, the students of this generation need to be transliterate….that is being literate beyond reading and writing and in all mediums. These transliterate skills are way beyond being able to press a button on a screen to select an answer. We do students a disservice if these skills are suddenly thrown at them in the upper grades.
Third, it is a great tool to push them to higher levels with literacy, writing, and other subjects as I mentioned. There are just so many possibilities for project creation that you can’t do on paper that you can with tech. These projects push students to show their understanding, and the activities can also be very motivating and engaging. I will stop at three, but there are many more good reasons too such as less trips to the copy machine and so on!
The bottom line is tech in the primary grades can help you better meet student needs and reach more students.
Many classrooms these days have the technology in their hands, but there are many cases of it not being used in the primary classroom to the fullest of its potential. Let's change that!
My goal is to help you to start with a simplified system that will help you maximize the use of these tools in your classroom.
That brings me to the wading approach. I don’t know about you, but I pick up some of these professional development books and they make my head dizzy. This is how the book goes: Use this app. Use that app. Lots of ideas for upper grades. One idea for primary grades mixed in the middle that I almost did not catch. Use that app. Use this app. Connect this app to that app and that app to this app. Lol! They have some brilliant ideas, no doubt. However, then you got to figure out how you can make it work for the primary grades, how to get the assignments back in your hands easily, how to actually not spend 101 days of school teaching 101 different apps, and so on. It's confusing!
After the brain fog cleared, I came up with a three-step system and three types of tech tools that will help you all wade into using tech in your classroom. One that is optimized for the primary grades. One that focuses on using higher-order thinking skills over the press-a-button-to-hear-the-mouse-clap approach, but that can also include resources with content on them. One that has options for different types of devices and has a way to work with different types of programs that your school may have.
I spent months sifting this all out for you all and putting together content, videos, and resources, so you can breeze past all that brain fog and get this set-up the way it should be. Easily.
The idea is you start small and you build on as you and your class grows. I have named the programs and applications I am suggesting in this course the ABCs of tech tools. Master the ABCs first. Then you will have the confidence to add on as you go.
What are the ABCs of tech tools?
These are three types of tech programs or apps that are versatile, so you don't have to teach students to use a bunch of different applications. That helps you minimize lost class time with the use of technology. However, you will still be able to offer a variety of activities that lead students to create and expand upon their skills and knowledge. You will still be able to integrate content with it too.
We will go over these tools more in depth over the next three lessons. These also have different options to fit various classroom needs and tech requirements that your district might already have in place. All these have free options or are free, so you won’t have to worry about the cost to use this system either!
Since there are options, in the email, I will guide you into finding the right tool to work for you. There will be a little bit of tech details to have a little understanding as to why, but just remember your students won't be seeing that aspect of the tools. They will just see your simple three-step system!
There will be teacher tutorials each day in video format that are about 10 minutes in length. These will go over the basics of the tech tools, give you some tips, and show you how to get these in place for your class.
After the three days of going over each of these types of tools, we are going to talk about how to maximize the use of these together by busting through myths and by offering you some solid tips to get this flowing as seamless as possible.
Then, you can go implement this system. These free student tutorials can easily be shown right before a lesson, so you can easily integrate learning the tech with your other teaching standards.
Getting the right tools in place is probably the hardest part. It involves grasping a little bit of tech understanding, but this course is here to guide you.
You can also find extra support in the Technology in the K-2 Classroom Facebook group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2127136364189405
Now, its time for you to watch the video. Then make sure to visit back here to get the tools set-up! The next lesson will go over the A of tech tools. This tool is going to be super useful in your classroom!
Jolene Mathew from the Candy Class :)
Just a heads up, I use to go over the tools first in this course, and then had a webinar at the end. I decided it was better to put the recording of the video first, but it is the same webinar I filmed for that. Things are just a little backwards since you will be setting the tools up afterwards instead.