Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Two out of Three Dentists Still Use Hand Cranked Drills...

Can you imagine this headline? Who would go to a dentist that claimed that it has worked in the past, so there is no need to change?

Two out of three of my students out student teaching or in practicum, report something along this line (actual text) "So far in this semester, I really have not seen a lot of technology used in the classroom."

The fact that in 2015 this is still a norm in many schools reminds me how big a task we still have.

Digital technology is part of our everyday lives. It should be part of the learning as well. Even if your students do not have 1:1 devices all schools have access to mobile devices of some kind that can be brought into the classroom or a lab you can go to.

If you or a colleague are still not quite there, I have a few suggestions.

Here are my top three ideas for supports you can find at your school:

1. Talk to knowledgeable peers. Most teachers who integrate technology already love sharing what they are doing and helping along. Find them and use their energy.

2. Get a preservice teacher. They are likely to take courses in tech integration so they can bring ideas and another set of hands when trying new ideas is always good.

3. Get professional development. EdCamps, Workshops, conferences and excellent grad courses are all places to learn with others about the possibilities. Short PD can motivate, but only long-term support will truly help you get going and keep moving.

Three things to do immediately:

1. Find out what resources you and your students have.

2. If you have only a few devices use them as part of stations or rotation. Do not use them as a reward! All students need to learn about and through technology.

3. Use technology for short bursts of formative assessments using Kahoots, Socrative, Google forms, or Plickers. Short activities with some planning would get both you and kids going without imposing too much on your instructional time.

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