Wednesday, October 21, 2015

They can't, they're only 5!

I thought it too...I hate to admit it, but when I started teaching with 1:1 technology I thought my options would be kind of limited as I work with 5 & 6 yr olds. What could they really do on their iPads, was it worth itwhat was the point?

Turns out, kindergarten kids can do tremendous amount on iPads. From practicing skills within an app to walking around the room and scanning QR codes, to working in differentiated groups and submitting work via their iPads, our kids can do it all!

...when we teach technology literacy.

Our students do need to be taught how to work iPads in an educational setting - think ELL learners need educational vocabulary to be successful in school, so do students working with tech. They need the vocabulary, background, and foundational skills in order to get the max out of learning with and in tech.

So...where do we start?

We started by brainstorming appropriate uses for the iPads and making a class chart.

You see things like no App store, no pets, Kindergarten kids only...We work on developing responsibility for a few days before the kids even touch the iPads. Once they can internalize these policies, we release the iPads into small group centers - 2 kids - where they can practice one or two apps which we have already downloaded.

We use this guided practice time to work out the kinks, get passwords installed etc.

Key -  DO NOT over download apps. Keep it simple for your friends to get used to as they develop technology literacy.

After the kiddos have minor handling down, we get to work on the nitty gritty iPad functions. Actually Erin and Erintegration has some great app icon posters for this purpose. 

Most of the iPad icons are universal, so the play icon in You Tube is the same and the play icons in other apps.  Once your kiddos can make those observations and transfer their knowledge of icons, you'll be able to do more and more (which you can read about here).

As we work, we find out who needs more structured technology literacy instruction, who is ready to expand and so forth. Our end goal is to have the technology completely integrated into our classroom, but that would never be possible if we didn't give our kiddos foundational skills and provide extra support to those who just don't grasp the flow of the iPads easily.

The next steps in our tech lit journey are detailed in this post. Need more help getting started? Here is a FREEBIE for you!

How do you teach tech lit?


  1. Do you know where I could find a copy of the color the letters sheet you used for this activity?

  2. They are available through my TPT store here:

    and here:



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