We live in an exciting time in education. Learning in the classroom looks so much different than it did even 10 years ago when I started teaching in 2004. Our kids come to us with different needs than they used to and engage in things in ways that are so much different than years past.
Ten years ago, my kids were thrilled during our once-a-week trip to the computer lab where we would play our typing games. Today, my students come to me expecting to be engaged daily through the use of technology. Social media, texting and creating on devices are things my students engage in outside of the classroom on a daily basis. I think for educators to stick to traditional methods of teaching is to do a disservice to our students.
So, how can we connect with our students in an authentic way which is meaningful with technology? How can we be sure the technology we use in our classroom is effective? Most importantly, how can we use our time as teachers effectively in finding these resources?
Like our students who we encourage to work collaboratively in groups, we must work collaboratively as teachers to share best practices as well as the best technology tools for our students. I am thrilled to work alongside other educators in using Graphite and Common Sense Media to collaborate and reflect on best tech tools to use with our students.
This marks my 11th year in the classroom. I am so fortunate to be working in a 4th grade classroom full of digital citizens in Sacramento. Perhaps one of the most challenges things about being a teacher is keeping up with the digital demands of my students. Long gone are the days of my previous teachers asking for volunteers to come help rewind the VHS tape at the end of our movie (or rewinding the filmstrip carefully *cringe!*) Today, my kids come to me with apps downloaded and ready to go on, often, more than one device! I've also now resigned to the fact that it's impossible for me to keep up with my students in the area of technology. I now have no pride or shame in asking for help from my students within 3 seconds of my technology not working.
With such a fast-paced learning curve, I'm thrilled to have a tool like Graphite to help me sift through the thousands of educational apps and tools available to help make my instructional practices with technology more applicable and seamless.