This year, one of my second grade colleagues and I decided to try something new. We created something called "Tech Lab" and with this, comes a 30 minute "class" once a week where my third graders and her second graders get together to work tech.
Backstory - Two years ago, Ann and I had an awesome experience using an app called ToonTastic to create cartoons with our classes. I was in fourth grade at the time, and she was in third. Both of our classes were working their way through an economics unit, so we had the kids work in groups to create cartoons with economic problems. As this was our first year piloting iPads, what a great way to incorporate technology into the writing process!
Anyway, fast forward to this year. We were hoping to do similar projects this year, except I was moved down to third grade. So instead of doing project based experiences with our classes, we created Tech Lab to give the kids weekly learning experiences.
So far we've created our Essential Agreements for when we meet, and we've explored different games and apps on the iPad. We participated in Dot Day with the ColAR app. Right now we're in the middle of creating App Review videos. Each group had two weeks to explore different educational apps on the iPads and pick one that they wanted to review. They then spent week three completing a written app review. Next up is to find photos of the app and create videos using Explain Everything.
So far, the highlight of Tech Lab is the reflection piece. After each meeting we gather back together and talk about the day's activity. It's been quite insightful, as it's our first experience, to hear what the kids think of how things are going. And it's going to be quite exciting to see where things go the rest of the year!