A class I’m currently taking has me thinking quite a bit about technology integration in the classroom and professional development surrounding it. In the coming weeks, I’ll blog more about some of the work I’m doing in those realms. I was reminded of a post I wrote on my previous blog 3 years ago that seems relevant in some of my current explorations, so I thought I would repost it. Here it is:
Posted April 9, 2013: Yesterday, I was filling out on of those online entire school corporation job applications. Today, after a recommendation of a colleague, I was filling out an application for an award given to technology using educators. Both applications (and others I’ve seen in the past) had this question in some form, “What is one way you use technology in your classroom?”
Now, this question bothers me and here’s why. My answer is really in what don’t I use technology in the classroom. Narrowing it down to one specific way is difficult and lessens the value of what I do with technology.
For example, this past week, my 7th grade reading class participated in a Hunger Games Simulation as they prepare to read the book. Each day, students went to a blog that I had created and watched a video giving them directions created by one of their former classmates that now lives in England.
After they watched the video, they were to follow the instructions. They were given a variety of scenarios and they had to use what supplies they had earned or traded for to complete the scenario. They submitted to me through a Google Form a description of their solution. Based on their actions in the scenario, they would gain or lose points. They had a Google Spreadsheet shared with me in which they tabulated their score totals each day.
Also this week, my 7th Grade English class students were writing short stories. They had two videos to watch at some point during the week. One on Creating Characters and one on Creating Conflict. Toward the end of the week, they peer reviewed other stories using a Google Form and autocrat script similar to what Kate Baker recently blogged about.
Their reviews and counter responses were immediately and automatically sent to the other student, and also to me through Google Docs sharing. I could not only review their stories in Google Docs throughout the week, I could also review the reviewers’ feedback. At the end of the week, many of them also blogged about their 20% Projects.
I should mention that while all of this was happening in my classroom, I wasn’t even there. I was in Washington, D.C. on our 8th Grade Class Trip. While in DC, using the WiFi on the bus and at the hotel, I was able to use an old iPhone donated to the school to blog about the trip with photographs and videos, tweet to parents our locations, check my students work and progress, and answer a few emails with questions from students almost immediately. Mind you, this is the same iPhone that an Apple Store employee told me would be “worthless” without a data plan and service contract.
So, how do I answer that question? In just this week, my students and I used video (both to deliver content and connect them to a former student overseas), Google Docs, Google Forms, Google Spreadsheets, an autocrat script, blogs (both to consume and to create), multiple devices, and Gmail all for classroom purposes. This was a pretty typical week for my students using technology even without me present. How can I narrow that down to one way I use technology?