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Students, Technology Integration, and the 1st Week of School…Oh my….

Can you believe that it’s already the middle of September? I swear this school year is on roller skates. Despite how fast time is flying by, the school year is going amazingly well and I am hopeful that my students and I will accomplish all of our learning goals. In particular, one of our primary goals this year is for students to gain mastery over several 21st century technologies.

To accomplish this goal, we began the school year differently. Normally, I begin technology integration towards the beginning of the second semester versus incorporating technology at the very beginning. However, I cannot really defend my usual rationale for waiting until second semester. Honestly, my reasons for waiting to integrate technology are merely based on fear. Fear of the chaos of the beginning of the school year, not knowing my students’ learning styles, and more importantly not wanting to taking on the level of frustration that is naturally associated with teaching technology as an English teacher.

Oh …I’m tech savvy, but the level of patience I have to teach students how to read and write better does not seem to kick in when I have to teach technology basics to teens who should have tech savvy, but more often than not do not. Added to this chaos, teaching technology at school means navigating around slow internet connections, nonsensically blocked internet sites, malfunctioning computers, and coping with only a finite amount of time to teach so much in spite of having double blocked classes.

 

Our number 1 rule of the week was “Do not panic!” In reality, I am not sure if that rule was really for my students or more for me. However, I definitely underestimated myself and my students. What worked in my favor was being able to work in the library the entire week and being able to use the library computers as well as a cart of COWs (computers on wheels). What was the most unfortunate of the week was the glacial pace of using the internet with 30 students on one Wi-Fi port. The initial slow pace of internet turned a 3-day technology integration into a 5-day workshop. Beyond that, the other major issues were managing the number of students who added and dropped the course, remediating the late entry students up with the technology that was previously taught, and eliminating instances where students created multiple accounts accidentally.

Ultimately, we all survived the technology integration of week #1 and as a result my students now know how use multiple features of Edmodo, have a set up blog on http://kidblog.org, a professional Gmail address, and working knowledge of how to use and collaborate with one another on Google Docs.

So teachers, what are you “fearful” of trying in the classroom and how will you over this obstacle to take your classroom and student learning to new heights? As usual, I welcome all commentary and please remember to share my blog with a teacher near you.

 

Date

Day

Author

Title

Themes

September 17 Monday Lisa Parisi The First Week of School for the 29th Time

Motivation

September 18 Tuesday Daniel Edwards Flipping Your Classroom? 5 Learning Ideas

Technology

September 19 Wednesday Heather Mullins Reading and Writing Resources

Writing

September 20 Thursday Brian Tracy The Seven C’s Of Success

Therapeutic Musings

September 21 Friday

Having the Right Attitude

Focus

September 22 Saturday

Awesome Ways Schools Can Use G+ Hangouts

Strategies for Teaching

September 23 Sunday John Bossong 3 Steps That Will Help You Start Leading

Success & Leadership

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