It's OETC 2017 week! Always an exciting time to learn, meet new techies, and catch up with old friends and colleagues. Be sure to check out our ITSCO website for all of our conference materials! Also, stop by our booth I'd love to see you and catch up!
It's always sad when I reach the end of a coaching job with a district. One of the districts I've worked with for two years now is reaching the end of it's second year which means next year will bring on a new grade level with new teachers. Although this is exciting because I get to help a whole new group of teachers begin implementing Blended Learning in their classroom it's also sad because I am letting go of a group that I've become very close with. Over the last year we've gone from barely talking to nonstop laughter, never heard of blended learning to station rotation at least twice a week, no technology knowledge to using the LMS daily. It's a big accomplishment and I am very proud of each and every one of them. As I said before I look forward to what the next group will bring to the table but am sad to let go of the current group.
Technology happens every day whether you want it to or not. This is the world we live in (education and none education), technology is everywhere and changing our lives every day. Our students are using technology every single day in and out of school, for learning and for fun, appropriately and not so appropriately but they are using technology EVERY SINGLE DAY.
The doors that technology can and could have opened for you and your students have long since passed. Technology needs to be something you start at the beginning of the year, day 1 - the very first day those students sit down in your classroom they are utilizing whatever technology you have. Technology needs to be something that starts in kindergarten and continues to be used throughout grade school, middle school, and high school. These tools (however many) you have are here for students to use and learn from, the lessons and activities that these tools hold are endless but you the classroom teacher are the ones that decides when the students use them. I've been there, I was once a strung out teacher but that didn't stop me from utilizing all that technology had to offer in terms of learning. Stop, stop just preparing our students for the state tests and start preparing them for life. The lessons that you teach that incorporate technology not only prepares them for testing but also help them to solve problems, problems that they will see in the real world. Technology isn't going anywhere, you can either hop on the bus or stay where you are and eventually get hit, it's your decision but know it's not going anywhere. Half your students are probably creating YouTube videos for fun, reading to learn more, or connecting with individuals halfway across the country just because they can. Use this to your advantage don't be the disadvantage for your students.
Feel free to check out my previous posts on choice boards, SAMR, Google Apps, Voice & Choice, and much more to find ideas for integrating technology into your classroom and still meeting the standards as well as test prep.
Jennifer L. Furey
My name is Jennifer and I work for one of Ohio's Ed Tech Organizations. We are a non-profit organization that services mostly Central Ohio however we do tend to travel around Ohio for our PD and conferences. Prior to this position I taught second and third grade reading for six years and then became a technology integration specialist for a little over a year.