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Riding4Him Riding4Him is offline
 
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Use of Technology in the classroom
Old 09-05-2019, 06:33 PM
 
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How much do you use technology in the classroom? I came from a school that had limited resources and very limited internet access. Now I'm at a school that is more affluent. Now I'm drowning in new curriculum and everywhere I look there is some technology part to add to the curriculum. My younger teaching partner is jumping right in and I feel left behind. I just want to get to the nuts and bolts of teaching. *I teach 3rd grade ) Am I being stubborn or is there a balance?


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Old 09-05-2019, 08:28 PM
 
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I also teach 3rd and I am the ed tech person for my site-so I use a lot. I am actually known for it, and I am not that young-36-so its not just a young folks thing. One of my teaching partners (who is much older than me but always up for a new challenge) is what I think of as a tech moderate-I set it all up and show her how to do and serve as her tech support (and she asks for help seriously almost daily) and her classes uses tech a little bit on most days. Another partner just isnt into it and she rarely uses it but each year she tries to incorporate 1 new thing. The third does...almost nothing-her chromebooks gather dust unless she has a behavior kid that she needs to send out of her room super often-then she sends them up to the office and has them play learning games so its not a total loss.

When I first came to my school though, I did very little since I was busy getting my feet wet, learning the curriculum, and what the third graders do (I had spent the previous 11 years in kinder or pre-k only aside from a little student teaching and 1 year co-teaching 5th 2 days a week so I felt totally overwhelmed just learning about what third grade was like).

If your partner isnt new to the school and/or the curriculum then of course she is more comfortable using the more complicated pieces like the tech components. People literally had no idea I had an interest in tech my first year. I just wasnt ready to embrace it along with all the other new stuff I trying to learn and I dont think thats unreasonable.

If you really want to try something so you dont feel left behind ask your partner which tech resource from the curriculum gives the most bang for its buck. Then learn and and start using that 1 thing when you feel comfortable.
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Old 09-05-2019, 10:13 PM
 
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I teach kinder so I use it very little. I feel very strongly that they need hands-on learning and practice as much as possible, as well as many opportunities as I can give for social and emotional learning. They get enough technology at home.
That said, I sometimes get my hand slapped for not using some apps enough.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:10 AM
 
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I am our new tech teacher. I used a good bit of tech, but tried to use it in ways to enhance the curriculum - not necessarily just for playing games (although a fair bit of that, too). I think moderation is the key. No kid needs to be on a device all day long. But it is also unrealistic to think we are preparing kids for a future if they never are taught how to navigate and use digital devices.
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Old 09-06-2019, 12:05 PM
 
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I'm recently retired from first grade and I did embrace technology in the classroom. I had the unofficial job of helping tech-challenged colleagues get a start. Here are some of the easier things that are probably already available to you with your new curricula.

> Quick introductory videos to kick off your ELA or math lesson of the day.
> Kids can play ELA and math games (which come with the curriculum and directly practice the lesson you have just taught) on Ipads, chrome books, or PCs.
> Bring up workbook pages on the smart board to help explain a difficult concept, to correct together, or you can have kids fill in the answers on the board.
> Look on youtube for concepts the kids are having trouble with. You may find a little song/video that the kids will relate to.

I bet your teaching partner wouldn't mind helping you with any of the above. Once you become more comfortable, you may want to find more ways to use tech.

And yes, it's important to have balance - technology, hands-on learning, and good old-fashioned teaching. Kids need to be comfortable with it all. I'm not worried about your more affluent kids who have plenty of technology experience at home. I was always thinking of my disadvantaged kids with little technology at home - I needed to make up for that or they would never be able to compete in the real world.


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Depends...
Old 09-06-2019, 03:50 PM
 
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My first school district had document cameras, Smartboards, and 1-1 iPads in every classroom, wireless keyboards for each grade levels, stylus's for each grade level, 2 laptop carts, a computer lab, green screen, all sorts of things. I used it all of the time. When I went to private schools, we didn't have as much and some of what we had didn't work/wasn't kept up. Now that I am in new school that has a lot of technology, I'm still not in the groove to use it all the time, but I hope I will get back in the groove.

However, at the same time, the older I get, I get concerned about the amount of time on devices at school. We've heard for so long about screen time and the dangers of it. Even when I was growing up, there was always parenting advice about limiting the amount of a time children spent on a screen. When I was in my first school with all of those devices, my friend and I counted how many hours a day our students spent in front of screens. Yes, they were doing educational things, but 3-5 hours a day! That's just at school, not at home! I worry about too much screen time and think there should be limits at schools, too!
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Old 09-06-2019, 03:56 PM
 
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I use it all the time. I want my kids proficient in technology. A lot of them have only ever used it as a toy. They need to know how to utilize it to help themselves not just entertain themselves.
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Old 09-06-2019, 05:43 PM
 
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I love using technology in the classroom, but only if it is truly useful and not just some random, unsupported technology.

Ive had a classroom with a SmartBoard, computer, and sound system for years. Id say at least 12 years. All of our classrooms have had that setup for maybe 8 to 10 years.

We are also 1:1 Chromebooks for grades 8 to 12.
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HS Math
Old 09-06-2019, 08:05 PM
 
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All classrooms are ~supposed~ to have a Mimio board, a projector, a document camera, and a sound system. We use BlackBoard for our LMS and all students and teachers have an Office 365 account (like Google Drive) with a district email.

My classroom suffered water damage from Hurricane Michael, so my Mimio board, document camera, and sound system don't work. My district is in the process of selecting vendors to upgrade all the classrooms with new technology, so that is why my room hasn't been fixed. It is supposed to be overhauled this summer.

All students are issued a MacBook Air and teachers are issued a MacBook Pro. Personally, I don't use the student laptops in class, that's just not my style. Our textbooks have an online component with some great videos, I tried a flipped classroom method but it didn't work for me and my students. I do, however, use them for homework using the Quiz feature on BlackBoard.

Our district recently adopted Examity for semester exams and for teachers to use. Since I have been on leave, I have not been allowed to play around with it. It's a really cool program that locks the computer during an exam so students cannot go on any other programs. I am considering using it for tests and quizzes once I get off leave and have a chance to play around with it.
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Do you use Think Central?
Old 09-07-2019, 05:27 PM
 
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I am using our Chromebooks much more often than I did when the Chromebooks were first introduced. An easy way for me to get started was to use our the options available to me with a math series, Think Central. It was very easy to go to the day's lesson and add electronic access to lesson specific skills easily. I did this often last year and I gained knowledge of what I could do nicely with their Chromebooks while they enjoyed learning/reinforcing what I was teaching in the classroom. Good luck.


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