A Mid-Year Tech Review

As I am approaching the half-way point of our school year I want to assess my ‘Tech Targets’ to review my plans for the remainder of the school year.

Flipped Learning

The Flipped Learning Model is a practical way for teachers to maximize class time. The excellent Flipped Classroom Infographic by knewton.com provides an easy way to see the benefits. This is a useful tool for front loading information and allowing students to prepare questions in advance.

In an inquiry-based PYP classroom I rarely prepare lectures for my class. I want to be part of their learning journey to assess prior knowledge, address misconceptions and plan the next day of learning depending on student understanding and ideas. However, using video reminders after a lesson has been very useful. I decided to design my own infographic, based on Knewton’s, to target the specific needs of my flipped classroom.

Below is an example of how I have begun to put these ideas into practice.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wC7ACLOrNL8  (video no longer available)


Every now and then in education you stumble across something that has a big impact in the classroom. Kahoot.it is a simple idea and very easy to use. It is attractive, fun, engaging and has seeped into all curriculum areas of our classroom.

Kahoot excitement to liven up a shape quiz on a Thursday afternoon #sislearns #kahoot pic.twitter.com/b3kt4YcagI

— Amanda (@ALMcCloskey) October 15, 2015

My class are constantly requesting more Kahoot quizzes. We even have our own style of chair dancing emerging thanks to the catchy tunes. If you haven’t tried Kahoot yet I recommend it!

Minecraft Mania

It is clear that Minecraft is currently a major influence on primary-aged children. The excitement of even mentioning a mine, and the many conversations in class that can be related to Minecraft is impressive. I first saw it used in the classroom by @donovanhallnz in 2013 and began to realise the potential of Minecraft. I now feel ready to launch an ECA and have just received approval for site licenses and a server. My research has now begun and I have found some excellent information on some coetail blogs including @davidc, @wayfaringpath @chezvivian, @holtspeak. My new project awaits!

Image from Flickr by Mike Cooke

2 thoughts on “A Mid-Year Tech Review

  1. Leah Bortolin

    Hi Amanda, I really like your follow up idea for the flipped classroom. It can be really challenging to find the time to conclude lessons when things end in a rather chaotic way. And this tends to happen in the classroom! I really like this. Do you post these on the blog? Is this also a way for parents to see what is happening and to get involved? I also like the content of the tech saturation. Was this in relation to a particular unit? We recently had a woman come to the school to talk to us about addiction to technology. She focuses more often on adults, but she asked what we were doing to ensure that our students are also aware of this issue. Thanks for sharing. Interesting as always!

  2. Amanda McCloskey Post author

    Hi Leah,
    Yes so far I have posted these on the blog, but if they are just relevant to my class (not both Grade 5 classes) then I post it on our google classroom. My students are now ‘following’ my YouTube channel which is great as they get the video link directly. I just began playing around with iMovie but have found this a really effective learning tool.
    This was all as a technology unit which gave us the opportunity to really explore the issue of technology integration. The students surprised me with their responses which is always a good thing!

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