PYP & Technology (How can we support all students' learning needs?…
PYP & Technology
How can we support all students' learning needs?
Support effective skill practice
It's often easier for students to work at their own pace when further information is available for them to discover without needing the teacher to introduce things to the class as a whole.
Visualize underlying concepts
Technology and software can provide great visual aids for students and allow them to look at ideas and concepts in different ways. For example, during international space week we used a Virtual Reality headset to enable students to take a VR tour of the International Space Station.
Study systems in unique ways
We occasionally use spreadsheets with PYP students, but this is more common with our MYP students.
Faster and unique access to information sources
Technology enables immediate and up to date access to global news and information. There is no longer a need to continuously reorder text books as they become outdated.
Self paced learning for accelerated students
Many digital teaching packages come with the ability for students to work at their own pace. Some examples that we use as a school are: Tynker, Mathletics, Reading Eggs and Typing Club.
Turn disability into capability
Technology offers many tools to aid with visual or hearing impairments. We have specific devices set up with larger font sizes and interfaces to aid some of our visually impaired students.
Save time on production tasks
At school we currently use the Microsoft Office suite and various other production tools. Children of all ages love using these tools to enhance their production skills and creativity.
Assessing student work
Our school currently uses Microsoft Teams and OneNote for providing feedback to students.
How can we motivate and engage students?
Gaining learner attention
Technology and software provide teachers with more tools at their disposal for increasing student engagement. One of my favourites is to use Kahoot to conduct class quizzes.
Supporting manual operation
Technology can sometimes enable things to be produced more easily so that the content can be focused on rather than the low-level skills to produce it. However, this can often work the other way and the requirement of high-level computer skills can actually get in the way of teaching and learning.
Students love the opportunity to use the same software that adults and their parents use in the work place. One of my favourite anecdotes is from a Year 5 student that I was teaching Python Programming to, who said his dad was very pleased because he was using that same language that he had used to help launch a rocket into space with NASA.
From my experience, the majority of students love the opportunity to use technology in order to create professional looking designs that they perhaps couldn't achieve by hand.
Connecting with a wider audience and peers
Our students have been able to contact and share their work with other students from around the world thanks to technology.
We currently use a number of devices and software packages to enable students to collaborate with each other: OneNote, Teams, Padlet, Microsoft Word and Powerpoint online.
How can we better prepare students for future learning?
Students should be exposed to a wide range of different digital production tools. Such as word processing, graphic design, presentation software and more.
It is very important for students to develop research skills from a young age. The use of search engines and other digital resources enables students to familiarize themselves with these techniques.
Technology can greatly enhance a students' ability to visually interpret and represent data. In our school students use a range of digital drawing tools from kindergarten up to MYP.