Day 2: Technology

Here’s Day 2 of the TeachThought Challenge: Write about one piece of technology you would like to try out this year, and why.  

Ever since I got my interactive whiteboard (it was like Christmas came, seriously) I have been 100% down for using technology to improve instruction. While the teaching methods do not change, the delivery and efficiency does. 

I have already written about my excitements and woes about the one-to-one iPad initiative in my current district, but I really am getting more excited about this being rolled out in January. We are moving to a new school building that can support iPad use in the classroom. We’ve had trainings to help get us rolling, but of course most of this will be trial and error. 

I believe the shift in my instruction will be concentrated around workflow. Very few paper documents will be needed, because students can (theoretically) take notes with their iPads. Their readings will (theoretically) be done on iPads. Typing essays will (theoretically, cringe) be done on iPads. While we are not required to do everything on tablets, many district-purchased resources (like books) will be available for iPad only. 

Most importantly, students will be given a tool to engage with one another in a current and relevant way: discussion boards, comments, emails. I hope to start a blog where students are engaged via discussion boards on our “essential question.” Teaching them how to engage in logical discourse is important, and so much of it happens online every day. 

IPads will give me a tool to create and administer quick entrance/exit slips, as well as surveys. This will make formative assessment less hectic (too many times has a student turned in a rushed exit slip on my desk, only to be lost forever).

All in all, the content and process will be the same, but the tools will not.

What about you, teachers? What’s a piece of technology you are excited to incorporate?

-S

(P.S., day two of the challenge is pretty rough…teaching for 8 hours and a few more of work to go…)  

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