It has been a whirlwind since Thursday. My laptops arrived in the classroom. I am going to make a quick post here just to let you know how it is going. First, I kept it simple by having the students login to their Gaggle accounts and they played with it all day Friday. I will have to give a more detailed account later. But, a quick observation is my students are calm and engaged. They do not want to go to recess (I have to make them). We are actually having a lot of fun learning this together.
Yesterday some of my students finished early and I decided to funnel their time. Initially, I tried to get them to help researching Gaggle and Google drive. But, the interest peeked when I included researching Mindcraft and how it can be used in the class. So I went with it and asked them to prove to me why I should use it and how it would benefit our learning. One of my more challenging students rose to the occasion and has already created a 5 page Powerpoint on the topic. It will be interesting to see the finished product and whether he can defend it.
The great thing is we already have Reading Street, Envision, and Regions as Ebooks with our Pearson Successnet purchase. Thus taking care of three out of five of our textbooks and from what I understand we will get science next year.
On another note, I start track practice next week and I have several Excel spreadsheets I keep on a pin drive to update the information. We were informed that we are no longer allowed to do this. Which creates a problem for me. While walking yesterday I realized I have a solution. I can use Google Docs to do the same thing, but even better. I can authorize my managers to edit the docs and it will be a living doc that does not need to be edited sent to the next person etc. The benefit will be twofold. I have to learn how to use it and Gaggle to have access at school. This will solve my problem with moving the info back and forth and force me to learn how to use it for my classroom.
When asked by the district superintendent what she could do to help me, I told her and she asked me to submit a proposal before Christmas break. I wrote it up while on break and I really didn’t expect it to be approved. Today I was informed by my principal my proposal for one-to-one computers for my fourth grade students has been approved.
I will be a pilot program to introduce nine and ten year olds to a paperless classroom. No textbooks and no worksheets. In fact, I was asked to consider moving into a room created to be a computer lab. I suppose this means I will be parring down my room, a lot.
When I submitted my proposal I had already done a bit of research for my doctorate on the topic of technology and the classroom. Now I feel like I must become an expert on these topics. I am really excited about creating a new pilot classroom, but at the same time I am scared. I will be under the microscope with management watching what I do with it. If I am successful I will have written my own ticket, if I am not I may have to become a lecturer and make lots of money telling people how to do it correctly.
If anyone out there reads this then please give me your opinion and or any help and suggestions you can.
For peace of mind I need to start journaling everyday. Of course with my personality it will probably never happen. Yesterday I got my 8 really old Gateway laptops replaced with 11 Leveno laptops. Very exciting! It is still not what I requested in my proposal but much better and faster than what I had. I feel very blessed to have 6 desktop computers and 11 laptop computers in my class.
I am falling behind in my use of Whole Brain Teaching and I am seeing the effect in my classroom. It is such a great program and I know it. My biggest problem is I am overwhelmed. I am reading 5 books for my current class, I am implementing new technology in my classroom and I am trying to learn how to turn my classroom paperless.
more to come.
Today is the first day of my new class. I find it hard to believe I have already completed one year of my doctoral journey. After two weeks off I am ready to continue with this crazy, yet amazing quest. My current class with UOP is Educational Technology Research. After taking two prior research classes back-to-back it is a relief to at least be delving into a subject I am interested in. The timing couldn’t be better either, I am writing a proposal to be in a pilot program to implement one-for-one technology in my classroom.
Basically, each of my students will be issued a laptop or tablet. The thought of this is daunting, yet very exciting. In researching where we are going with the future of technology I find we are lacking so much. Education is so far behind where even our students are when it comes to technology and it’s use.
I am excited to see the trend changing. The awareness of those who see it coming is amazing. Our job is to change the perception of technology as an entertainment tool and make it an engagement tool. One where we teach the student the right way to use this great instrument. No longer can we be passive and it has to start with trust. We as educators need to be trusted and the trust given to our students that they know the right thing to do. How are we to teach if we are not allowed the opportunity.
My hope is our system starts realizing the ban of all electronics is silly. If we do not open our systems to the use of what is mostly restricted then we invite the students to become sneaky and do it all wrong. We must allow them to discover it with our guidance, not our ignorance. Most of the students know more then we do. It is time educators stop living in the past and step up to become the learners now so we may become the facilitators of the future.
I have been sitting on this domain for a long time. I am going to have a try at actually writing again. After Blogger took away my five year old blog for whatever reason they deemed I have been discouraged.
Now I have a couple of new things I am doing that I would like to write about. First, I am working on my doctorate in Educational Leadership with a major in Educational Technology. I using University of Phoenix online to complete my degree. I began this journey in January of 2012 and it has been interesting. Hopefully, I will have some good things to share.
Second, I watched “Waiting for Superman” last night and as a teacher it gave me a lot to think about. I am not sure I agree with it but at the same time I didn’t disagree with it. My assumption was that I was going to hate it and be very upset about what it had to say. I was wrong. I gained a lot of respect for Michelle Rhee and her straight talk. I do think she is very negative and her approach too blunt. I am sure I will catch flak from my fellow teachers for saying this.
One of the things that came out of watching the movie was I found a website called wholebrainteaching.com. I am enamored by the concept and spent about two hours watching the videos and writing out how I plan on incorporating Class-Yes, Scoreboard, Switch, and Mirror into my classroom for the last three weeks of school. I wish I found this site much earlier in the year.
WBT will work well for me. My parents are deaf and I like using my hands when I talk. Not only will this program help engage my students it will allow me to be more animated. Something I desperately need.
Okay, I need to go work on school work now. Until next time.