Thursday, November 13, 2014

November, 2014

Tech thoughts....

I never thought I would be this jazzed about technology as a tool in the classroom!
I am using tech in ways I NEVER thought of...
Because of this, I am discovering I need "new tech" on  much quicker rate than ever before.

I ask myself WHY?
Why the demand for this? What has changed that I need/desire/want new tools?
Why am I so excited and enthusiastic about this?
I have thought about this and believe I need to get to the root cause...
What, exactly, has changed with me this academic year that didn't exist my previous three years in the classroom, same grade level?

I have thought and believe I have the answer to that....

The nature of my job as an educator has changed.
I am so much more than a "teacher".
I am a facilitator of knowledge and more importantly, a facilitator working in  profession which demands "current" tools to reach a vast  audience.

Traditional tools aren't acceptable any more.
I remember being able to grade papers, turn them back in a week later, with a simple "letter grade" and no explanation. Parents accepted whatever grade their student got...there wasn't makeup tests or small-group reinforcement.  Drill and practice. Drill and practice.  Drill and practice....
If you didn't pass, you didn't pass.

Not any more. Now, granted, this was 30 years ago.

Now it's, as Jim states in his blog, "building the plane while we are flying in it."
As an educator, I am trying to effectively and efficiently build that plane daily...
communication, effective delivery of instruction, student support, daily analysis and further instruction while demanding high standards of myself and my teammates, my students.

To do this requires efficient and effective tools.

Fast, effective apps to effectively implement, support, and instruct my students and parents.
Fast, effective, efficient means to stay one step ahead of the game, which I m lucky if I can say I am, while running a million miles and hour (or running back and forth in the plane, trying to put it together in the air, helping the kids in their seats...discussing instruction with my teammates).

Move note...Kaizena, Google Docs, the list goes on and on...I am finding on an almost weekly basis, the need for tech tools that make my life easier to manage and easier to communicate with.

Tech is a tool and not so much a "fun toy!" any more. This isn't meant to be a negative. It is just the way I see myself now, as an educator.

Boy, what a change...a necessary change.





Saturday, November 8, 2014

Inspired Writing Comments: November 8, 2014

November...
Time has flown.

I am using various components through Google, with my students when they write online.
-Google "Search" for new words.
We love going between editing and viewing modes.
The kids are used to "chatting" while looking at each other's pieces.

So valuable.

I want them to be more accountable for their own writing...to extend the audience.
We will start pen pals very shortly...working on the logistics now.
Can't wait!