If you’re a teacher, I’m sure you can relate to the following scenario: You just received your first set of class Chromebooks, and you’re excited to see what new learning experiences you can create for your students. You envision all the web-based projects you can have students work through and all the resources they have at their fingertips.
If you’re like me, this scenario is also taking place in a classroom full of eager, energetic early-learners, who are still building their attentional capacity and impulse control. So you start your lesson..and already one student has found his way to a video website. Another student has a game at home they really love to play — and they want to show their friend how to play it. Another student has no idea how they ended up on “that page.” You quickly realize that the best and most structured lessons can lose focus when working with a class full of young students with digital commands at their fingertips.
That’s where GoGuardian Teacher comes in. GoGuardian Teacher has tools that enable you to utilize digital learning resources with even the youngest learner, while helping them navigate the online world around them. Below are some of the ways that I use GoGuardian to help support my Kindergarten classroom every day.
Setting the Scene for Learning
Within GoGuardian Teacher, I can create digital Scenes that create positive pathways for students and streamline the resources we need for each lesson. This works well with young learners who are just learning to navigate online activities, saving everyone time in the process.
I usually create a Scene for each of my content areas. This is especially helpful during center time when I need to guide students who are working on their computers while I run a reading or math group. The Scenes function allows me to take a quick glance at student screens if I need to — but it also gives me peace of mind that GoGuardian Teacher will only allow access to the lesson resources I’ve approved.
Helping Students Build Independence at Their Own Speed
As a teacher who uses technology in the classroom, one of my goals is to create students who can responsibly use technology themselves and build independence. With little learners, we have to use a scaffolded approach.
In the fall, I used GoGuardian Teacher’s Scenes feature heavily to improve my students’ choices and set them up for success. Now that it’s the spring semester, I have kids who I can exclude from Scenes because they’ve learned to make positive internet choices on their own. I have some students that I can trust to use video websites for educational purposes, and there are others I still have to set limits for. GoGuardian allows you to give independent students a chance to explore, while giving structure and support to students who are easily distracted.
Providing Guardrails While Encouraging Exploration
One of the most basic functions you can use on the GoGuardian dashboard is the Screens tab. I use this screen when I want to give students options to explore all the games and resources I’ve taught them about; this might be during free time or recess. And it also allows me to see all my students' computers at a glance, so I know if students are engaged with learning or need more support. If students get stuck, I can open specific windows through the dashboard, or close pages that pop up or need to be refreshed. This saves us so much time!
Using the timeline function on the dashboard, I can see all the webpages students have accessed during their session — when I was maybe supporting other students one-on-one or in groups. This is perfect for when I need to follow up with the class regarding online behaviors. If needed, I can even screenshot what students are looking at and have discussions with them about good digital citizenship and making better choices.
Empowering Young Learners to Build Good Digital Habits
GoGuardian Teacher can be an amazing tool to give students ownership of their learning, support good digital citizenship, and increase student independence. For all those reasons, using GoGuardian Teacher for littles has been a game changer for me!