- What are your biggest concerns or challenges with technology? Choose two or three and describe how these things hold you back.
My biggest concern is integrating technology in a way that is transformative, authentic and engaging. I feel like a lot of what I do is just using our iPads to replace books, pencils and paper. So in terms of the SAMR model, I really spend most of my time in substitution and augmentation. I know there are tons of other, better things I could be doing, but I don’t know what I don’t know.
That’s really my only concern. We’ve been 1:1 with iPads for 3 years, and I feel like I do a good job of integrating technology into my classroom. My interactive notebook is the only paper we use; I use Edmodo daily to stay in touch with students & parents and disseminate & collect work; my kids have worked through stations with resources linked through QR codes; I’ve done some interactive notebooking in Google Slides; I use Padlet for collaboration and entry/exit slips… In terms of the other teachers in my building, I know that I’m on the front end of technology integration. But I KNOW I could be using these iPads for far cooler, more engaging things.
- In “Why Bother With Technology?” many reasons are given for why technology is worth the trouble. Which two reasons are most relevant to you? Using a specific example for each, explain how using more technology could make a difference for you.
So my number one is “It gives you more one-on-one time with students” Jenn says “By putting some of the straight-up information delivery into the hands of technology, teachers get more time to interact with students at higher levels of thinking – things only humans have the subtle decision-making skills to do. We can talk more with students about the whys of our content, and spend more time on things like discussion, evaluation, and problem-solving.” That resonates with me because my students come to my class without a lot of background knowledge in social studies. They can’t read maps or timelines and they’ve never been introduced to big ideas in history like social and political systems or economics. So, I feel like I spend a lot of my class time delivering content and never getting to the higher order things like discussion or problem solving. I used to teach AVID, and I would LOVE to incorporate strategies like Socratic Seminar and Philosophical Chairs. But I just never seem to have the time to get the basic info into them and then also work with in in a critical way.
The other biggie for me is “It increases student engagement.” I teach low income 7th graders who think that anything found outside of their phones is boring and lame. I have a handful of kids every year who get sucked into the mystery and Otherness of the ancient world and grow into history nerds over the course of the year, but for most of them, it’s just another class. Anything I can do to make the class more engaging and get my content into long-term memory is a plus!
- After reading the descriptions of teachers who have woven technology into their work and lives, choose two specific tools that interest you and describe how they might be used in your work.
Voxer is really intriguing to me, and I’m going to figure out how to use it with my students. I don’t think they would chat about homework, but I like the idea of using it as a collaboration tool. (And possibly parents. I feel like it’s the perfect marriage of an email and a phone call.)
I’m also interested to learn more about Kahoot. We have half day Fridays twice a month with only 25 minute classes. I love using that time for review games, and love finding ways to make them flashier and more engaging.
And a third (sorry, I need 3) would be Kaizena. I use DBQs as my final assessment for each unit, and providing quality feedback in a timely manner to 125 students is always a challenge for me. Voice recording could be a gamechanger for me.
- After reading “How to Implement Technology,” choose two tips you believe are most important for successful use of technology. Explain why.
“Get Clear on the Reason” I think is a great one for me to keep in mind as, again, I try to climb to the higher levels of SAMR. Am I simply enhancing or truly transforming?
And also “Find the Video Tutorial.” It has become clear to me that in some instances, I know more than the Tech teacher. I teach in a small school in a small district (40 total staff in my middle school.) I need to find resources for information and collaboration outside of my building.
- Choose one thing you learned from the Q&A section and explain how you might apply it to your work.
The question about management and how to keep kids on task is a good one for me. With iPads, it’s so easy to toggle between apps, and I can be everywhere all the time. How do I keep them focused on my work and not browsing Google Images for Nike Jordans?
- Preview the 30 tool categories covered in the Teacher’s Guide to Tech. Choose two that are especially interesting to you and explain how you might use these in your work.
Again, I need 3. I’m really interested in discussion, feedback and collaboration for all the reasons that I’ve explained throughout these questions.