Technology in the classroom makes me very excited. As a creative individual I find many products extremely beneficial for my career. I spend hours on Pinterest a week, and I am sure I am not the only avid “Pinterest-er”. Scrolling through the classroom ideas section excites me, broadens my creative side and shows me many ideas from other unique teachers. However, Pinterest is only one of many types of technology related, educational resources for the classroom.
Teachers Pay Teachers is a fascinating website that provides endless resources for other teachers in any category you can think of. This helpful resource also benefits the teacher who created it, by getting a profit from their work. There is a price to pay for accessing the resources, but if you are stumped with ideas of how to teach a topic, or you are incredibly sick one day and cannot put the energy together to create a substitute teacher plan, a couple of dollars may be worth it for that day!
Having a continuous situation occur in your classroom that you are uncomfortable asking a colleague for advice with? Or perhaps none of your colleagues have had this situation occur? Look no further, Edublogs has you covered. Blogs from hundreds of teachers explaining any situation possible can help you know that you are not alone. Not only is reading other teachers blogs beneficial, but blogs also allow you to reply to their blog posts. Although I have not been an avid blogger in the past, I do realize the importance and the benefits of blogging. Now that I have started this blog, I am confident that it will continue.
I could type an endless amount about the benefits of technology in the classroom. The valuable interactive programs such as SMART that allow the students to engage in the lesson. I think that allowing students to use their cellphones, iPads and tablets in class is incredibly useful. Although I do feel that students spend too much time on electronics, I know this is where we stand with this upcoming generation. Children are raised with computers, televisions and cellphones all around them and we need to teach students that although they are fun to play on, they are also important learning resources. Tablets and iPads provide many aps that can help a struggling student in the area they need help with. There are programs and websites to projects that can reach many different learner types. If a student is a weak reader, some technology can read aloud the book or text to them. Aps that allow students to respond to the teachers question either anonymously, or with their names provided to the teacher, create a better understanding for the teacher to know how their students as a whole, or individually are doing. Technology is often viewed in a negative manner, but I believe technology is an incredible resource for the classroom
The debate regarding time often portrays the use of technology in the classroom negatively because it is too time consuming. How can a teacher who is incredibly busy put hours into one SMART lesson, or into researching ideas on the internet. I look at this as something that is worth my time. Yes, a SMART lesson can take hours to create, however once it is created, it is mine forever. I believe that it is important to show your passion in whatever you are passionate about, and I am passionate about presenting lessons in a creative and engaging matter. I know I will not always be able to spend four hours on one lesson, but I do recognize the benefits of doing so and I believe the time is worth the end product- and that is allowing complete engagement with my students, no matter what their learning type is.
The article Bring your own Device, suggests that students and teachers should welcome their own personal devices in the class. I remember as a student, keeping my cellphone tucked away in my locker. I understood that it was distracting, and it remains as the main classroom distraction to this day but where we are with technology, I believe smartphones can be the cheapest resource a teacher can use. Not every classroom will have a class set of iPads, therefore BYOD suggests that students bring in their own device and I agree. Students using their own device, the blog suggests, promotes students awareness of what THEIR device can do, it also demonstrates to them that they can continue to use THEIR device at home for extended learning opportunities. BYOD describes the challenges with their program, however I believe that every strategy, product or movement will always have challenges. I think the amount of benefits alongside this program is worth implementing BYOD into my future school, if it is not already in place.
The second article I found fascinating while reading through the articles was the 4 Reasons People don’t blog and reasons to change their mind. The four reasons are as followed: 1. Blogging is useless. 2. I don’t have time. 3. I’m a private person. 4. No one cares what I have to say. What I have to reflect on this blog, is that blogging can be beneficial for any teacher, and especially beneficial to the teacher who thinks any of the four reasons as listed above. If you think it is useless or that no one cares, you need to start blogging. Writing out exciting, overwhelming, sad or unexpected things that happened during your week is not only a method of therapy but also a learning opportunity for other teachers to benefit from. If you think no one cares, the people who do not care will not read any blog anyway so that should not be a fear. No teacher is private, so “being a private person” is not a good reason to avoid blogging. In fact, blogging will help that “private teacher” feel comfortable in expressing themselves in many situations. And the final reason, time is just an excuse. If you realize the importance and the benefits of blogging you will quickly come to realize you have an extra twenty minutes each week to sit down, and let all your interesting facts from your week in the classroom onto the internet. Blogging not only allows you to fully process the situation prior to typing it out, but it also allows you to open up to your readers and show your teachers that maybe you are not perfect, but no teacher is.
That’s all for now. Until next time…
The Colorful Classroom Connection