Determined to Develop my ICT Skills: Inquiry Post #2

Developing one’s expertise in any area requires time, deliberate practice and a measure of determination. In the article by Hicks (2011), I appreciate how she encourages teachers to embrace technology without fear. She states that as teachers “it is our job to prepare students to be successful adults. The world is ultimately embracing technology therefore it is our duty to challenge the minds of our young people and strive to provide them with a quality educational experience that will benefit them now as well as later in life” (Hicks, 2011, p. 190). That certainly places a huge sense of responsibility on me to familiarize myself with technology so I can effectively teach it.

Hicks, 2011

As recommended by Mielke and Frontier (2012), the first step to a teacher’s professional growth is self-reflection. This works best within a school culture that adheres to the following beliefs: “comprehensive teaching frameworks are not just for evaluation, expertise only emerges through deliberate practice, supervisors are not the only source of data and feedback, honoring adults as self-directed learners encourages them to tackle more rigorous improvement goals” (Mielke & Frontier, 2012, p. 12-13). I am fortunate to teach in a school that encourages growth and professional development. This month, each staff member was required to set out professional goals for the year and to meet with the principal to discuss these goals. Over the years, I appreciated the feedback from my administrators as I am encouraged to take risks and to try new things in the classroom. One of my goals for this year is to explore ways to incorporate technology in my primary classroom that fosters creativity and collaboration among my students.

Mielke and Frontier, 2012

I enjoy self-directed learning and I am constantly on the look-out for new strategies and resources to explore. In regards to my exploration of technology with my grade two class, I am starting small. So far, I have one mini iPad at my disposal in my classroom as I wait for five others to be purchased. My personal goal is to design one lesson every two weeks using technology. For my first lesson, I am designing a lesson to fit with our community theme. I have been teaching ‘interviewing skills’ along with the roles and responsibilities of different jobs within our school community. The children will be placed in small groups to go and interview one of the school staff (librarian, principal, janitor, administrative assistant, development director) and then share their findings with the class. I am happy to report that I started this on Thursday. After practicing as a whole class and taking turns being the videographer, two groups completed their interviews on Thursday. The children were so excited!


Figure 1:  3rdworldman. (photographer). (c. 2011). ipad. 004.png. [Digital image]. Retrieved from

A second lesson I am planning is to take the iPads outside to document changes in nature as several learning outcomes for grade 2 focus on “changes”. As we walk through our community and the nearby forest, I want my students to document their findings through video and pictures. As we plant daffodil bulbs through a Planting a Promise (a program sponsored by BC Agriculture in the Classroom), I also want students to document the steps of the process of planting and the stages of the plant’s lifecycle. Taking pictures of the daffodil at various points of its lifecycle would be a great opportunity to document changes.

Planting a Promise

I would like to use the app “Explain Everything” in which the students can input their images and then record their voices as they explain the changes they have documented. Although I have an Apple TV connection in my new classroom, I have not really had a chance to play around with it and become completely confident in navigating around. This is another one of my goals for the next month.

To further my learning, I also connect regularly with colleagues from other schools within my association. On Friday, October 9, I attended a conference in Lynden, Washington for educators within our association. One session was “How do I integrate meaningful uses of technology into my elementary classroom?” Perfect! That was exactly what I was looking for. The speaker, David Wicks, is a professor at Seattle Pacific University. He introduced two models or frameworks to keep in mind to understand technology’s role in teaching and learning. As I haven’t really explored the SAMR and TPACK frameworks before, I found this helpful. The TPACK framework seemed more applicable to the elementary setting in demonstrating how technology can be used to transform student learning. The following two videos give a brief overview of the two models.

I continuously search the internet for youtube videos and blogs that relate to integrating technology into the classroom. I was reading through the blogs of my LIBE 477 classmates and appreciated the link on Julie Brown’s blog (Oct. 4, 2015) to M. Gleeson’s blog post (April 28, 2013) “Ipurpose before IPad”. With each new project or lesson, I attempt to grow in my ICT skills as I learn something new prior to teaching it to my class. So, my search for innovative ideas to effectively incorporate technology in my classroom continues.

Brown, Julie. (Oct. 4, 2015). Reading Review #3. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Candace M. (surname removed). (April 26, 2013). “TPACK in 2 Minutes”. Retrieved from

Candace M. (surname removed). (May 30, 2013). “SAMR Model in 120 Seconds”. Retrieved from

Dan (surname unknown). (Jan. 3, 2013). “How To AirPlay Apple tv – Answered: How Do I Use AirPlay Mirroring”. Retrieved from

Gleeson, G. (April 28, 2013). IPurpose before IPad. [Web log comment]. Retrieved from

Hicks, S.D. (2011). Technology in Today’s Classroom: Are You a Tech-Savvy Teacher? The Clearing House: A Journal of Educational Strategies, Issues and Ideas, 84(5), 188-191.

Mielke, P., & Frontier, T. (2012). Keeping Improvement in Mind. Educational Leadership, 70(3), 10-13.



6 thoughts on “Determined to Develop my ICT Skills: Inquiry Post #2

  1. I think it is wise to start small, particularly if you are not super comfortable with technology. It is handy, however, that you have some great resources that you will be able to use as you learn and grow with technology. I wish I had access to iPads! Talk about an amazing piece of technology. Our district has switched over to all PC products and at the moment all we have access to are laptops (and that’s only if they are available as we have to share school-wide). Do you have a grade partner in your school that you can bounce ideas off of? I’ve found that when I have a colleague (or several!) in my school that I can touch base with periodically about technology and ideas to use in the classroom that I become much more motivated and eager to try things! Plus, as with anything, if it doesn’t work out, we just switch it up! Lots of great ideas here! I really enjoyed you explaining the lesson you did and the lesson you have planned.


  2. Well done post! You’ve outlined some of the most important aspects of growth in your own skillset, reflection and personal challenges. You’ve identified some goals, some strategies, tools and resources that should help you get there. You’ve also shared some of your successes so far in your explorations and attempts at new learning. The TPACK and SAMR models are great frameworks for guiding your purpose in implementing new ICT practices. Good tagging, linking and embeddding!


  3. A few weeks ago, I met with another grade 2 colleague in my school. We started our long term planning for social studies; community within our school and community in our town. We were planning to visit different staff members (librarian, gym teacher, aboriginal support worker, custodian, secretary, principal, etc.). We would ask our students to prepare questions prior to the short visits. I appreciate your idea about doing an interview with a member in your school community. I will be presenting your idea to my colleague. I am positive, she will get as excited as me, to do an interview with the use of a video format. This a fabulous way to integrate technology, social studies and oral French language arts.


    1. The interviews went very well. The children were super excited to go and video someone using the iPads. To carry these skills of interviewing even farther, I would love to use the iPads so my students can interview their gr. 6 reading buddies. Let me know how the lesson/unit works out.


  4. I totally agree that building ICT skills “…requires time, deliberate practice and a measure of determination.” This is no easy feat as we are always so busy with what is happening in our classrooms, but we are doing it! I really love your interviewing idea. What a great way to use/introduce technology in your classroom and get the students learning new vocabulary. (I’m a French teacher and see great use with this!) I did use Explain Everything last year when I did the LiD program with my grade 1 students. It is a great tool, but you will need an extra adult or 2 at the beginning to help those kids that have pressed a wrong button. I advise letting them play around with it first and discovering what those “buttons” do. I’m looking forward to hearing how your work with Explain Everything goes. Have fun!


  5. Many of the resources you’ve listed I had never heard of, so thanks for introducing me to them. Explain Everything sounds like a great way for students to show their learning.It’s definitely a resource I would like to try out. I also like that you have created specific goals for integrating technology into your classroom and that your administration is supportive and encouraging about trying new things. It’s been a long time since I’ve had an administrator discuss my goals for teaching and see what I am doing in the classroom, and it really should happen more often.


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