Day 2: 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.
In the past several years, I have used a lot of technology in my teaching. I love to be an early adopter and try new things. I've had great success with student blogs, iPads, Chromebooks and, towards the end of last year, students experimenting with MaKey MaKey and Sphero (one of my grade 6 students created both of those videos to present at a conference for teachers last year!).
Feedback from parents last year was that they wondered about how much time should be spent using educational technology. It is something I certainly consider long and hard. With a class set of Chromebooks last year, the Rainbow Eggheads had access to devices at anytime. We were able to collaborate and create every single day. Easily. It was transformative to my teaching and to the learning of my students.
This year, I have a much younger group, many of whom I will be introducing to the Google Drive for the first time. I look forward to having them work with the Drive and Chromebooks, but know that I'll have to start slowly. I will experiment with text to speech software and screencasting with this group in order to allow them to communicate and share their learning orally and visually as well as in writing.
A huge theme for my class this year is Imagineering. We took apart the word today and they recognized that it was made up of Imagination + Engineering. They each started an Imaginnering notebook today. We'll use these books to plan, dream and develop ideas. I look forward to working with the students on multi-disciplinary projects where we can use elements of the Maker Movement. My students independently figured out MaKey MaKey and Sphero last year. They know a lot more about each of them than I do. This year, I am going to make a point to play with the tools alongside the students and learn together.
My amazing co-teacher (she'll be in the class 2 afternoons a week this term) and I are planning challenges for our students to Imagineer their learning through projects inspired by Hitchbot and theme parks, just to get started! I can't even wait to see what we create in Room 209!