Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Just Me...

I love to learn! Nothing beats a group of teachers collaborating and discussing best practices. This past pweek, I have seen the following:

1. I have just watched the best math/technology integration EVER! The teacher addresses his students with a simple math question/number talk. The students are very involved in the lesson and all anxious to share their strategies. However, while students are solving their problem and getting ready to share their strategy, I notice one student get up and go to the computer. Yes, I had to follow. OMW...he had a digital math toolbox (on his website and his ipods). The student knew what strategy he wanted to use but just lacked the confidence to put it all together. I have seen students get up to move, look at other's work, or go get manipulatives BUT never go to a digital math toolbox. This is a man that is using technology tools to the fullest. He records one math discussion/number talk with his students per week and groups them accordingly. How, you ask? Simple use of a document camera/lightsmith. That is not all...with each lesson, he has math games listed along with internet links and activities. PLUS.....some orginal work from the students (mathcasts). Way to go SCOTT! Excellent math and school-t0-home connections. Great integration of technology with your math lesson.
LESSON - if you have new technology and STILL doing the same thing, then why are we buying these tools if we (teachers) are not going to use them to the fullest potiental?

2. Technology has the biggest AUDIENCE. Why are we not using it? Look at the tools...Blogs, disccussion tabs in a Wiki, and the one I have started using some with my personal children..THE NATIONAL GALLERY of WRITING. It is about the creative process not the tool. Saying I have a blog is saying I have a tool BUT what are you and your students doing with that tool?

3. Students have to POWERDOWN to come to school. Why? Teachers are still afraid of technology. Students are not afraid of technology. These tools are everywhere. My personal son came home with a 50 page booklet for robotics. He went straight to the internet to learn about robotics (YOUTUBE). Students want to learn in the NOW, not in the LATER. They know how to quickly access tools and find the information needed with visuals that we could only dream about receiving years ago.

4. There is NO limit on learning. It is an open highway. Where do you stand?
5. So when asked what technology skills do teachers need to have...ask yourself, what skills do your students have. Let them teach you. Turn them lose and give them a choice. They are not afraid to CLICK. It is their world.
6. Have you ever thought about the functions in the LEARNING PROCESS? The student has the ability to RECEIVE information, the student has the ability to PROCESS information, and the student has the ability to USE/EXPRESS information. How do you meet the expressive needs (oral expression, written expression, spelling, speaking, writing, encoding, doing, applying, demonstration, and understanding) of the learning process? Think about all the ways technology can enhance your curriculum in this area.

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