Student Writing Soars with Chromebooks at Macaulay Elementary

Deanna Reid teaches grades 4 and 5 at Macaulay Elementary in the Greater Victoria School District and has been teaching for 6 years. When she applied to SET-BC she wanted to see what effect using assistive technology would have on her class – specifically how it would affect her student’s writing. Before receiving Chromebooks, Deanna had very limited use of technology in her classroom. Having never used Chromebooks before, Deanna was not sure how to incorporate them into her classroom. Nonetheless, she was excited for the challenge.

Deanna spent some time researching what programs and apps she could incorporate into her curriculum. She decided on the following: Khan Academy, Google Classroom, Google Read and Write, Book Creator, Kahoot, and Prodigy. Deanna started by introducing the class to one program and app per month so as not to overwhelm the students. She started with Google Docs and Google Read and Write, using the headsets and microphones that were provided by SET-BC. The class used Google Docs to write their journal entries and for creative writing twice a week.

At the start of November the class was introduced to Khan Academy, an online math program that teaches students math through tutorial videos. All of the students were given the option to use Khan Academy or to continue to use pencil and paper with Jump Math. After a two week trial period over half the class decided to use Khan Academy instead of completing worksheets. Khan Academy was used as a supplement after Deanna taught mini math lessons.

Deanna found that it was easy to add new programs into her curriculum, and that it helped freshen up her lessons. Additionally, the incorporation of programs and apps allowed her to create individualized plans for her students.

Students working on laptops in classroomDeanna wants other educators to know that anyone can incorporate technology into their classroom. “I do not see myself as a technology expert and it does not take that long to design a curriculum around technology. I have seen so many benefits from using technology in my classroom, students are excited to complete their assignments and there are many opportunities for students to collaborate on projects.”

SET-BC would like to thank Deanna and her class for sharing their learning with us this year.

To learn more about the technology used in this SETstory, search for it by name in learningSET.