Friday, April 9, 2010

Don't know what to do without technology . . .

This week, I have spent several days at an elementary school in Winston-Salem. After seeing EduGlogster at NCTIES, a member of the staff wanted to learn more about that great tool. NCTIES is a great opportunity to see and experience new things.

At this school, there is a strong level of support behind using technology to support students and to aid in instruction. They want to integrate technology seamlessly into the classroom practices for both teachers and students. I overheard several teacher laughing about not knowing what to do without technology when the power went out for a little while one day.

At the beginning of the year, these teachers moved into classrooms that really did not have much in them other than technology ... there was no dry erase board, overhead, or even textbook. Although I am sure there was a little bit of grumbling at first, the teachers had to learn how to make the technology work for them in those classrooms. It was a "Sink or Swim" way to start the year. Now towards the end of the year, these teachers reflect on those "early days" and are so glad they had to learn the technology because now they don't know what they would do without it.

While I was visiting this school, I sat in on Single School Culture Meetings. At the beginning of each of these meetings (for 2 days), I presented a brief overview of EduGlogster and showed lots of examples. Sometimes when a technology tool is presented, it is received with the "oh another thing I have to make fit in" attitude. That was not the case for those two days. I could barely get through the presentation before teachers were already sharing ideas of ways teachers and students could use this for projects and lessons. The Single School Culture Facilitator thought of several ways to use EduGlogster to help out all the teachers with the Essential Standards and resources. This staff saw opportunities for learning something new and being able to use it almost immediately. That is pretty powerful learning.

I overheard many of these teachers saying, "I don't know what I would do without the technology in my classroom." I hope they would still teach the students, but I understand what they are saying.

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