Reflective Teaching Challenge Day Two: Write about one piece of technology that you would like to try this year, and why. You might also write about what you’re hoping to see out of this edtech integration.
As someone who loves the tradition embedded in pen and paper, the sound of the spine of a book as it hesitantly cracks open for the first time, I do actually have an appreciation for technology in the classroom. I do own an iPad mini and have used it in the classroom. Our school does not have 1:1 technology, but we do fairly well with what we have: three media centers, two laptop carts, and Promethean Boards in almost all of our classrooms; a far cry from the Stone AgesAKA the 80s.
Right now, I’m not interested in implementing new technology, but figuring out how to use the technology that I currently possess in a more meaningful way. There are three apps for my iPad mini that I have begun to use in the classroom just recently.
This is a fabulous app that allows its user to create Notebooks that are filled with notes, pictures, website links, lists, and charts in an organized manner. By creating tags, Evernote users are able to easily navigate and relocate notes that they have taken in the past. For myself and the classroom purpose, I am able to collect artifacts and websites together from all over the internet in one place. This app also has a desktop program and internet-based site that syncs all platforms together for ease of access no matter where you go.
This is an amazing app that I discovered through my use of Evernote. After creating an account online, you’re able to create templates for all sorts of surveys, assessments, and inventories. It also comes with access to hundreds of pre-made templates that you can customize. Once a template has been created, it can be easily accessed in the app for an iPad or iPhone. I’ve used this app in the classroom on several occasions, but I am mostly proud of utilizing it in my English classes when I conference with students about their various drafts of essays. I am able to quickly take notes on their draft, record this for future reflections, and set goals for future meetings. Here is a snapshot of one such document:
3. Google Drive
I’m sure that most people have heard of “the cloud,” but I wasn’t exactly sure what that meant until over the summer. I attended a conference in which all our documents were located within our teacher’s Google Drive. She gave us access and were simply transitioned her documents onto a flash drive. I have been utilizing an external hard rive for all of my vital documents: lesson plans, unit plans, assessments, and my personal photo library. I recently had a scare in that I couldn’t access those documents, and I feared that all of my years of handwork and memories were gone. Luckily, I was able to get them back and learned that day that I need a backup system. I spent three days uploading all of my documents to my Google Drive, and I am no longer married to keeping track of my flash drives or worrying that something could happen to them. With utilizing Google Drive, I am able to access my school documents at work, at home, and other people’s classrooms.