This is an exciting time! Change is upon us, and change can be good. Especially when you have colleagues to support your efforts. So, to that end…
I am a Department Integration Specialist (DIS) for the Department of Biblical Studies, commonly known as the Bible Department. This is the end of my 11th year teaching Bible in the high school. While here, I’ve always attempted to discover productive uses of technology in my teaching practice, since I’ve been “into” technology from the time I graduated high school when DOS was the standard operating system on the PC platform and commands were performed using the C: prompt. I used the PC and Mac long before laptops were widely marketed and used (I come from the age of mainframes). When I entered the field of what was then called “data processing,” data was actually processed using punched cards. CDs and DVDs were, at the time, 5 1/4-inch floppy disks (they were actually floppy, and very big). As you might guess, I’m very comfortable with computers.
So it was great getting the Toshiba notebooks. Yet, it is even more fantastic getting the MacBooks (in my opinion)! My husband has been trying to convert me for over 10 years! With the occasional use of my husband’s desktop, I have some limited experience with the Mac. But I’m a fast learner, and I look forward to sharing what I learn.
I’ve used technology for classroom management (Moodle mostly, but I’m now a Schoology convert), lectures (the now-demonized PowerPoint, as well as SlideRocket, Glogster, and Prezi), note-taking (Inspiration), formative assessment (Twitter), summative assessment (Schoology, again), digital storytelling (Mixbook) and project-based learning. There are so many resources available to help teachers facilitate their students’ learning, it’s almost mind-boggling. Here are just a few resources I’ve found, primary doing Google searches:
Since we’re going to 1:1, I’m excited to discover how I can use technology more efficiently and effectively to have more critical thinking time and less busy-work time in the classroom. Yet, one thing I am concerned about is the effective managing of what our students are doing on the laptops during class, ensuring they’re not on Facebook, for example. I don’t want to have to become “the laptop police,” but I imagine if I intentionally design my lessons such that technology is used to engage, then I shouldn’t have that problem. If only it were that simple.
One thing to keep in mind – laptops in the classroom only facilitate learning. There are some good applications of these wonderful tools in our classrooms. Yet, we should understand that laptops are only a means to an end; they are not the end. Therefore, I think we should be mindful that laptop usage is not appropriate for everything we do in the classroom, and we should determine those usages collaboratively within and cross departments.
So I will be having fun with my laptop this summer. I’ll share what I discover as I plod along.
Have a great summer!