Technology 101 Skills for Teachers

For the past three years I have been involved with Oklahoma A Plus Schools (@okaplus) as a teacher in their workshops and now as a “fellow” providing training for other schools.  The focus of A Plus Schools, in Oklahoma as well as other states, is summarized in the National A Plus Schools Essentials. These include:

Experiential Learning
Multiple Learning Pathways
Enriched Assessment

A Plus Schools are focused on integrating the arts into and across the curriculum, but also much more. The focus is not just “art enhancement,” when a teacher adds an art activity to an existing lesson. Quality A Plus essentials integration involves teaching common vocabulary and skills involving multiple subjects, in activities which blend the content areas in engaging activities.


Since my classroom is 1 to 1 with an iPad for every student, I am very aware of the powerful ways technology can be used to support the A Plus Essentials. With so many schools now acquiring technology tools like iPads and Chromebooks, it’s become important for organizations like A Plus to help define what is important for teachers working to integrate technology into their lessons. Rather than simply “putting students on an app” to reinforce or teach basic skills, I am convinced technology tools should be used to enhance and amplify student creativity. Technology tools are used best in the classroom when students are making and creating, and these digital creations need to be shared both inside and outside the classroom.

Last weekend at the Oklahoma A Plus Fall Retreat, I worked with a group of other teachers to brainstorm ideas for an “A Plus Technology 101” workshop. I am writing this post not because I have all the answers to this question, “What do teachers need in an introductory technology workshop supporting A Plus Essentials?” but because I want to clarify my own thinking as well as get feedback from others.

What does it take to successfully integrate iPads into an elementary classroom? First, teachers need to have their own iPads to use, install apps, make and create. Teachers need to be supported and encouraged to use their iPads to make and create, because these uses do not necessarily come naturally for either adults or young students. Kids may learn technology skills more readily than some adults, but I have noticed many will not self-select creative iPad apps unless they are encouraged and/or required to do so by teachers.

Creating and making with technology is so important! With iPads specifically, teachers need to begin building their own sense of “app literacy” to know what is possible and what apps are appropriate for students’ developmental levels and needs. Teachers need to learn “workflows” for using different apps in sequence or together. Teachers need to learn vocabulary terms for iPads and apps, which include things like:

  1. Share Square
  2. Hamburger
  3. Save to Camera Roll
  4. Workflow
  5. Home Button
  6. Screenshot
  7. Photo Roll

In addition to developing app literacy and a shared vocabulary which can be used with iPads, teachers also need encouragement and support to create “channels” for saving and sharing student digital projects. These can be channels shared inside the classroom as well as outside. Our classroom website,,  is a Google Site we use as a “home base” for technology integration EVERY DAY at my school.

I also use QR Codes and our classroom digital portfolio, SeeSaw, to share links to videos and other digital curriculum sites we use in lessons. The website I use to create QR Codes on my classroom computer is I copy and paste these QR Codes into Google Documents I print for students to use at different learning stations. Students use the free iPad app i-Nigma to scan QR codes and directly view videos or visit websites I’ve selected. When sharing YouTube videos, I usually put the link into, and share its provided link with students. Safeshare video links do NOT include related videos or comments, which can be distracting and/or inappropriate. This use of QR Codes, SeeSaw, and our classroom website is very important from an Internet safety standpoint. I never require my students to search online for a curriculum link we are using in class. That could not only waste time, it also could present multiple opportunities for students to be distracted or see inappropriate web content. Search skills are important, and students do practice searching for images to use in their projects, but only on websites and apps built specifically for student searches. These include Pic Collage Kids (which has a built-in kid safe image search tool) and the website PhotosForClass.

In a Technology 101 Workshop, teachers need to also be introduced to apps which allow students to “show what they know” with media. This is very common vocabulary for my students and I in our classroom, and in the conversations I have with my husband (@wfryer) about technology. I have found, however, many teachers do not yet have enough app literacy to see the value and purpose of using digital devices in these ways.

Technology tools like an iPad can empower teachers to use “enrichment assessment” activities with students which can provide extremely helpful insight into what students understand, have synthesized, and can demonstrate. Last week I shared an after school workshop for Oklahoma A Plus which was titled, “Enriched Assessment & Experiential Learning.” Some of the apps my students and I regularly use to demonstrate understanding are Opinion, Book Creator, Shadow Puppet EDU, SeeSawPic Collage Kids, and iMovie. This year I have had to take things slower with my students using iPads, so we are not yet blogging, but will be using a classroom blog (we used KidBlog the past few years) to also “show and share” our learning.

I believe teachers need encouragement and support to help their students share their work both inside and outside the classroom. My husband and I shared a mini-keynote last summer in Austin at the iPadPalooza Conference, in which we talked about these platforms and their importance. For me, this includes SeeSaw, our classroom radio show, our classroom YouTube channel, and our classroom photos on Flickr. All of these are linked from our classroom website, which is publicly available.

After listing all of these different technology integration elements, it’s clear it would be hard to fit everything into a 1.5 hour workshop. It would also be hard to not overwhelm teachers.

After reading what I have shared, what do you think are the most important elements to include in a “Technology 101 Workshop” that only lasts an hour and a half?

124 thoughts on “Technology 101 Skills for Teachers”

  1. OK, you got it, after the Thanksgiving break, this will be the assignment in my Technology class at KSU. I am curios to hear what these future teachers think. They are early in their Teacher Ed program but at the end of the tech class. I suspect we might discover some interesting ideas from them. most will student teacher in about 3 semesters.

    1. Shelly,

      Awesome job here. I think that what you do for students is admirable and your husband and you share a passion that is exciting to see as a prospective teacher. Teachers who really care and are invested in what they are teaching are the most effective and enjoyable to be around. I really loved what you had to say about making all students feel like they are a part of something bigger as well, it really resonated with me and I will carry it into the classroom with me when I soon begin my student teaching.

  2. I really enjoyed your reading blog! I learned such cool techniques about art integration and also cute little projects that I might want to do in my classroom. You were very descriptive and helpful with each of the examples. I really enjoyed the bat project because each child can really show their personality through their artwork and they are so great to decorate the room with!

    1. I loved reading your blog! I have gotten so many ideas from your website that I could use in your classroom! I know I will continue to read your website to get ideas and to learn more about technology in the classroom.

  3. Hello Fryer I wanted to comment and say that your blog is both incredibly interesting and extremely helpful for beginning teachers in the field. I read your post and tweets about integrating art into the classroom and I have been thinking about ways to do that. Being a high school History major I have a lot of opportunities to include this in projects but I was thinking about doing something unconventional. I want to try and have an extra credit assignment involving students using their creative side to make art for the classroom. It has to be history related and the students would have to do research on the time period or history area they made art for. I really enjoy the layout of your blog too. You don’t clutter the sides with unneeded ads and your posts fill the screen very well. Your blog is very impressive and I’m excited to see what you write nexy.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this article and learning about all of the different ways that you are using technology in your classroom. I can’t wait to explore some of them further and someday use them in my future classroom.

  5. Shelly,

    This was an exceptional read! You have shown me numerous new ways to integrate technology into my future classroom. Some of the ideas you mention in this posting are simple, but could be so enlightening for students. I can’t wait to use QR codes and SeeSaw in my future classroom after browsing through some of the things you have done in your classroom with such apps.

  6. I love the idea of allowing students to “show what you know” with media. Since they are exposed to different apps, they can choose the way in which they present their information. I am a huge fan of providing different assessments for students to choose from, so adding the media portion would absolutely increase the student’s motivations, which would hopefully provide well thought out projects. This whole post is so insightful. I can’t wait to use this in my classroom!

  7. I really appreciated going through your website. Going into the educational system is a little scary but teachers like you who provide such great resources like this provide some comfort! Our world is quickly becoming very technologically oriented and our schools are headed that way too. It’s awesome to know that when I have my own classroom I will have resources and tools from experienced teachers like yourself to help guide me in the use of technology in my own classroom!

  8. Hi Shelly! Thanks for involving a ton of apps and bring some awesome ideas to light. I’m so glad that you made it clear that technology or creating shouldn’t just be an assignment in the curriculum, but an active tool that is used to make the learning all the more engaging. I also can see how applicable these concepts can be to a Secondary environment; sharing work is so empowering and important. This has encouraged me to find ways to display my future students’ writing!

    But I was curious to know if you allowed your students to interact with the artwork of their classmates or not? If so, how did you enact that, and how did it affect the dynamic among your students? I feel like this is also something that (most) parents would really enjoy; seeing their children’s work being recognized. How do you get them involved in the process?

    1. Yes, we do interact with each others art work depending on the focus of the activity. Using Seesaw as our portfolio allows students to not only post their own projects but to see their classmates projects as well. Later in the year we focus on making comments and interacting with each others work. I’m so glad your thinking about the many ways your can incorporate these ideas!

  9. Hi Shelly! Thanks for weaving together some awesome ideas, and a ton of great resources and apps to use. I so appreciate that you think technology and art/expression can’t just be summed up into one project in the curriculum; but rather it should be weaved into the day-to-day. It seems like it will be very time consuming to seek out all these apps and resources, and fine-tuning them to fit the needs of your classroom; but one look at your students’ projects lets me know it’s completely worth it. Thank you for the renewed inspiration!
    I can also see there are a lot of applicable concepts into the Secondary sphere; no matter your age, displaying your work is so important! Now I can’t wait to show off the writing talents of my future students, while using tech skills to showcase it even better.
    I’m curious, do you allow your students to interact with the displayed work of their classmates? If so, how does this affect the dynamics of the classroom? I hope that this would be a great opportunity for students to appreciate one another.

    1. Hi Darby: Shelly’s students are able to interact with each other’s work and ideas using SeeSaw. She has it set where the students can see each others work, “like” posts and also comment.

      In past years she’s also used KidBlog and her students have blogged, but she isn’t doing that yet this year. Some students commented on each other’s work on KidBlog, but I think they are interacting more in SeeSaw. One disadvantage for those of us outside the classroom is we can’t see those SeeSaw interactions like we could if they were on a public blog. SeeSaw does make it very easy for students to interact with each other, and those interactions (like posts) are also moderated by the teacher so everything has to be approved before it is visible by others.

  10. Wow, thank you so much for this blog! I feel like I learned so much from you on this short post so I can’t imagine what I would learn in an hour and a half. I read an article once called “Consumption vs. Creation” and I think it fits right in with what you are saying. We need to make sure that our students are creating things and developing their learning with their iPads (or other technology) not just simply taking in information. One thing I think would be important to include in your workshop is the top apps to use in the classroom to get a teacher started. I know the first year of teaching is quickly approaching for me, so knowing a few solid apps to focus on and utilize while I figure everything else out would be great info!

  11. There is a lot of fantastic information here! Thank you for sharing! One part I especially loved was the concept of “showing and sharing learning” through technology. I appreciated the insightful creativity you offered for ways to do this – both for individual students demonstrating their learning for the teacher and the class, and for entire classrooms presenting their work to a larger audiences through media. You’ve given me some great ideas and inspiration!

  12. Shelly,

    This was a great post for all teachers to read. You have shown that there are many ways to incorporate technology in the classroom. It is very important that teachers explore what kind of apps are out there for them to use. Using technology can enhance any lesson.

  13. Shelly,
    I found this blog post extremely helpful. I’ve been able to add to my list of apps that I can use in my future classroom. As someone who has only had an iPad for about a year, I’ve been amazed at the doors that technology has opened within the classroom. I agree with you that teacher’s developing their own sense of “app literacy” is key. Technology can be intimidating, but it’s a reality that our students are growing up in a technologically advanced world. We have a duty as teachers to best prepare students to be successful members of society – which now means providing them with the opportunity to utilize and explore technology. Thanks for letting us take a look into your classroom!

  14. I am in a technology class now since I am a future educator and I find it extremely helpful to learn all these new apps that I can use in my future classroom. All of the apps that you included in this blog we have touched bases with and created projects on. Things that I think you could include in your 1.5 hour seminar is all the different apps teachers can use in their classroom, links to ‘how-to’ videos on those apps you introduce, and maybe issues that teachers have come across using technology in their classroom and advice for the teachers in the seminar in ways to avoid these issues.

  15. In your blog, you wrote how “it is a big challenge to balance building relationships with her students, providing engaging learning lessons, and effectively using technology to showcase their learning.” You go on to say that building relationships with your students has to come first and it is your number one priority. I complete agree with you. I believe creating relationships with your students is so important. As a future educator, I hope I will be able to find that balance of building a strong relationship with my students, provide engaging lessons, and use technology to showcase their learning and work. Your blog has tons of helpful ideas and resources; I cannot wait to use them in my own classroom!

  16. Your view on technology is great, many teachers use different technology to keep students “busy” and to just have something for them to do but instead you show technology can really enhance learning. From that I like how you describe the importance of teachers knowing all of the different apps and buttons so that they can enhance student learning as well. It is also really interesting to see how you are implementing apps and different technology that we are learning in class as well. Some of them we haven’t used either so it has been interesting to see more apps that may be helpful to use in the future. For example, the different apps that you can use for students to search specific material so that they aren’t wasting time or looking up other things that they shouldn’t. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!

  17. Reading your entry was very insightful. It is so helpful to be exposed to A Plus schools and what the program is geared toward. I underestimate the power of technology and the influence that it can have in the classroom. Reading your number one suggestion of the teacher owning an iPad put it into perspective. The students will be more engaged, stimulated, and eager to learn when it involves technology. Thank you for your work as an educator to your students and to your readers!

  18. Reading your entry was very insightful. It is so helpful to be exposed to A Plus schools and what the program is geared toward. I underestimate the power of technology and the influence that it can have in the classroom. Reading your number one suggestion of the teacher owning an iPad put it into perspective. The students will be more engaged, stimulated, and eager to learn when it involves technology. Thank you for your work as an educator to your students and to your readers.

  19. Shelly, thank you for a blog post that really got me thinking. To begin, I did not know very much about A Plus schools so I found it very interesting that there is a strong emphasis on art integration, especially when many schools are removing this. Thinking more specifically about your question, “what do you think are the most important elements to include in a “Technology 101 Workshop”?” I think that first placing an emphasis like you mentioned on all technology serving to empower and encourage creativity. Younger teachers are more likely to be readily bringing technology into their classrooms because the younger generation has grown up with these things. I think in a setting with different years of experience, it would be important to set a basic groundwork for understanding the skill set that your students will be entering your classroom with. If they have grown up iPad-in-hand then the technology climate of your class will be much different than if the teacher was learning alongside the teacher.
    You also wrote that “[creative] uses do not necessarily come naturally for either adults or young students. Kids… will not self-select creative iPad apps unless they are encouraged and/or required to do so by teachers.” While I think that this is somewhat true, there are current young students (and more coming into the schools as time goes on) who have extensive experience with finding fun apps that do things not even the teacher will know. A Technology 101 class should prepare teachers for working with students of all types of technology skill levels, without assuming that kids will/will not do something based on past students.
    After you have established the importance of knowing what level the students are at, I think covering the basic vocabulary is important before learning anything else. Then, transitioning into an explanation of apps and helpful websites once they know general terminology. Explaining things like and why these would be preferred to using a straight YouTube video could also be helpful for an introduction to technology in the classroom. Placing an emphasis on the versatility of technology and how it can help achieve high levels of Bloom’s, such as creating, could be a selling point for teachers that are still unsure. Overall, I believe that any of the points your brought up in this post would be helpful, regardless of the amount you could fit into an hour and a half. Thank you for the informative read and I wish you the best of luck as you continue to inform and support teachers.

    1. Megan: While it might seem logical to assume that younger teachers will naturally be more open to the use of technology tools for creative expression, I’ve found this is definitely not true across the board. Supervising teachers / mentoring teachers during student teaching have a big influence on new teachers, and I haven’t seen teacher education programs which put a big emphasis on placing student teachers with teachers that are effectively integrating technology. Just as it’s important to avoid a “digital native” assumption (kids are young so they are all naturally digitally literate) it’s also important not to assume that younger teachers are all naturally more open to technology use.

      Another thing to keep in mind is that, certainly in Oklahoma and I’d guess in Kansas now too, many teacher are entering classrooms with emergency certifications who don’t go through formal teacher education programs or student teaching. Those teacher have even less opportunities to be exposed to digitally integrated ways of teaching, and are likely to fall back on just “teaching how they were taught” which in few cases includes effective technology integration.

      Fortunately we do have opportunities now to attend EdCamps and connect with other educators via Twitter and social media, and there are opportunities (if teachers seek them out) to learn about creative and effective ways to use technology in the classroom. It’s not a natural or automatic thing for young teachers, however.

  20. Hi Mrs. Fryer,
    I found your blog thoroughly informative. I had never heard of Safe Share or Photos for Class but I think they are so great! I feel that I have learned a lot about ways to integrate technology into my classroom from reading your thoughts. I think it is important to stress the benefits of using technology, especially when students have so much screen-time these days. I like that you said that it gives students a voice. Thanks for sharing!

  21. I enjoyed reading your blog and finding great ways to integrate technology and art into the classroom. With so many schools moving towards technology, teachers must find ways to integrate it into lessons. You have provided a variety of resources that I can use in my own classroom.

  22. I really enjoyed your website. This blog post was very insightful and I enjoyed reading it. Some of the apps you have mentioned using I have used as well. The technology is so cool because you can do just about anything with it. These apps would be great for students to be creative and different. I gained a lot of new information and ideas from your website.

  23. This will make the second time I have came to your site and once again I enjoyed it. I really like how many resources you provide for your readers throughout your blog, I see a good portion of them being useful for the classroom in the near future. Not only is it just your work you have shared that makes this such a great sight; it is also all that you do! You have given so much for your students and school, it is very encouraging and inspirational.

  24. Shelly, I absolutely love your website. Your classroom page has extensive resources and ideas that are organized so clearly, and I loved looking through some student examples of work with technology. The different things you have them doing draws on such a wide variety of skills along with technology use, like the radio show talking about a certain topic and also the blog posts that allow them to choose a topic, and both are meaningful and very exciting! Your students are fortunate to get exposed to such a wide variety of experiences in the classroom.

  25. Shelly,
    This is a great post! I learned a lot about integrating technology into the classroom. I really found your descriptions of resources like Safeshare.TV to be very helpful. I think that when teaching a workshop about technology 101 it is important to include information about why teachers should integrate technology and ways to successfully do so. Knowing that there is research/proven success behind using technology would be a good start. It is also important to provide ways that teachers can actually integrate technology into their classrooms. Examples are always helpful too. Your post does a great job of doing these two things!

  26. I just want to start this comment with that fact that I have read your blog before and I am so glad I got to read more from you! I am super nervous about making sure I integrate technology efficiently and creatively in my classroom but your blog post are making me more and more excited to! I am so thankful for all your ideas and things to be used in classrooms. I especially liked the part about using QR codes. I think this is such a cool thing to use in the classrooms. I also liked all the ideas for the different apps to be using and why teachers should be using them! I can not wait to use these in my own classroom!

  27. Shelly,
    I have been following you since the start of the semester and you AMAZE me. Your blog is so inspiring and how you use technology is amazing. I have learned so much from you. I follow you on twitter so that is one way I learn from you but I have also learned from you when it comes to technology. I know that a lot of teachers shy away from technology but not you. You are so innovative and creative and you inspire me and countless others to embrace technology. Thank you for being awesome!

  28. I am a big adherent to the tenent that diverisfying learning styles and in turn the assignments that we give our kids greatly increases learning by stimulating intrensic motivation. I think you would strongly agree, and I really liked your emphasis on the use of technology to increase your students capacity to take hold of their own learning. I think the quintessential advantage of the iPad is the unlimited potential to make information your own. These projects allow students to find, process, and display information on their own terms, and that is admirable!

  29. I love all of your resources that you share on this page, it sparks my interest on each and every one of them. The bat ‘paper slide’ video is awesome. Thanks for sharing.

  30. I have enjoyed reading and looking through your site! It has given me some ideas that I will be taking to my future classroom with me! I really like how you stress technological involvement in the classroom. This has become a necessary skill in our world today. Even more than that, it is a way to allow creativity and exploration in the classroom. Students are able to experiment with different apps and techniques to create their projects. Then, they are able to share with their class and their community. I also liked how you spoke about bringing the students’ technology and creations and sharing them with the community outside of school. This is a great way to expand what the students learn to real life and why we need it outside of the classroom!

  31. I really enjoyed reading this post! I learned about new websites and apps I can use in my future classroom such as SeeSaw,, and PhotosForClass. It was also neat to see how you have used different apps in your classroom, including some that we have learned about in our technology class.

  32. Hi Shelly!
    This is the third time I have reviewed one of your posts and you never fail to impress me! The information and insight in your blogs are truly beneficial to future educators like myself. I really appreciate you taking the time to share tips and skills with all of your readers. I really like how you link examples from your Twitter so the reader has a visual as well. I look forward to incorporating some of your technology skills into my future classroom!

  33. Shelly, I enjoyed the many resources on your blog! I have added the links and names of apps and websites to my list of resources I’m compiling for myself–I want to be prepared for when I start teaching in two years! It was nice to see the use of an app, website, video, and webinar all in motion with the one bat project. I’m impressed at all the mediums used! I am also very interested in Positive Tomorrows. I had never heard of that kind of school and did a little research about it. I am extremely impressed with the school’s motives and the results they’ve experienced. I hope to see the continuation of Positive Tomorrows and perhaps more schools like it being established.

  34. I really enjoyed reading this post as well as exploring the rest of your blog – I found it incredibly insightful. I think it’s really important to give students to opportunity and means to “show what they know”. I also agree that it is important for teachers to develop digital literacies. This is something I will continue to do through college and the rest of my career. Thank you for sharing you tips and knowledge!

  35. Your website is providing so many great resources and ideas that I can’t wait to use in my classroom. I really enjoy how you encourage students to use their voices and be creative with their learning, helping them find a passion to learn. Especially how you give them an opportunity to show off their work. Their are many useful tools for technology use in the classroom in this article, and I am excited to explore deeper into the integration of technology and education.

  36. This article is really interesting! I found the part about basic technology lingo really eye opening, I thought I would easily know the basic words, but hamburger was a new one for me! I am still learning about how to use technology in the classroom and I appreciate that you include internet safety into the curriculum, because that is vital in a classroom environment. One important element I would include in a Technology 101 workshop is to take time individually to experiment with the apps and such on your own time, this is important because it is the only way to really understand the ins and outs of programs and apps. Spending time on exploring new technology will also help students because of experience troubleshooting and learning before introducing a new piece of technology into a classroom environment. Thanks for the inspiration!

  37. I love this post! What a great list of things teachers need to know to integrate technology in their classrooms. The links you included throughout were very purposeful and helpful to embellish your ideas. I also loved looking at your student examples- so creative!

  38. I love how you use technology in your classroom. I think pen and paper writing and creating is still very important to use in school, despite the vast amount of technology provided for students, so I really enjoyed your class’s paper slideshow which allowed for both kinds of creativity! I can imagine that the students loved having their art on display and getting to star in their own video, I also think that doing a paper slide show would be really beneficial for students who were absent or for students to use as a review resource (I’m sure the kids loved watching this at home, showing their parents, etc. making it even more beneficial for learning!). You have lots of great ideas and I really enjoyed exploring your blog page!

  39. I really enjoyed this read! As an upcoming new teacher I feel like this blog could be super useful to come back and look at as a guide in technology use in my classroom. I especially liked the book the student made about thanksgiving. This gives students a chance to build on their creative writing skills all while integrating the use of technology.

  40. Mrs. Fryer,
    Thank you for your blog and link to Enriched Assessment and Experiential Learning. What I appreciated most was that the Paper Slide Videos and Classroom Radio shows used technology, but didn’t make the specific technology the focus of the lesson. In classes I have been in, the technology (and getting it to fuction) becomes the focal point vs the curriculum/content.
    I will be using the classroom homepage in my classroom. I really like your clean layout and that the photos, videos and links upfront. To me, it looks like something that the teacher, students and parents can all use and reference.

  41. Mrs. Fryer,
    Thank you for your blog and link to Enriched Assessment and Experiential Learning. What I appreciated most was that the Paper Slide Videos and Classroom Radio shows used technology, but didn’t make the specific technology the focus of the lesson. In classes I have been in, the technology (and getting it to function) becomes the focal point vs the curriculum/content.
    I will be using the classroom homepage in my classroom. I really like your clean layout and that the photos, videos and links upfront. To me, it looks like something that the teacher, students and parents can all use and reference.

  42. There is a lot of fantastic information here! Thank you for sharing! One part I especially loved was the concept of “showing and sharing learning” through technology. I appreciated the insightful creativity you offered for ways to do this – both for individual students demonstrating their learning for the teacher and the class, and for entire classrooms presenting their work to a larger audiences through media. You’ve given me some great ideas and inspiration!

  43. Great article about technology in the classroom and really important for how fast it is growing in schools across the country. As a future teacher, one of the big problems I’m looking to overcome is how to increase student engagement and for students to actually be passionate abort what they’re learning and how they’re using it. I love how students were more willing and dedicated to their projects when they knew there would be an actual audience for it and not just their teacher. I think it’s that much more important for teachers to be “tech literate” so they can find apps and programs that will help them achieve what they’re passionate about. I agree that technology is just going to keep growing in classrooms, especially in elementary schools. Now what would be interesting to see is how technology and apps can be used in the secondary setting, especially in high schools.

  44. I would like to thank you for such an amazing website you are providing for future teachers, and especially for current teachers. I am a Junior in the College of Education so I am getting pretty close to being in the classroom on a regular basis and as everyone in my place, I am nervous. However, learning from you just simply from your website settles my nerves. I think technology has made such an immense change in the world of Education and I can not wait to learn from educators like you.

  45. Hi Shelly! I really enjoyed your post and all of the ideas you incorporated into it. I especially like all of the different platforms you use in your classroom, such as the radio show, classroom website, class blog, and SeeSaw. As a future teacher, I need all the help I can get when it comes to technology. It is crucial that I am able to keep my students interested, and I can do that through reaching out to other teachers about ideas for how to use technology in the classroom. You have amazing ideas! I think that the classroom radio show is something that I will implement in my classroom. This also helps create a classroom community, because all students have to work together! Thanks for all the tips and ideas!

  46. I’m really glad you shared the resource of SafeShare, because I’ve always worried about showing YouTube videos in my future classes because of the inappropriate comments, suggestions and advertisements. You provided lots of great resources and ideas for integrating technology into the classroom, I’ve definitely bookmarked this article to use for future reference!

  47. Your website is providing so many great resources and ideas that I can’t wait to use in my classroom. I really enjoy how you encourage students to use their voices and be creative with their learning, helping them find a passion to learn. Especially how you give them an opportunity to show off their work. Their are many useful tools for technology use in the classroom in this article, and I am excited to explore deeper into the integration of technology and education.

  48. I watched the video from iPadPalooza and immediately had to go find the other video you mentioned about the student who created a rap for volunteers. I was so impressed by his passion and your encouragement of his dreams. I love seeing kids knowing that what they’re learning truly is important and will help them achieve their goals. I’m already considering how I can implement this in my classroom.

  49. Shelly,
    I found this blog post being personally helpful for me. I looked into the SafeShare that you shared in your post and I think I would use it in my future classroom. I want to teach special education students and SafeShare limits the distractions that students can see. You also talked about the QR making for your classroom. I just got done doing a QR unit for my technology course and it made me open my eyes. I used to dislike QR codes and after this project it made me think of how easy it would be to get students to the same website without having them type in the whole URL. It was nice to see that it is being used in the classroom.

    Thank you, Shelly, for sharing your Technology 101 skills with us and it provided me with many resources that I am going to into more.

  50. Shelly,

    Wow what a great post! I like the idea about knowing the vocabulary terms for ipads and apps. Not only will this help me as a teacher but if I make sure my kids know these terms as well, it will make it so much easier when having students use ipads. I also like Safe Share and I will definetly be using that link in the near future when showing videos! Thank you for your great post and for providing a great resource for future needs.

  51. There’s lots of content in this post that’s extremely intriguing and also very relatable. When you talked about how the use of technology doesn’t “necessarily come naturally for either adults or young students”, I thought of my own lack of app literacy. I’m also currently in a technology education class and I wouldn’t have explored creative uses for apps unless I was required to do so (like you stated above).
    I liked how you mentioned because i wanted my future students to express themselves through selection but the dangers of the Internet made me nervous on how to go about that process. I love the idea of students owning their learning like you talked about with show and share, and inside outside. I think that shows student voice really well, which your husband stated was something you are passionate about.
    Thanks so much for this post. I feel like I learned a lot!

  52. Mrs. Fryer,
    Thank you for your blog. Your website provides so many great resources and ideas that so many teachers can be using within their own classrooms. I really enjoyed seeing your encouragement of students using their voices and being creative with their learning. I love that you help them find their own passion to learn. I especially loved the concept of showing and sharing learning through technology. I was enlightened by the creativity you offered for ways to do this, both for individual students demonstrating their learning for their teacher and their class as well as for an entire classroom presenting their work to an even larger audience through media. You allow access and encourage so many technological tools that can be used in the classroom. I am so excited to explore and use the integration of educational technology in my own classroom.

  53. Shelly thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. As a future teacher, I enjoy learning as much as I can from those who have the experience. By posting this, you are helping so many others become better teachers as well. I like that you explain that integrating technology into the classroom works best in a classroom that is making and creating and that the technology should be enhancing and amplifying student creativity. I’ve never been a big fan of technology but after reading your blog, I’m interested in trying your ideas and suggestions in my future classroom. Thank you for inspiring me to try new things. I really love your philosophy of “helping students love learning again.” That’s such powerful message.

  54. Shelly,
    I think these are some great ideas and points! I am going to be a secondary teacher so what activities I will use technology for will probably be a bit different than you, but I can still see ways that I can use all of the apps you mentioned in your post. I will just use them in different ways. I will definitely be keeping track of your page and checking in occasionally for helpful hints. Technology is so prominent now that as a future teacher all of the resources can be almost overwhelming. At times it seems like there are too many options to choose from. This post helped me see what you use so that I can narrow down to some good apps with good examples on how they work. Even the apps that seem little kiddish, like safe searches and apps to play youtube without the other stuff, could be very helpful. I would use them as the teacher when I am playing a video for the class to avoid inappropriate comments and other videos. I know I have heard plenty of stories about videos being played in class with other stuff popping up and this seems like an easy tool to use to avoid this.

  55. I truly enjoyed reading the blog you’ve created. One thing I found very helpful was the resource of SafeShare. I think it’s super important to make sure students are protected from things that are inappropriate so I really appreciate that! I will definitely use this article to use for future reference!

  56. To start, I love your classroom website, it’s simple, organized and non threatening. I think teachers are intimidated by technology. They/we just don’t know where to start… so my suggestion is for each topic/lesson/ or unit, find 1 app and learn about it. They don’t have to teach their students, just themselves. This could be done with a group and just teach the group about the app. Then the next year/semester they may feel more comfortable integrating technology. It’s a great way for us to grow and continue learning.

  57. Shelly,

    Thank you for writing such a helpful blog. Once I begin teaching, I know I will use many resources that you have provided. I think that it is great how much technology you use with your students. I can only imagine how much fun your classroom must be!

  58. I think it’s wonderful that you are having your students create their own work on their iPads. I hadn’t really thought about students being able to do that so young, but these examples that you’ve given show that these activities and creations really help the students bring our their creative side and explore technology as part of a lesson. I like how you have a classroom home page that parents and students can check up on and parents especially can see some of the activities that their students get to perform during the school day. I also LOVE the hamburger tool! What a great way to describe that icon. Thanks for sharing these skills with us!

  59. Hi Shelly. I am honestly in awe of the work you do in your classroom and outside of it. I’m inspired by all of the ways you use technology in your classroom. There really is SO MUCH you can do when you’re willing to try and learn. What stuck out the most to me, and what I would want to know more about, is sharing and promoting student work on a platform that extends outside the classroom. I love what you have to say about students gaining a sense of worth when they know that their work is being seen and enjoyed by real people besides their teacher and classmates.

  60. Hi Mrs. Fryer, I just wanted to stop in and say how helpful this blog post was for me. I agree that it is so important that we as teachers inspect every app inside and out. Learning new technology isn’t always easy and it is important for teachers to be proficient in the technology they are using before they introduce it to their students. I also thought your list of iPad terminology was very helpful, I never thought to call the three dots on top of each other “The Hamburger tool” – it is probably my favorite new vocabulary word!

  61. I really enjoyed reading this and looking through your blog. I really think that the QR code things for classroom and assignment are great for learning to keep up with technology. I think a lot of the things i have read was very helpful for me as a beginning teacher because it shows a lot of different things i can do and learn about the technology of todays world and how i can incorporate it into teaching.

  62. Dear Shelly,
    I found myself connecting with a lot of the material you use in your classroom, such as QR codes, a classroom channel, and allowing the kids to be hands on with what they are learning. Throughout my years of schooling, I have felt I have always learned better with a hands on approach, rather then just sitting down and taking notes. by reading you blog I hope to be able to take some ideas like these and use them in my classroom, in hopes of making it a little more interactive.
    Thank You

  63. Shelly,
    Thank you so much for posting all your insight on this topic! I think it’s so vital that teachers are aware of how to use technology in their classroom as well as the importance of it. I think the use of technology really enhances students learning in so many ways.

  64. Shelly thank you so much for sharing your knowledge. As a future teacher, I enjoy learning as much as I can from those who have the experience. By posting this, you are helping so many others become better teachers as well. I like that you explain that integrating technology into the classroom works best in a classroom that is making and creating and that the technology should be enhancing and amplifying student creativity. I’ve never been a big fan of technology but after reading your blog, I’m interested in trying your ideas and suggestions in my future classroom. Thank you for inspiring me to try new things. I really love your philosophy of “helping students love learning again.” That’s such powerful message.

  65. Shelly,
    I am so thankful for your blog post! Acknowledging that teachers need support in implementing technology use in their classrooms is such an important topic that is so very rarely talked about. This is new territory for all teachers and we should be doing more to teach our teachers what technology is out there and how to use it in such a way as to increase the meaningful learning our students experience. Thanks again for mentioning this issue and for sharing these fabulous resources!

  66. Shelly,

    I love your passion and knowledge for teaching and creating lessons that are engaging and thoughtful! Since the beginning of my DED 318 class, I always admired your blog and ideas. As a future educator I plan to read your blog often and can’t wait to see what other helpful tips, advice and knowledge you will be able to share!

  67. Shelly,
    This blogpost is an excellent resource. I especially enjoyed learning about the importance of technology vocabulary and app literacy. Thanks also for sharing the web resources you use in your classroom, such as your classroom Google Site and SeeSaw. I have been following your blog since August and have benefited so much from seeing how you have taken 1:1 iPad integration and fully utilized it to enhance the learning experience of your students. I’m a college student in elementary education, and your list of technology vocab definitely taught me something I didn’t know before. I had no idea what “hamburgers” or “workflows” were until now. Thank you so much, Shelly! I am eager to implement these resource into my future classroom.

  68. Shelly, you’ve not only presented ideas, but also your implementation of them, and I really appreciate that you practice what you preach!
    I’m very invested in the idea of fostering creative skills, as you mentioned in thin post. As a future teacher of high-school chemistry, this is certainly going to be a struggle, but I can see that there are parallels and resources that can be implemented across all ages and contents.
    Thank you for investing your time in setting a precedent and proving guidance for teachers!

  69. Shelly,

    I love looking at all of the posts you make on your blog. You have provided me with a plethora of wonderful ideas. Also, you have provided me with so much motivation to strive to be the best teacher I can be. I watched the video from iPadPalooza and I loved how you talked about making sure your students feel like they have a purpose when doing assignments. I liked the idea of stepping out of the classroom and allowing them to have the opportunity for their voice to be heard not just by their teacher.

    Thank you for expressing your love for teaching and providing us with fantastic resources!

  70. I enjoyed reading this article! I liked how you said “technology tools should be used to enhance and amplify student creativity.” It is important in education that teachers try to give all students the opportunity to be creative in their work. The also seems like a great idea to do everything possible to keep the students on track when they are using the internet as part of their assignments.

  71. Shelly I have found this post as well as many of your other posts to be extremely inspirational! As someone who is aspiring to become a teacher as well, it makes me excited to begin teaching so I can use all that I have learned in a classroom of my own.
    After reading this post and many of your other posts, I find comfort and confidence in my own teaching. You encourage me to look for new ways to teach my students and push them to think outside of the box.

    Thank you for sharing your wisdom !

  72. I have so much appreciation for your website! Being so close to being in the classroom myself, I am trying to find as many different resources as I possibly can. Your page is definitely helpful for me in being able to find various ways to incorporate technology into my own classroom. I feel that technology has brought many new opportunities for both students and teachers, and that it is truly helping our students bring out their full potential. Thanks again for providing these thoughts and resources, they really are beneficial!

  73. Hi Shelly, thanks for letting us students take over your comment feed for a bit! I appreciate the work you’re doing to integrate technology in the classroom to bring out student potential. I was pretty resistant to the idea of iPads and other devices in the classroom when I started learning about them; I saw them as a gimmick that didn’t really do much good and could prove more distracting than more traditional methods. But because of your work and others’, and your sharing your methods in formats like this post, I can see the potential these devices hold to allow students to better express what they know in more ways before. This is fantastic to see, and I thank you again for sharing!

  74. Hi Shelly! Thanks for this awesome blog post. This really helped me understand that technology could easily be enhancing my lessons, but it is better when technology is integrated into the assignment. Kids would definitely get more out of their learning experience! One thing I would love to hear about in your workshop would be some basics to get us started with using iPads in the classroom. What apps are a MUST? And how do we meet the needs of all different kinds of learners by using technology?

    Thanks for the very informative post! I will definitely be downloading some new apps to my iPad!

    1. Hi Jamie:

      Shelly shared a workshop last school year on iPad literacy apps which lists several they use a lot and she considers essential. Those slides are available on:

      Apps she discussed include:
      Lexia Core 5 (free download, subscription required)
      myON Reader (free download, subscription required)
      News-o-Matic ($5, an EDU version is also available which requires a paid subscription)
      Raz-Kids (free download, subscription required for some features)
      SeeSaw (free)

  75. Hey there Mrs. Shelly Fryer!

    Thanks so much for all that you’ve posted on here! I have really enjoyed reading your blog, seeing all of the resources you’ve come up with, hearing your heart for your students and their wellbeing, and being inspired on how you have used technology effectively and thoughtfully!

  76. Thank you so much for writing about your thoughts and ideas about technology for teachers. Reading this makes me really excited to start teaching when I graduate! Reading your blog post allows me to think about how I want to implement technology into my classroom.

  77. Shelly,

    I also reviewed your website earlier in the semester and would just like to say that the way you think and care about your students is very eye-opening for a beginning teacher like myself! You always are looking out for the best of the best for your students and I love it! In this post, I really love how you said, “Technology tools should be used to enhance and amplify student creativity.” I believe this 110%. Technology, especially IPads should be used in the classroom to help students grow and achieve. Sometimes IPads are used to just have something to put into a childs’ hands, but are not used to enhance their learning in any shape, or form. Technology should be used to have students “show what they know” and should be incorporated correctly into the classroom for the students to prosper! Having teachers that will use technology to teach students life long knowledge can be very influential in the classroom environment, if done correctly!

  78. I enjoyed reading your blog and how you make sure to use technology as a way to enhance student creativity, not shove it out. Often times, technology can be seen as an easy approach to neutralize ideas or assignments, but with the apps and sites you’ve suggested, every students’ work is different. In your hour and a half seminar coming up, I think it would be beneficial to emphasize that technology does not drive out creativity, but that it can be used to grow it! I especially liked your bats week assignment and that students were still painting and being creative with their hands. Ways to blend the two are definitely important.

    I also would think it’s important to talk about how to keep students engaged when bringing in all these new devices and apps. If I put something in front of them with endless possibilities I feel that can be a quick stray away for distraction and lack of engagement. It would be great to hear your thoughts on that!

  79. Thank you very much for sharing Shelly!
    Earlier this semester I explored your blog, and I was able to learn so much from your posts and resources.
    This was a great post to read at the end of our “Ed tech” class because you explained why technology integration is important. I especially like how you talked about the best way for students to use it is “making and creating with it” and in order for that to be effective, teachers need to learn to “make and create” with technology as well. You always do a wonderful job of backing up your information with examples from your class or research. The insight and experiences you share are so good to read about as a pre-professional. I will definitely continue to keep up with your website throughout my teaching career.

  80. Shelly,

    You gave me a lot of things to think about when it comes to how I will incorporate technology into my classroom. I am excited to develop and create fun projects like the ones you listed and I think this are excellent examples of to create deeper level thinking.

  81. Shelly, your work in advancing how we use technology in the classroom is incredible! I have never before thought so deeply about how technology can change the game as far as the ways in which students are learning. It opens up so many possibilities, such as the ways students can demonstrate their learning and share it with the rest of the class.

  82. Shelly, I really enjoyed reading your blog! I think you make so many great points. I think your overall idea that teachers need to know HOW to use different forms of media is so important! This will allow them to see the value and purpose in using different technology options and it will help create a further effective and engaging classroom above all. I think you’re doing a great thing by sharing tips for teachers about HOW to use technology – not just WHAT technology sites/apps to use. Thanks for sharing these tips! I know that they are helpful to me and I’m sure they will help many other teachers to see the value in technology.

  83. When I was going through your site, I realized that the possibilites for tablets are endless. It is great that your are on the front lines of discovering some of these possibilities. One thing is for sure, I do not know anything about the options and features of tablets even though I have two and a smart phone.

  84. Shelly,
    I found your integration of personal examples of ways in which we can incorporate tech in the classroom to be particularly helpful. As a prospective English teacher, I tend to be hesitant about incorporating a lot of tech, but your post cleared some things up and convinced me I may need to do some digging before I say no to tech. If 1st grades can do it, so can middle and high schoolers.

    Thank you for sharing your Tech 101 skills. It was very helpful.

  85. Shelly,
    It is always so enjoyable to read your blog posts and I always learn so much! This blog post was especially interesting because there is so much technology out there and there is always more for educators to learn. Although I am a young educator, I do not consider myself to be tech savvy. This blog post has encouraged me to search for new ways to use technology in my future classroom and to constantly be trying to learn as much as I can about app and ipads because at the end of the day those things are going to help me educate my students so they can be the best that they can be. You are such and inspiration and I hope that my passion for teaching will reflect the same passion you have.

  86. Shelly,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge about using Technology in the classroom. I think it’s extremely important that teachers involve iPads and such in the classroom before schools are left behind in the digital age, and since more and more students are going to have this technology accessible to them, it’s important that they know they can learn from it as well and make learning fun. In the same boat, I would suggest showing the teachers that they themselves can have fun with the technology. I would think that if teachers started to have fun with their devices, they would naturally become more technologically literate because it’s something that interests them.

  87. I never realized how teachers need to know technology terms in order to effectively learn about and use technology in the classroom. I never realized the the Hamburger tool was the hamburger tool. Thanks for the useful ideas and tips.

  88. I really enjoyed this blog post. As a future teacher I have always worried about having students do assignments just for the sake of doing it and your blog post was really helpful with that. There were many apps containing helpful websites that makes sure technology is safe for students to use. As a society students have always been viewed as technology advanced but I agree with you that it is unlikely for them to discover news apps without being taught about them.

  89. Mrs. Fryer,
    Thank you for your blog. Your website provides so many great resources and ideas that so many teachers can be using within their own classrooms. I really enjoyed seeing your encouragement of students using their voices and being creative with their learning. I love that you help them find their own passion to learn. I especially loved the concept of showing and sharing learning through technology. I was enlightened by the creativity you offered for ways to do this, both for individual students demonstrating their learning for their teacher and their class as well as for an entire classroom presenting their work to an even larger audience through media. You allow access and encourage so many technological tools that can be used in the classroom. I am so excited to explore and use the integration of educational technology in my own classroom.

  90. Hi Shelly,
    I did a review of your website earlier in the year and really enjoyed the neat ideas I found while wondering around your site. While my knowledge of technology use in classrooms is young and still growing, I think the most important information to share in a 1.5 hour workshop with other teachers would be things like the vocabulary that you mentioned and also the use of apps like Pic Collage Kids for this reason: While I have come to see how very helpful technology is in teaching and expanding the minds of children, I firmly believe the amount of screen time our youth receive is questionable, at the least. I think if teachers were to be well-informed of using common technology vocab with their students as you suggested, it could make the process/project they are working on go much smoother and be less time-consuming. The use of apps like Pic Collage for Kids would likely do the same thing. If teachers are aware of how to efficiently use technology and help their students to do the same, it could still be just as effective, but less time-consuming. This way we are still implementing technology in a way that increases true understanding but not allowing our students to be stuck on a screen for long amounts of time. Again, I really enjoy seeing the ways you use technology to enhance education. 🙂

    If you have time I was wondering– about how much of the day would you say a typical class you teach is spent with students using iPads or computers? Thank you!

    1. From what I have observed as an occasional visitor in Shelly’s classroom, the iPad time varies depending on the task. Lots of the kids use iPad apps for reading time, since they can have apps read to them as well as use “highlighted text” to assist their reading. The students are often using their iPads for making and creating. They do use their apps for literacy support and math instruction/support too (Lexia and Front Row). I would guess they are often on their iPads doing something for 1/3 to 1/2 of their day, but that’s just a guestimate.

  91. Shelly,

    I really enjoyed reading another one of your blog post. This one in particular was extremely helpful and I learned a few ways to use technology in my future classroom without feeling overwhelmed. I do have a question on sharing projects and videos if they included the student in them, do you need to make sure parents have given permission to publish to the classroom website? Thank you for another great read and I look forward to reading more post in the future.

    1. Hi Jamie:

      Yes, the parents and students do sign a form at Shelly’s school giving permission for their photos and work to be shared publicly. The students whose faces and work cannot be shared are the ‘red shirts.’ Shelly and the other teachers at Positive Tomorrows are very careful not to share photos or work of these students. Often there are incarceration or domestic violence situations which require this prohibition of not sharing student photos or work, to protect the child and the family. They take this very seriously, as we all should regardless of our school situation.

      There are some example media release forms from different schools on the following website, which you are welcome to use as models or templates in the future. Most schools are using some kind of media release form like this, and many districts have “opt out” policies in which parents and students opt in to giving permission unless they specifically request to opt out:

  92. Shelly,

    I really enjoyed your article not only because it is extremely relatable to what I am learning now as a future teacher, but it contained so many great ideas to integrate into the classroom! My personal favorite was the radio show, which I think I can integrate it up into a higher level social studies course. You sparked an idea of students creating a radio show for a selected event and sharing them with each other online so they are easily assessable. This would create an AWESOME study tool for students to listen to as they are on the go! Another thing I really enjoyed about your blog itself, is that you have a classroom homepage. I believe sites like this can bridge and engage parents into their children’s learning and plan to use one to create a cooperative classroom between students, myself and their parents.


    Shannon Nolan

  93. Shelly,
    I really enjoyed reading this blog! I learned a lot of techniques about integrating apps into the classroom and it gets me excited to do this in my future classroom! I loved how you talked about allowing students to show what they know with technology in the classroom. Since the students have been working on different apps in the classroom, allowing them to freely use this and show me a project that works as an assessment would be so fun for the students! I’m very against having only paper/pencil assessments in the classroom so this helped generate some ideas! Allowing students to not only use these apps but being able to possibly print them and hang them in the classroom is such a great idea! Your blog really inspired me and I will be bookmarking it for future use! Thank you!!

  94. Shelly,
    I very much enjoyed reading this post. Technology in the classroom is something that fears me, as it was not something that was used in my duly classroom while I was in elementary school. This is a great article to show teachers the resources and apps that are out there to supplement students learning. Technology can be a great learning tool if incorporated properly. This is a great website for all teachers to reference.

  95. Shelly,
    I truly enjoyed exploring your blog as it encompasses much of what we have done in my Educational Technology classroom this year. I loved reading about how you have actually implemented QR codes in your classroom because one of our assignments was actually to create a lesson we could teach with 20 different QR codes. I loved your shared albums/pictures I think that is a great resource for parents/kids/yourself to reflect upon the journey you and your class has taken together.

  96. Shelly,

    Thank you so much for all the great resources and words of encouragement! I have taken note of certain videos and links that I saw important and that I think I would use in the future. Thank you for sharing your skills and knowledge with myself and the world!

  97. Hey Shelly!
    Thank you for the wonderful information. The examples you provide alongside the descriptions of the apps and how to use them are an excellent way to really get a feel for how I can use these resources in my classroom! I am excited to see more ideas and app suggestions so I can continue to develop my teaching alongside newer technology.

  98. Hey Shelly!
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts- you have amazingly creative and clear ways of teaching and integrating technology! I’ve bookmarked this page and will definitely be returning to it for ideas in the future!! Keep up the good work!

  99. Shelly,

    I really enjoyed reading your blog! I have been looking at your blog periodically throughout the semester seeing what new technology you are incorporating into your classroom. You always are providing unique and creative ways to incorporate technology into your classroom. I loved reading about the bat activity you most recently did. Thank you for sharing all of your ideas! Can’t wait to use some of the same technology you have been using in your classroom in my future class!

  100. Thanks for putting this blog post out! I think it was a wonderful opportunity to take a look at what teachers really need in short workshops. It is so hard to condense everything! I enjoyed your thoughts on it. I also really enjoyed the idea of sharing work creating purpose for kids in the classroom. I think that is a very powerful idea.

  101. Shelly,
    I have gained so much just from reading and reflecting on this blogpost! I love your passion for equipping students with the technology tools they need to enhance and amplify their creativity and effort. You also revealed to me a new perspective on offering many outlets to share students work publicly, so students feel their work has a purpose. I never would’ve thought of it like that before! I can’t wait to have my own classroom to provide these outlets such as a YouTube channel, digital portfolio, and website just as you have done with your classroom. I greatly enjoyed exploring your blog, and will definitely reference it in the future! Thanks for sharing and making the world of incorporating technology into the classroom a fun, supportive, and creative outlet for students!

  102. Shelly,
    Your passion for teaching is clear, and truly inspiring! I loved reading this blog post of yours. You gave me so many great ideas of how I could use technology in my own future classroom. As a future teacher, I am constantly looking for ideas and inspiration from other teachers about great things I can incorporate into my own classroom. You gave me so many new ideas, and I will definitely try to adapt to some. (Especially the class podcast, I love the idea!) I will definitely keep up with your blog in the future. Thanks for sharing so many awesome ideas, and for allowing us to take a look inside of your own classroom!

  103. Shelly, thank you for your adventurous spirit, especially in the realm of technology where many of us are still timid! I loved reading about your class’ experience with creative technological making. In regards to your workshop brainstorming, I feel as though vocabulary is becoming less necessary as children and teachers are immersed in a technological age as they mature. Perhaps that could take a lesser role in your workshops, since some of the terms (like hamburger too) we have are not yet universally established. From your perspective as a teacher of children who are homeless, do you still see a greater technological literacy in your students from year to year? Have you had to adapt your methods at all because of this?

    Also, I love the green screen videos! As you’ll see from my review of your post, I’m eager to set one up in my art room 🙂

  104. Hi Shelley:
    I have really enjoyed going through your notably impressive blog and classroom website. You really embody all of the great potential that IPads and technology can bring to the classroom.

    What has peaked my interest most is how you cross apply art into your lessons. Do you have any advice or recommendations for a student working on his Secondary Education degree and aiming to teach English , Speech, and Debate at a high school level?

    Thanks for everything, and keep up the great work!

  105. Shelly Fryer,

    As my path continues on becoming a teacher, I have had the pleasure to see many examples of great teachers. One thing I always ask myself when interested in someone’s teaching is “I wonder what they were like when they first started teaching?”. Although I’m not sure where your path started, I can tell you’ve had many educational experiences, of all sorts, and you have adapted to technocracy we live in today.

    The iPad has a plethora of resources and allows teachers to use those resources with a touch of a button, but you must be well versed in its capabilities to get the use of its full potential. After reading your blog I know this to be certain, but I am not discouraged, but rather motivated to learn more about the iPad, with practice and time of course.

    It is impressive to see what you have done with the iPad in your lessons. You seem to have a constructivist approach to how you teach, believing students learn best through actively constructing knowledge, and you blend the iPad into your approach splendidly. You don’t just rely on the technology completely, you still have students create projects. For instance, in the bat project, the students created art to help them make a real-life connection to the content being taught. Once the projects were done, you came in with the technology and recorded what the students had learned, most likely providing them with deeper learning in the material
    Also, it dawned on me that I never thought about the restrictions some students may have with technology in regards to not being able to share their material outside of the classroom. I found your versatile methods on helping students with this situation just shows the kind of teacher you are. The example of the using the Darth Vader helmet was thinking on your toes, and I am sure it really made that students day. I also never considered the channels where students can share their content. It would be wise for me to learn more about what platforms better suit public sharing, and what platforms better suit private/classroom sharing.

    Lastly, I appreciate you sharing your knowledge with the world. In class we talk about how teachers can get caught in this rhythm as if they were “going through the motions”, they become unmotivated, so in turn, their students become unmotivated. I guess what I am trying to say is that it is refreshing to see you not only stay motivated but pushing the boundaries of teaching.

    Lorenzo Delgado

  106. Having students search for images on only kid-focused sites is such a great idea to keep them from seeing inappropriate content. Growing up, working on a project meant diving into Google Images, and that was just a disaster waiting to happen! I’m really glad to see there are ways to keep kids today from having that experience as well.

  107. Your blog was awesome! It reaffirms everything I have learned about integrating technology in the classroom and makes me believe that I am going to be able to truly enhance student learning. I love that you showed us resources and shared a link to all of your videos. It’s amazing to see a teacher put their words into actions like you do! 🙂

  108. Shelly,
    Thank you for sharing your knowledge on technology in education. As a future teacher, this is both interesting and helpful. I think it’s such a great idea to have your students do a podcast and/or classroom blog. What a great way to help them get their feet wet in the world of technology.
    I found it very interesting that your school program focuses on integrating art! As an artistic person, I know I would have loved and excelled at lessons that incorporated art.
    I can’t wait to read more of your posts. Thanks again!

  109. Shelly,
    I have gained a new understanding of what A plus teaching is an how to use a hamburger button. I think is a great way to start learning and exploring new technology in the classroom. I also like how you keep going above and beyond your call as a teacher in the classroom by always finding new things to use in your classroom like a green screen.

  110. Hi Shelly!
    I have looked over your website a couple of times this past year and I always love what I see! This blog post is awesome!! I love adding ideas to my book of ways I can integrate technology in my future classrooms and this blog post really helped me out. I am very interested in the point that you made that technology should be used to enhance creativity. Because often we see teachers use iPads for students to play educational games to reinforce learning.

    Thank you, April

  111. Shelly,
    I really enjoyed reading this post! I think art integration is very fun and beneficial for students. The Crayon Resist Art of the bats is a beautiful project that I’m sure your students absolutely loved. It’s a great idea and I would love to do it with my future class. It’s also very cool that you did a virtual field trip with your class! What a neat way for your students to learn. I can learn so much from this post!

  112. This is such a cool blog post. First of all, I really appreciate you outlining all of the different technology that we could use. In my generation of teachers we have so much technology at our disposal but very few of us actually know how to use it or take advantage of it. I really appreciated the ideas that I got from your post.

  113. Hi Shelly,
    for my class I have had to review a lot of websites and yours is by far my favorite. First I love how well organized your website it is, it is so easy to find what I am looking for on your website. I also I liked how we were able to watch the videos of you speaking at conferences. But the thing that made me your blog my favorite was seeing videos of the kids in your classmates doing their projects. That is something that I thoroughly enjoyed.

  114. Hello!

    Coming from a future teacher who started out as an anti-technology advocate, this article is such a great reminder of how far I have come! There are a decent number of apps or programs that you mentioned that I have used this past semester to create projects or assessments. No longer an anti-tech person! In response to your question about a “Technology 101 Workshop”, I would start with a “Top 10” or “Top 15” education apps to get you going! (Of course there are so many more, but cutting the list down may help non-tech savvy teachers feel more comfortable with the idea) If they start with a short list and get more comfortable, you’ve sparked their curiosity, and with teachers, that’s the best possible thing you can do!

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