One Year Anniversary!
It was as I was watching the Super Bowl last year that I first dreamed up the idea for this website. We’d just gotten our classroom iPads. I’d googled excessively trying to get ideas for using iPads in early childhood classrooms, and I’d come up with very little. I knew there had to be more people out there writing about using iPads with young children than Google was telling me about, and I wanted to connect with them. A blog seemed like the logical way to make that happen. So now, one year later, I am thrilled to have discovered so many of you both here and through various social networking sites that are doing amazing things with technology as you work with young children. As I prepare to sit down and watch the Super Bowl one year later, it seems like a good time to look back on where this website has been in the last year and to revisit some of our most popular posts.
I really get people’s attention when I write about apps! It’s clear that many other people have realized how challenging it is to weed out the mediocre (or even down right awful) apps from the great ones. I’ve tried to simplify this process for preschool and kindergarten teachers (and parents) with my 5 Best Apps Series. While my first two posts about apps made a significant impression on the internet, it’s my post about 5 Best Learning Apps that continues to be a huge draw. Recently, I’ve taken some time to dive into the app store again to seek out more apps that really stand apart from the rest. I’ve got some posts planned that will highlight what I’ve found. I discovered a few apps that were so much fun and so packed with learning that I can hardly wait to share them with you.
QR Codes can be so engaging. They’re a great way to get kids comfortable with technology, and they’re also a good way to make what might be a dull task a little more interesting. When I first discovered QR codes, most of the activities I saw were geared for older children. They required at least some reading and most of my students aren’t readers. Finding a way to attach an audio file to a QR code allowed me to use this fun technology gimmick with little learners and they had so much fun with it! Apparently other teachers of younger kids had been looking for a way to use QR codes with their students because my first audio QR code post about matching sight words still brings people to this website daily, as does my Sight Word Bingo Game with Audio QR codes.
Some posts about the practical matters of managing iPads have also proved popular. My post about Cleaning iPads has generated more traffic in a single month than most of my posts have seen in their lifetime. People are curious too about how to protect their iPads. My post about the covers we bought for our classroom iPads continues to be popular. We’ve actually modified our Garmin covers to make them more usable in our preschool setting. Turns out we didn’t quite need military grade protection. I’m looking forward to telling you about the changes we’ve made and whether or not we’re planning to stick with the covers we’ve got.
When I started writing one year ago, I wasn’t sure whether or not blogging was going to be something that held my attention. Every “how to start a blog” website cautions that most blogs don’t last a year. Authors lose interest, become impatient with having a small audience, or just find other ways to spend their time. I’m excited to find that one year later, I’m still learning so much from the time that I spend here. Because I write about my teaching with technology, I find that I am much more reflective about my own practices. I’ve learned so much just by taking the time to write about (and therefore reflect on) the lessons I’ve planned. Thank you to all of you who have joined in this journey with me. I’m looking forward to discovering what’s in store next year as I keep writing about Technology In Early Childhood.