The past few weeks has certainly put a downer on my feelings and enthusiasm towards educational technology. As Elizabeth said, she feels like she’s been a bit of a “negative Nelly.” I feel the same way! It is disheartening to think about the challenges we are faced with everyday as we try to engage learning, make it authentic, and support creative thinkers.
Photo Credit: Flickr
I look forward to focusing on the great things about technology in the classroom next week. For now, I will share some of the interesting finds that I have come across along the way. One thing for sure is there are always interesting articles shared and answers to most (if not all) questions that educators may have available on the internet. I definitely find that networking through twitter and using feedly as a facilitator keeps information at my fingertips. If we as educators have questions or concerns, we can reach out to the many educators that we follow and the ones who follow us back. Thanks to feedly, (and using it regularly) my twitter followers have increased considerably.
However, I do worry about not meeting weekly with fellow edtech enthusiasts to keep myself accountable. I hope that feedly and twitter will keep me in the loop. Any suggestions?
Like Andres shared in his blogpost, I also found the conversation interesting concerning why schools are not allowed to invest in more educational technology. The discussion was disheartening to say the least. Not having the option to fundraise or buy new chromebooks, laptops or iPads is frustrating when we already have such a shortage. I guess I can understand that the cost to maintain all the devices is a problem, but should it be at the expense of our students?
For most of the edtech my grade 4’s do, Chromebooks work well and serve their purpose. I do find they are user friendly, and I have very few problems with them (at least for now). Aside from the regular loss of wifi connection in one of our classrooms, students are able to navigate them without having to deal with too many glitches. Having the links so easily accessible to them in the toolbar saves time when they have multiple tabs open for Gmail, Google Classroom, Google search, and Blogger.
It is relatively easy to find support on line when it comes to what technology tools have to offer. I am looking forward to having time in the fall to look more into GAPS, and utilizing Chromebooks more. I know that I am unaware of many of the uses and opportunities that both of these have to offer. Elizabeth shared some great information about Alice Keeler and her Teacher Tech Blog. It will be a great resource to look at further.
I connected with the quote Elizabeth shared:
“My teacher could be replaced by a YouTube video.” by Alice Keeler
One thing I have understood about teaching is that it changes every year (technology or no technology). I try to stay relevant for myself and for my students. I definitely agree that teachers will not be obsolete any time soon, but the way we taught 20 years ago definitely needs to change.
Changing is never easy and takes time. Transitioning from a more traditional teaching practices to a more student centred approach is daunting and time consuming. In the article: Three Essentials for Success in a Blended (Literacy) Classroom the learning and teaching styles looks quite different. Many educators, including myself have to really understand the importance of how students learn and how their teaching pedagogy needs to advance.
When done correctly, any classroom can benefit from the blended approach, literacy classrooms especially. Literacy learning is unique in that there are both concrete and abstract concepts that work well in face-to-face teaching and in the digital space.
1. Maximizing Physical and Digital Space.
2. Fostering Collaboration and Communication
3. Accessible Texts and Materials
Just reading the 3 headings seems like it is relatively easy, but after reading the article it would take a lot of time and planning. I often like these articles, because of the way they are organized and laid out. It provides educators with a place to start, or continue from.
Each year, I make some progress in changing my style of teaching, advancements in provided a blended learning approach, as well as using the tools provided to me, like Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education. I would like to utilize these tools more, to further my own style of teaching practices and understanding of how they work. Recent and up to date articles that I find using feedly, or twitter are very helpful. I have found a useful article about Chromebooks through Free Technology for Teachers. It is called, “Great Tools for Making Videos on Chromebooks. Even though video production tools like iMovie are not available through Chromebooks, this article shares information and links on Twelve Tools for Creating Videos on Chromebooks. This provides more than enough for students to be creative and generate engaging videos to be proud of. The sight provides a summary for each tool, as well as direct links to each tool.
Overall, I find that I am interested in most things associated with teaching and I am curious to learn how it may or may not work for my students.
Does anybody else have concerns about staying up to date with technology after completing your master’s degree?
Do you utilize feedly and/or twitter regularly?
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