Amazing Kids

Amazing Kids

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Taking the Bull by the Horns: Technology in the Classroom

Okay, so I'm type A. I get that. Sometimes I get ahead of myself because I am more than a little enthusiastic about something, especially if I think it will help my students. I get that. So I get excited about using technology with the kids in my classroom, and using technology as a teacher to engage them and to make life a little more manageable for myself. It is part of my DNA. Sometimes that can be a good thing. Sometimes I fall flat. But even then I'm at least moving forward.

Today was an incredible day of learning for the Jackson (Michigan) County Intermediate School District teachers and administrators. We are leading the way in technology not only in our county, but in our state. It was exciting to be part of this incredibly talented and smart group of dedicated professionals who are not afraid to become a part of a culture born (in many cases) many years after they had already reached adulthood. I am included in that demographic, but have to admit that my personality has a lot to do with my risk-taking.

Our ISD technology put together a day call EdTech, in which some sessions had pre-set presenters and some sessions were based on attendees' desires, much like EdCamps that happen all over the place these days. There were sessions about Twitter, Googledocs, tech for encouraging reading and writing, iMovie, blogging, iPad apps, and the list goes on. There was even a very cool announcement about a new iPad app that was created 100% by students ranging from 4th grade to high school seniors and is now available for free! In fact, my students were involved in the creation of that app, so it put a lump in my throat when they brought the kids up and made the big announcement!

I am so very proud that our building principal, Ben (@benjamingilpin), led a session for educators (including administrators!) who want to become a part of the twitter educational community. I am so very proud of my fellow fourth grade teacher, Breanna (@studiobree), who engagingly spreads the great news of how accessible iMovie is for teachers and students alike. I am amazed that a one-year teacher, Lisa, is willing to share her expertise on Weebly with a room full of veteran teachers and administrators.

This evening I feel very proud, encouraged, and blessed to be part of a team of people who are completely committed to moving forward. While not every endeavor we attempt is a success, it is gratifying to know we are all willing to make that attempt, we have permission to make the attempts, and there are people around us who readily offer encouragement and listening ears when we need them.

By the way, if you're interested in knowing more about what our JCISD technology team pulled off today, here's the link to check out the day's events. It includes names of presenters and links to some of the resources from the day's sessions. There's plenty there!!

JCISD EdTech Home Page

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