I am working with my first public blog for my Master’s class in Integrating Technology in the Classroom through Walden University. I have posted blogs for students on my classroom page where they respond to questions about what we are doing in the classroom. Through this blog I plan to share what I am learning, my feelings about technology in the classroom and hope you can share any insights, opinions or links that may help me as I learn how to improve my teaching strategies.
Many students enter their classrooms with more knowledge about modern technology than their teachers. I have had students ask me about using various websites, programs and other devices within classroom instruction. Unfortunately there have been times I had to tell them I did not know about it and have them share their knowledge with me. They became my teacher. To some this is embarrassing but it should be an eye opener to our education department. They are working to improve the situation within schools but it is a slow process due to the lack of funding. The Smart board is an ingenious tool for a teacher with limitless possibilities. Every classroom in my school received one this year. Many of the teachers at first could only use it to show videos, slideshows, or as a regular white board. They were limited in their knowledge of interactive lessons. The district then integrated short mini-lessons within the school day (during our planning period) once a month with our technology specialist to train them in Web 2.0 activities they can integrate into their lessons. This has been a huge step in the right direction. Incorporating technology into lesson plans motivates students and reduces behavior issues. Schools are gradually migrating toward more integration and attempting to get the tools in the hands of teachers. This is not going to happen overnight, but with people truly dedicated to the cause it can happen.
I am researching and exploring new technologies while on summer break so that I can pick a few to learn to use well and include in my instruction next year. I would like to share a website I found that has numerous interactive websites available for multiple grade levels. I found it on Kathy Schrock’s web page when doing some personal research. Hopefully you will find it useful in your classroom. (https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Anw3Hl3DL4wfdHR2M0oxOElkTGN0S2ZvV3hvclptcnc&hl=en#gid=0). I am also looking for grants to apply for to be able to aid in purchasing some various technology devices for my classroom. If you have any suggestions, please share them with me. I eagerly want to learn how to use some of the new technologies I am learning about within my classroom instruction. Let’s tackle this issue together!