Digital Doors was created as a place for me to blog and share resources that I think would be helpful for teachers integrating technology in meaningful ways in their classroom. My goal would be to write a blog post a week, but with my busy schedule, that doesn't happen. I write when I can and rely on nifty tools to help me share what I am finding when I don't have time to write.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

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A Trip to Canby, Oregon

I had a great visit to the Canby School District today.  I joined educators from the Methow Valley and Meridian, Idaho who were interested like me in the great results the Canby School District is having in using mobile devices such as iPods and iPads in innovative ways.  We had the opportunity to visit classrooms at two elementary schools.  What I saw was lots of student engagement and curiosity about learning.  I saw teachers excited about trying new things and students who were working at their own pace and independently moving forward.  Students were collaborating with each other and sharing ideas and resources.  Teachers had created digital kits using ePub.  Students had all the rich media resources to support their learning goals. 

Joe Morelock, who has the great title of Director of Technology and Innovation, shared his passion with us about encouraging teachers and students to be innovators in their teaching and learning.  Even with budget cuts, they find ways to support teachers who are thinking of innovative ways to engage all students and close the achievement gap.

Morelock cites the study of the 30,000,000 Word gap that exists between middle income students and low income students by the age of 3.  This gap is what prompted the district to look for a way to increase the word knowledge of low income students.  They started by creating listening stations that could be taken home.  Students and their families were exposed to an increased vocabulary through rich literature.  This project was so successful that they began to look for other ways to use these hand held devices.  Teachers started using the iPods to have students record and self correct their own reading.  Their fluency increased at great speed.  The evidence continues to pour in that when these tools are used effectively, they can be very powerful in increasing student achievement.

The district has created a very informative wiki with hints and tips for using the mobile technology in class including the apps they like the best, purchasing and set up information and research data. 

It is exciting to see what can happen when students have access to this type of learning opportunity. Great teachers with innovative ideas and multi functional tools mean endless possibilities for learning.

Canby IPod Users Wiki Pin It Now!

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