I recently got an issue of the magazine, NEA Today (Winter 2016) in the mail. As I was reading through the articles, and I came across one titled: Lifting Up Your Students’ Voices – Online.
This article catch my eye because of two reasons: it was an article with five tips to help students use technology and also focused on Kindergarten and younger students. A lot of articles I have read recently have focused on older students; it was nice to read something about students just starting their online journey.
The tip that stuck with me the most was a simple one; Remember to look up. In the article, Sharon Davison wrote that, “Digital tools are wonderful and can offer a lot of opportunities for learning, but it is important to have balance and to “look up” from your screen. See who and what is around you!” I always want to have a balance in my classroom when it comes to screen time. I have tools that I have had the students download to ensure that they get up from their work and take a brain break.
Another thing I loved from her article, is how she taught her students about Twitter. She had her students go outside and listen to the birds chirp back and forth. She spoke to them about how they are communicating with each other and that we needed to do the same thing with Twitter. “If we have something important to say, we can tweet it to others,” Sharon says to her students. I use Twitter with my classroom and we have similar conversations about what to Tweet and what not to Tweet. I will remember to remind my students often about the purpose of Twitter and how to properly use it with our followers.
The other tips Sharon talks about are about being responsible digital citizens, connecting and sharing on KidBlog, and involving parents in your classroom. To access the article, click here (Links to an external site.).