Implementation at Jamestown
Jamestown Elementary School students have access to personalized learning devices in 2nd, 3rd and 4th grades with a blended toolkit of laptops and iPads for Kindergarten, 1st and 5th grades.
The use of personalized devices help Jamestown teachers support a personalized and differentiated learning environment. Student learning is differentiated to address each student’s unique learning needs. A plethora of digital resources and a variety of educational apps facilitate differentiation for individual students.
Teachers employ a number of different pedagogical approaches that leverage technology to engage students in higher order thinking and problem solving. In the classroom an important RC strategies is “Academic Choice” and at Jamestown we use a variety of technologies to ensure that our students have “Academic Choice.” Students have academic choice in how they express their learning and communicate what they know in a multitude of ways. The digital toolkit enables students to select their preferred tools for learning, individualizing how students access information, collaborate, express their creativity, and share knowledge. Students are encouraged to explore concepts and communicate their learning through a variety of multimedia formats, publishing work globally and by reflecting on learning through digital portfolios. Students express themselves by creating multitouch books, producing movies, creating slide presentations, or designing apps. Students communicate with a global audience by creating multimedia creations, interactive books and other presentations that showcase what they know and are able to do.
In order to explain how photosynthesis works our students have the opportunity to create an iMovie. When they are studying the civil war, they use various apps to explain historical facts. An option for a book report is a movie trailer that their friends will use to figure out which book to read next.
Students in grades K-2 have access to a multi-modal set of learning activities. Students in these grades build literacy and numeracy skills as they access these expanded set of digital resources and apps to make learning individualized and interactive. iPads are used in math for skill practice and to create math “stories” using screen recording apps. Our youngest students build literacy skills as they become published authors, designing their own books with text, images, and audio narration. Jamestown students publish eBooks to a global audience and to the immediate community. Their interactive books become part of a new student created resource set where each student has an expanded library of books on their iPads. Students use books written by their peers to support their own emerging literacy skills.
Classroom workflow is an important part of the digital learning in our classrooms. Teachers use a range of apps and digital resources to make learning come alive for students. iTunes U courses are being used to facilitate the workflow in our classrooms and help teachers scaffold the learning in classrooms with personalized devices. Teachers create iTunes U courses to support project-based learning with inquiry based assignments, research links, document distribution, apps, interactive texts and books, and to collect student learning artifacts.
Project based learning is scaffolded within the structure of the iTunes U courses to engage students in learning in a multitude of ways with a wide range of resources and a multitude of multimedia apps. The workflow for the use of creating student artifacts with multiple apps is aided by the structure of the iTunes U courses.