Oomph! and A-ha! Moments with Technology

Real and metaphorical lightbulbs glowed atop our heads this week.  SmartBoards, iPads, and fishes; Twitter and the Endeavour Shuttle fly-by: computer technology was an important science learning tool this week- I’m so excited to tell you about it!

from AP Images

On Thursday Grade 4 students used an app called Notability to download a document which they used to learn about fish morphology on their iPads.  Then, in front of the SmartBoard with fingers scrolling, students looked for ways to describe fishes like the lion fish and it’s warning coloration (not so subtly saying: I’m so dangerous I don’t even need to hide from you so you better watch out!).  With each fish, the hands went up quicker and Mrs. Young and I looked at each other, thinking out loud- this is so cool!  There’s nothing like seeing the students grasp learning objectives more effectively, and as teachers we are always looking for ways to make our lessons better.  In this case, it was a simple tool on the iPad that focused our attention to new details about fishes!

from AP Images

Then there was the Endeavour Shuttle flyover this morning.  To find out news about up to the minute timing of an event like this one we used Twitter to follow the buzz (#spottheshuttle) about where it had been seen along its flight path.  After  it had finished its loop around the Golden Gate Bridge we announced to the school that it was a good time to head outside for a peek.  Not long after that I heard voices pointing to the gaps between the trees where glimpses of the low flying shuttle was seen making it’s way to NASA Ames in Mountain View, and then to the California Science Center.  With the timely information coming from Twitter we were able to time our view just perfectly.

I am excited to be using new tools that give the extra Oomph! to my lessons that they need!  And I had an A-ha! moment with Twitter today- what a great tool for up to the minute information about current events!

Here’s wishing you that extra Oomph! and lots of A-ha’s! this coming week!

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