I signed up the Waltham Integration Network project last year because I wanted to use more technology in with my students. I had a done a few “cool things” and thought, “Wow, I could do more of that.”
I want to share two important lessons that will help me with “cool things” as I move forward.
- It helps to have a buddy. At first it looked like another WIN project member and I would be able to work closely, but she went out on medical leave during the heart of the year. But then I realized that one of the classroom teachers (grade 3) I was working with really took on everything I suggested or started with great enthusiasm. I showed her google classroom once, and suddenly she had built it up with all sorts of assignments and links. We looked at Google Read Write together and she found new ways to use it. We made voice recordings on Google Read Write and she figured out how to link them together. Without her enthusiasm I might have puttered along with not much to show for it.
- Learning objectives and technology objectives have to be sorted out, and sometimes one of them will be compromised in favor of the other. But at the same time, it is important to not let learning objectives be lost. One technology activity we did we had kids record their voices about something they had learned. We spent so much time worried about the voice recording we didn’t realized that some of what they were recording was actually wrong. But if we are careful about knowing both objectives that is less likely to happen.
Next year I have a new position in the school (grade 5 with regular ed, ELL and SPED students) so I look forward to seeing where technology will take me!