Technology plays a huge part in my classroom, but it’s not enough! I want to expand and grow and make technology and even more vital part in my classroom. I believe that technology is what you make of it. It can be for pleasure, business, learning, sharing, connecting; you are the limiting factor when it comes to technology. Within the classroom, I want my students to understand that technology isn’t just something to keep them entertained; there is so much more than Angry Birds! My vision is that students discover what technology can do for them as learners, and how they can use technology to grow! I want them to get past the novelty of using the computer or tablet and get to a point of seeing the technology as a tool to get them to their goals. Part of my vision includes learning more as a teacher so that I can be even more effective in my technology implementation. How can I expect my students to learn and grow if I’m not willing to do so also?
Promise and Pitfalls
The possibilities of technology integration are endless given the time and effort to put them into place. Students are able to connect to much of the knowledge humanity has learned throughout it’s existence with a matter of only a few keystrokes! Given the proper guidance, students can harness this information to reach state and federally mandated standards while learning real world skills. When taught properly, students come to see technology as a tool. The technology won’t distract, it will enhance and support student learning!
Technology, however, isn’t some magical thing that is going to fix everything. First, technology is expensive, making it difficult for some schools to implement. Schools also need teachers and support professionals who are able to use and maintain the resources. This might mean more professional development. Another concern, at least to me, is that there are times when the technology can overpower or distract from the concept or skill that you are trying to teach. All of these, however, can be remedied if teachers and principals are willing to work hard planning, grant writing, and putting in place plans for education in their schools and classrooms.
Availability and Plan for Growth
I’ve been very blessed when it comes to technology in my classroom. Essentially anything I want or need regarding technology can be or has been obtained (either by sharing, reusing, begging, grant writing, convincing PTO, or seeking donations). There are lots of people out there that want to see children succeed. It is a matter of connecting with those people and convincing them you can make use of what they have to offer. I’ve been very lucky to be surrounded by people like that, and also to have a fantastic PTO! It can be hard if you don’t have that circle of people around you, but if you are determined to get your students connected, it can be done!
In my classroom, I do have quite a few tools for students to use. I have 4 computers - the school issued desktop, 2 old laps that I had in college (circa 2003), and my new laptop. I also have an LCD projector, mimioteach whiteboard, document camera, mp3 player, and CD player, as well as my personal Nook tablet, my Google Nexus 7 tablet, and my digital still/video camera. Our school is also outfitted with a suitable computer lab that meets the needs of my students, and also recently purchased the Discovery Science Techbook.
Our middle school is currently 1 to 1 - each student has their own laptop. I’m currently working with my principal and the PTO to get a set of tablets that can be shared between classes. My eventual goal would be to get the entire school transformed into 1 to 1, with tablets for students K-2, netbooks for grades 3-5, and continue the laptop program in the middle school.The tablets should be a reality by the end of this school year. Over the summer, I plan to work on grants to get funding for the 3rd-5th grade netbooks, then the tablets can be shared K-2 until we can get funding to make those classes 1 to 1.
Thank you for using Glogster to give us a visual and active representation of your Tech Plan. This innovative use really shows how your vision aligns with your thoughts and feelings regarding technology.