I was pleasantly surprised when I was introduced to the AT&T Classroom. I have never been exposed to so much technology in a classroom, let alone expected to learn how to utilize different types of technologies from first graders!
Before the kids arrived, I was not sure if I was going to be able to enter the classroom and get hands-on experience with the students and their devices. I figured I was going to sit behind the one-way mirror during their class and take notes while Annette filled me in on what was going on. I was expecting the students to be fairly novice when it came to utilizing the iPads and laptops. I was also expecting them to get very distracted and off topic while handling these technologies.
When I arrived at the AT&T Classroom, I was greeted by Annette and Tom. After talking with them for a few minutes, the students started to arrive and get settled. I was very amazed with the students’ abilities and familiarity with their devices. They introduced me to multiple educational, interactive apps, including Popplet and TinyTap.
Popplet is a free, digital web-organizer that helps students create a diagram for a specific topic. The first grade class in the AT&T Classroom was learning about polar bears, and created a web including different facts about polar bears. The sub-topics were color coordinated, and included three facts branching off of them. This is a great app that will aid young students in writing research papers and organizing ideas.
The other app I was introduced to was TinyTap. TinyTap allows students to create their own games, and is a more personalized approach to education. Students are able to create, play with, and learn from various tools TinyTap has to offer such as: games, puzzles, E-books, quizzes, digital textbooks, and more! Students are also able to incorporate their own pictures in the games they create. For example, the second grade class who visited the AT&T Classroom last semester went around Kent State’s campus and took pictures of living and nonliving things, while fourth graders took pictures of different angles and shapes. These students were able to make games from their pictures that are shared all around the world through TinyTap! TinyTap is not just for students, however. Parents, teachers, authors, organizations and brands also use it too! This is a great app that I can see myself using in my classroom.
Although the students were a little distracted when they shifted from different mediums of technology, their attentiveness inside of the classroom was excellent. I was fortunate enough to get hands-on experience, and help struggling students with difficult concepts.
Overall, the AT&T Classroom, allowed me to work one-on-one with students, while also providing many different ideas and lessons that I can employ in my future classroom.