Why Techy Notes?

In the fall of 2018, I was driving to school listening to my usual list of podcasts when an episode of the 10 Minute Teacher Podcast @coolcatteacher came on. It was about how Pana Asavantana learned that teaching icons helped her kindergarten students to better use iPads.

I was inspired!

Could I use that idea to help my kindergarten students? Truth be told, I was struggling with my littlest learners and needed a way to reach them. I reached out to Pana on Twitter and she sent me a link to her talk on this. In this talk, she talked about putting handles on learning.

Watch it; you'll be inspired!

So began my journey into teaching my students icon literacy. I taught my kindergarten students icons. Showing them each icon and identifying them and then adding them to a morning message style note.

This changed everything. I found myself so excited about teaching my kinders every week- propelled by their amazing progress! After success with my kindergarten students, I started using this idea with all my students (K-6). They became more independent- more able to help themselves when they got stuck.

Introduction to the icons

The message with the icons

Another idea percolated inside of my head as I witnessed their success.

Could I turn this idea into a Word Wall and reinforce icon literacy for my students?

Well, not only could I do this, but I did it. Look at the amazing icon word wall that we have built this year together as learners and it is still growing every week. By using icons, my students are more independent, more able to troubleshoot and are becoming better producers using technology.

Techy Notes is just that! All of us need a way to make sure what we learn sticks. Like Pana Asavavatana shared, my students needed something to help the "techy knowledge" stick and this idea did just that!

Using icons made their use of technology sticky.


My Icon Word Wall in the Technology Lab