An Interview With Shannon Pasma Part Two
I recently sat down with Shannon Pasma at Cafe Bicyclette for a chat about everything grade two and educational technology. Here is part two of an abridged version of our chat. Don’t forget to read part one!
A Little Bit About Shannon
Shannon teaches in the Elk Island School Division and is going into her fourth year of teaching grade two (her favourite grade). She has also taught grade one and five. Her school is one-to-one Chromebooks grades two to six. She also has five iPads in her class and access to sign out a whole cart of iPads as needed. You can find her on Google+ and on Twitter as @ShannonPasma. She is also the co-author of an e-book for grade two social studies which she created as a part of her masters in Educational Technology in Elementary Education.
What apps or technology tools do you use? Are there any that you use for specific projects?
Anytime an app has dual application (like being able to record your voice), I like that. If I can use it across the subject areas, I’m good with it, rather than a one-off app. Some of the tools I use all the time are:
- I especially love Google Slides. I like to use it for pretty much anything from How To writing to Non Fiction writing to Timelines. I like to use Screencastify to have voice connected to work if images are just included.
- Explain Everything (iPad)
- Or any recordable whiteboard app. Again, great for anything you want the students to explain a process or thought. I like this especially for math. My students create problems and then solve them recording their work and voice.
- Great for digital posters or scavenger hunts in 2D shapes and 3D objects. Lends itself well to labelling.
- Great for social studies, too. Students can make a poster about the community.
- Popplet for mind maps.
- We often turn a story into a script. PuppetPals is used as a choice to act out the script if students don't want to perform in front of the class. I also like to have the students do a Bug Talk Show and interview various creatures in science. I love to see their creativity come out.
- Seesaw (but you can’t upload from Google Drive)
- Google Classroom is an absolute must in my room!
- During the first weeks of school we create iMovie trailers to show/teach/reinforce classroom routines. My students like to also use the DoInk Green Screen app to integrate with iMovie.
You made an e-book. Do you still make them?
They take forever. You have to find images you can use. You have to write your own content. You have to cite all of your stuff. You have to record each of your voice sections and then put it in the book. Each of the widgets we had, most of them were from third party sites so you had to download them and then upload them. Saving it on the Mac (iBooks Author) and then trying it on your iPad. The hardest part was finding a site to hold it and share it out so people could download it. It is so huge to download it so it takes forever. It’s a lot of work.
After we made the first one, I saw how successful it was with my students. That’s when I had a student with a learning disability, so I couldn’t take that away from her. So I just had to do them. It would take me a whole Saturday and Sunday to make them. But now that they are done, they’re done. However I have noticed a couple of the videos are missing because they are not on YouTube anymore. So now it’s about going back and fixing them. Then re-downloading and re-uploading them again.
You can download them here: Exploring Iqaluit, Meteghan, and Saskatoon
You had a five week student teacher this year. How prepared did you feel they were edtech-wise?
I want to make a course or workshop for preservice teachers to learn how to use technology. I would open up my classroom to them. They could come in and observe some tools and see what there is. In the course/workshop we’d talk about the tools and how to use them. They would have to create lessons to go with the technology so they actually feel prepared. Most preservice teachers have no educational technology skills.
If you had to interview someone for division one educational technology. Who would you pick?
You know who I really want to sit down with? Catherine D off Twitter. We had really great conversations at the ERLC Educational Technology Innovation Summit. I would love to sit down with her for the whole day.
Last question for you, what are your hopes for educational technology in the future in your classroom? Alberta? Canada? Globally?
If kids don’t learn some technology skills, like coding, I can only imagine 2025! They are going to have to have these skills. I feel if you don’t start teaching them these things they are going to be behind and unprepared. I feel that if teachers don’t get on board with the current educational technologies they are going to be even further behind and then you are doing a disservice to your students. This [phone] is your life. Literally you can do everything on here and you don’t need anything else. I hope that teachers catch on.
It [the future] is going to be kids coming with greater skills and expected to do a lot more but connect globally. I feel like it is no longer about working in the isolation of your classroom. I feel that Global Read Aloud is the start of zero barriers. You are going to be learning from each other.
The flexible seating movement is on the cutting edge of - you don’t need to learn in “this” way, you can learn in your own way. I feel like there is going to be more individualized learning. I think desks and rows are by-gone things now.
It’ll be interesting to see what happens.
I would like to thank Shannon for an extremely enjoyable chat through an epic thunderstorm.
Check back for the October interview with Alicia Kuzio.
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