We embrace the use of tablets trend this year in our school. Without any training, teachers were asked to start using them in their classes. It is not just keeping the e-content of a variety of subjects on these tablets and browsing them when needed. We eagerly want to create an interactive environment where students can think critically and creatively, collaborate, and construct new knowledge together.
I strongly agree that teachers need some professional development chances in this area, so they can integrate this new technology into their curricula effectively. From my point of view, the recommended way to do so is attending webinars that are interested in using tablets in classrooms. Here is a post in which I collected some wonderful stations to drop by and find what you look for. Students, on the other hand, find it easy to use and try to teach teachers its tricks. What awesome students we really have! That's why I decided to make use of their enthusiasm and knowledge to create their own learning resources.
Thinking about how to achieve this goal and trying to find a way to make it happen, I read about the Hour of Code; a very promising nationwide initiative by Computer Science Education Week and Code.org to introduce millions of students to one hour of computer science and computer programming. Through coding, students are no longer considered consumers, but rather producers and become responsible for their learning. They can create their own games and apps with a specific set of features that teachers need for educational purposes. If we look a little bit further, students are about to build their own businesses and prepare themselves to a bright future.
To bring the Hour of Code to your classrooms, please Host it during Dec. 8-14, 2014 by registering here. Materials and helpful tips will be sent to you to be ready for the event.
Microsoft is one of the biggest supporters for this initiative. It provides many opportunities for coding. Let your students start with TouchDevelop; a programming environment for creating mobile apps. If students have more than an hour, they can check out other Microsoft advanced trainings and tools: