This post is written by guest blogger Meghan Zigmond, 1st Grade Teacher and Instructional Technology Facilitator at H. G. Olsen Elementary in Port Aransas, Texas.
In just ten years of teaching, access to amazing digital tools has transformed the way I teach and the focus of my classroom. This year, as well as the past few years, my students will be focusing on creating content to share what they know. We can no longer just be consumers of content, we have to teach our students how to create, to share what they know.
However, even with all of the digital tools available, we still haven’t left behind valuable classroom creation tools such as paint, paper, and white boards. We just use them in different ways, and add to them with our digital tools. I like to call it “adding a layer of awesome”. We often combine both digital and analog materials in app smashes that share what we know.
One of my favorite “recipies” to combine digital and analog information. Read more about it here.
Take this ThingLink for example. We created a diagram to share many of the things we learned about how pumpkins grow, then added more knowledge by recording our learning about each item on the diagram. By simply taking a picture of our work and using it as a ThingLink background we were able to add much more depth, as well as share it through social media and our blogs.
Another way we love to use ThingLink to support creation is through inquiry projects. Throughout the year I scaffold these projects for my young learners, and soon they’re ready to work more independently. Creating a ThingLink of resources for students to use, then adding a task card like element (instructions for creating with their knowledge) allows independence, individualism and creativity in learning. Our Hibernation ThingLink, including my student’s original videos of their new knowledge, has been used in many other classrooms across the country!
While ThingLink is one of my favorite ways to create and share our hard work, there are so many amazing tools available! Whatever tools you and your students choose, I hope that you’ll recognize the importance of each and every learner being a creator. You’re a learner too, so get busy creating with, and alongside, your students!
Supporting Premise –
II.f New learning standards should reflect realities of the new digital era, where students are not just consumers of knowledge but creators of knowledge.