Life in a 1-to-1 Classroom

Currently in my placement, there is a heavy emphasis on technology in the classroom.  Due to a series of grants that the teachers at my school got together and wrote, each student is fortunate enough to have their own Chromebook, every classroom has a Smartboard, a microphone system, and a document camera, and for the teacher’s own professional development, the school has a Swivl for the teachers to use to film themselves teaching.  They have had PD’s where the teachers have worked on building Smartboard lessons, and putting together Google and BrainPop classrooms.

I have definitely seen many different ways of integrating technology throughout the building, across grade levels, and curriculum.  Some teachers are not sure how to use it, or due to technical difficulties, are wary of planning to use it, because if it does not work, they feel like they cannot rely on it the same way you can rely on a piece of paper and a pencil and a book to teach students math and reading.  I think that’s one thing that I want to get out of this class – more reliable ways to use technology than the ways that have been given to the teachers thus far that we can begin to integrate into our classrooms.  Unfortunately, there are some barriers that we just can’t overcome, like subscription fees, or unexpected wifi outages, but I want to be able to push through those barriers and show the other members of the faculty the valuable resource that technology can be for our students.

I would love to begin using technology to network with other professionals in the field of education, and to build those connections that I can keep using throughout my career as an educator.  I think my goal for EdTech for the next three years would be to overcome my fear of using it, and to know the ins and outs of the technology resources that the various curriculums we use are giving us.

4 Replies to “Life in a 1-to-1 Classroom”

  1. Great takeaways for our course planning:
    – More reliable ways to use technology
    – Using technology to network with other professionals
    – Overcome my fear of using edtech

  2. Wow. That’s a lot of technology in one place. I applaud the staff in all the hard work in getting that to happen.

    I understand the fear that you are talking about. I honestly find myself hesitant of doing anything that uses technology. Heck, I even have trouble using a graphing calculator at times and I have to incorporate that into some of my lessons.

    But what I think is the real underlying fear is the lack of practice or, in some cases, the insufficient teachings of using said technology. With enough practice, teachers can be really efficient users of technology in the classroom. If they are “master” teachers and they become efficient with technology, I believe that they can continue the lesson with a little bit of delay if somehow the technology stops working due to some issues. Humans are adaptable after all. This will alleviate a good amount of the fear, but it is going to take time for that to happen. As for the other, I believe constant lessons that are more practical (like skits) would benefit teachers of technology a lot since they can get used to the many functions of the technology in their campus while in collaboration with their fellow colleagues. These are my thoughts.

  3. Jenny from the block, I’m excited for you! It seems like you really have the resources to make the most of this course and get some great guided experience in a tech heavy classroom.

    You pointed out that there is an element of trust in our interactions with tech, which I find interesting. I am in a very different tech landscape than you are, but teachers still tend to have a back up plan etc. in case their technology fails, so that is at play in my school as well. How do we learn to rely on technology and trust that it is all going to work out? I hate seeing teachers in my building doing twice the work when technology should instead be alleviating some of their burdens. We all have to learn how to embrace whatever technology we have access to without fear.

  4. Jenn, you bring up some great insights here.
    Funny that a tool at our seeming disposal can cause fear or feel like a burden. Are we walking the dog or is the dog walking us? I can relate to the temptation to be a little bit lazy and want to carry on in my rut with the surefire, reliable, and simple. However, there comes a point when stubbornness (or at least lack of openness to new methods) makes us miss out on opportunities or in fact do more work than is needed. Sounds like the teachers at your school have a positive collective energy and determination spurring them to experiment with different forms of ed tech until they find something that works well. I think, if we’re not careful, we as humans can get entrenched in habits or at least become a little too accustomed to one routine or direction of momentum. I like the idea of teachers working together as a community to look at what really is effective, developing a collective wisdom based on trial and error, and keeping each other accountable and objective.
    It is exciting that we are living in this time! There are new possibilities available to us that before did not even exist. I believe that a helpful response to some of the fear surrounding technology could be choosing to cultivate a positive attitude and approach the whole process as a fun challenge to dig into and master. I am curious to see what changes will occur in education in the next few years.

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