This semester is my final class for my graduate degree, so I am very excited to be finished soon. My focus for this class, is to explore the current uses of educational technology in a grade 4/5 team teaching classroom with limited access to technology devices.
I have slowly been changing my teaching pedagogy over the last few years and feel like I’ve made some really positive changes. What I am looking forward to is having some time this semester to focus on learning more about best practices when trying to incorporate technology with a limited number of devices and/or availability with a large group of students.
Another part of the puzzle is figuring out how to do this effectively when considering collaborating with another teacher, time management of 46-50 students and assessment. This year I had my students switch from Kidblog to Blogger. Now, I am struggling with how to monitor their blogs, keep them accountable, teaching them blogging tips and ensuring digital citizenship.
It’s a process and a lot to figure out! On top of everything, there are everyday ups and downs that come up in daily life. Put all of this together and it has been an overwhelming past few years to say the least. My hope is that I have more time to focus on best practices in teaching throughout the years to come without having to juggle classes on top of everything else. The question is; Will it be any easier or less challenging? I sure hope so, but I am not holding my breath. One thing for certain is that I will not be completing a grad class as well as teaching full time next year.
The great thing about this final course is that I can focus on challenges that I face in my classroom and look at ways to adjust and enhance my practices and opportunities for student learning.
For starters, I found a blog post titled: Creating a Culture of Collaboration Through Technology Integration. One quote that got me thinking is;
In an ideal world, this integration would happen seamlessly, but the fact is that due to the rapid pace of change with technology, teachers’ varying comfort levels with technology, frequent turnover in international schools, and classroom teachers’ already extensive list of responsibilities, the majority of teachers could benefit from the support of a technology facilitator or coach.
Teachers having varying comfort levels with technology and classroom teachers’ already extensive list of responsibilities is where I connect to the most. This was me in the fall of 2014 taking my first EC&I course. I knew I needed to include more technology in my classroom, but the question was; Where do I start? It seems that as much as I knew it was important, I still wasn’t setting aside time to really look into how I could implement technology and who could help? It just seems that there are so many things on my TO DO list that take precedence before I add anything else onto my plate. To tell you the truth, I always feel like I’m a few steps behind and I have colleagues who often feel the same. A few of my questions are; How do I keep up with technology integration? What will this look like once the government figures out exactly where all the budget cuts go? How will this effect my students and teaching practices in a team teaching classroom?
Clearly, I have many questions that I hope to answer this semester or at least feel more comfortable with. As I research more articles and blogs, I continue to see obstacles in my way as an educator.
According to this video/article, technology is standard. The article and video begin by stating that once we (the teacher) are trained on one new product another pops up. I personally do not get trained to use technology, but have to figure it out on my own, collaborate with another colleague (which I find challenging to find time for) and/or sign up for a PD session after work.
On the flip side, I know that at least one or two blog posts will focus on the benefits and the progress myself, colleagues, and students have made as educators and students. It always comes down to finding balance and taking it one step at a time!