I am embarking on my second year of the Waltham Integration Network (WIN) project, and I am now the master of technology… just kidding. If this is your first time reading my blog, then you may be unfamiliar with my research question from the last year. Let me catch you up.
As I entered the WIN project last year, I was frustrated with the technological limitations of my classroom. As a teacher of sophomores and juniors, I was a year away from having students who brought 1:1 technology into the classroom with them. Waltham Public Schools has been slowly working toward 1:1 technology, providing middle school students with iPads that they then bring to the high school with them. Therefore, I made it my mission to integrate technology into my classroom as much as possible, given the access limitations.
My research question became centered around the struggle to integrate technology into a classroom where all of the technology was external. I had to sign up for computer and iPad labs or my students had to access technology at home.
Overall, I feel I was pretty successful last year. I introduced many of my students to Google Classroom, and embraced all aspects of the Google Suite: Slides, Sheets, Forms, and Docs. For example, my students completed paperless research papers. In addition, I had my students create screencasts with an app called Touchcast. Lastly, I practiced using Remind with my students (I didn’t like it…shhh, don’t tell anyone).
As I mentioned in my first ever post, part of my research question was spurred by fear. I always want to be on the cutting edge of pedagogical techniques. I fear being left behind when the rest of the profession moves on to different teaching styles and techniques. So, I intentionally created a goal that would push me out of my comfort zone.
Now in year two of my research, I was fortunate to welcome a sophomore class with 1:1 iPads into my classroom this fall. Therefore, I am now straddling both worlds. I have two classes of students with 1:1 technology and three without. Needless to say, next year will see all of my classes with 1:1 technology.
Hence, my goal for this year is to increase the use of technology with my sophomore class. I will continue in the same manner as last year with my juniors. I want to start out the year by substituting and augmenting my use of paper by using apps like Google Form to produce Exit and Entrance tickets. Hopefully this will allow me to speed up my grading and allow me to provide more efficient feedback to my students.
However, as the year progresses, I want to think about more sophisticated ways to use the 1:1 technology my sophomores have. Yes, I’m talking the SAMR model, for all of you technological folks (Liz Homan is doing a little dance). I want to modify and redefine what I do. I want to enhance student learning and begin to approach and embrace more Project Based Learning.
Tune back in here each month to see how my goal plays out!