Growing up in a family of helpers (a lot of teachers and nurses), as well a household of early adopters of technology, I learned early on the power that teachers and digital tools have to change lives. With the advent of the internet, people could be transported around the world in a matter of seconds, and access knowledge that would have seemed impossible even a few years earlier.
Technology has gone from the dreams of science fiction to an everyday reality, but our students face challenges that earlier generations didn't necessarily have to confront. The "stranger danger" warnings of our parents' era are not quite so easy for children growing up in a digitally connected world to understand. The benefits vastly outweigh the potential pitfalls of this new technological frontier, and rather than shield our students from the world in which they live, the role of teachers and parents is now to help them to safely and effectively navigate this much more complicated world.
I'm currently teaching 7th Grade World History and 8th Grade U.S. History at Natomas Charter School, which is blessed with a great deal of technology, but more importantly a culture of experimentation and innovation. Whether it's creating teaser trailers for dystopian future stories (to highlight a world in which the Bill of Rights in threatened), or writing (and creating) historically accurate video games set in the middle ages, students are encouraged to take their knowledge and use it in new and exciting ways.
I am also an Area 3 Writing Project in the Sacramento area, whose mission is to ensure that a culture of writing is found in all classrooms, not just that of English and Language Arts teachers. As a history teacher, it seems like a natural fit, and I try to instill an appreciation of the writing process as just that, a process. No matter how long we've been at it, we are always constantly improving and learning more about our craft.