As I have indicated many times, I do not believe that my school takes complete advantage of the opportunities to use technology to build on literacy skills. We use TumbleBooks, and we will begin to use IXL to support specific ELA standards in second through eighth grade.
I would love to see my school move to a block schedule, at least in the upper elementary grades (3 – 5) and work collaboratively with the grade level teachers to use technology teachers to complete important assignment and projects. For example, one of the topics of study in NYS 4th grade social studies is the slave trade and slavery in the 13 colonies. Working with the 4th grade teacher, we could conduct a unit on slavery. We could use an online atlas, Google Earth or another appropriate resource to map the Middle Passage, and map the many locations that slaves were brought to. Students could read stories of the Middle Passage and slave narratives and journal their thoughts about how difficult this might have been. Students could research about life in the colonies and write a report about the hardships faced by slaves. There are so many ways that students can use technology.
Students could obviously use websites like PebbleGo, which is one of the tools that I evaluated to complete research projects in the lower elementary grades, and learn to cite their sources. As with any technological resource, before it is used, it needs to be fully vetted and its use in the classroom needs to be properly supported and monitored by educators.