We have done quite a bit this year regarding moving our teaching to another level: we've introduced the read/write web into our teacher's lexicon and their tool kits; we've shown the power of using social bookmarking; we have shown them how to aggregate feeds and bring their research and planning to a new level. But that is me talking--that is what I think we've done. Over the next few days, I am going to try to include some teacher reflections on what they have seen this year.
Note to all: I did not solicit these in the form of asking for performance reviews on my part. Nor am I posting them for any reason than utter transparency. That some of them may reference me is in no way meant for self-promotion or ego inflation.
The first one here is from Jo, who along with Erica (whose quote follows hers), worked together on Ambertangerine, a wiki used as a book discussion. She has been a mainstay at my professional development classes since last summer and has made some amazing discoveries. She brings such a great teaching style to the classroom, and technology is just one way she uses to reach the students:
This year, I believe that I have crossed the line. I used to be the teacher who used bits and pieces of technology while integrating the curriculum. This year, however, I feel confident that I can use new, advanced, and innovative technology with my students. I am able to understand that students today learn differently and deserve to be taught differently than my generation. I have been fortunate to have the support of Patrick Higgins and Erica for these endeavors. Their expertise in technology has helped me to develop an interest and willingness to further my knowledge in this area as well as to strive to integrate more technology into my lessons. I have participated in several technology courses offered by Patrick Higgins, and I plan on attending more throughout the summer. This is only the beginning... Erica came to me this year with so many ideas to implement in her classroom, and was one of our first teachers to utilize Lecture123 effectively:
This is what she had to say about her experiences this year:
I think it is important that if you are teaching “digital natives” you must be a digital native yourself, at the very least. To be even more effective, you must be a digital pioneer, always one step ahead of the students. This year was the first year it didn’t feel like I was integrating technology in my classroom, it just was a seamless part of everyday instruction and assessment, almost completely invisible. A big part of that comes from having an ingenious technology coordinator to work with. Teachers often have great ideas, but have trouble implementing them due to lack of time or technology. However, with the support of a technology facilitator such as Mr. Higgins our dreams of technology integration became a reality greater than I could have imagined. Best of all, the students became global citizens and digital pioneers themselves.I have noticed a lot of others in this sphere have been doing this as well, and I think it is truly important for tech coordinators to allow teachers to articulate what they are learning, just as I believe in that for students.