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.