Being a Tech-Savvy Educator

I recently came across an article written by Laura Devaney entitled 10 ways to tell you’re a tech-savvy educator. The article is about how having certain characteristics when it comes to tech will help you be more comfortable with it and be able to use it in an efficient manner in your classroom. In this blog post I will be reflecting on the article and sharing with you the characteristic I already have and the ones I still continue to work on. I for one feel like many of the 10 characteristics that they list fit me but the ability to embrace new technology fits me the best. As an educator I not only love to teach but I also thrive on learning new things about technology. Technology in the classroom will make for a more engaged class and an engaged class is a class that loves to learn.

As I continued to look over this list I noticed that I do not have all the characteristics in this list and I want to be able to have those as well. The one I really want to strive towards is to be a part of an international help desk. I want to be able to talk to more than just my colleagues and my community about education and the use of technology in the classroom. The second one I want to have is to be able to speak tech in a more fluent manner. I may have a deep understanding of technology but often times my vocabulary is lacking when it comes to talking tech and I wish to improve upon this.

Over all this was in fact a great article but some of the characteristics Devaney listed I do not think are truly necessary to be a great educator that is tech-savvy. There was one in particular characteristic in this article that I did not favor and that was number 5. The fifth characteristic was about Twitter. I feel there are all kinds of ways to be informed in the classroom and this would not be my top choice to receive information. My reason being I am not a huge fan of Twitter. This is a personal preference so I would use it if it became a need. However, I feel there are many ways to find out about what is happening in the world of education and by opting out of this one thing it will not hinder my ability to be tech-savvy in the classroom.

The last thing about this article is that I really feel it was missing one characteristic. I wanted to add to the list the need to know how to use keyboard shortcuts. Shortcuts are a time savor and at times a teacher’s savior. Knowing just some basic commands such as undo, copy, and paste can make the job of an educator, who has to type up worksheets, tests, or what have you, so much easier. As an educator I will benefit from being able to use shortcuts on a computer without my hands ever leaving the keyboard.

At Risk Students in an Inovative Classroom

In the article 5 Keys to Using Technology To Help At-Risk Students by Christopher Piehler, a report is summarized. This article shares with educators on how important it is for students that are at risk to have access to technology at school. The reasoning behind this benefit is that students learn from many different teaching styles including hands on, listening, and visual. Technology touches on all three of these and can give the feeling of not just being an environment where structured learning takes place but also gives more opportunity for the things I teach my students to be applied in a more meaningful way. I want my at risk students to feel like school is important and for them to feel like they can achieve just as much as my students that are not at risk.
Technology through education can help these at risk students by giving them access to the internet that they may not have at home. It will make researching easier for them through the use of their tablet on the school’s WI-FI. I want all my students to be able get closer to their goals and to have the resources they need to get there.

My Ideal Classroom

If I could have the classroom of my dreams I would be teaching second or third grade and all of my kids would have tablets at a ratio of one to one that they could use through out the day. I would have a smart board and a document camera so that my students and I could use some of today’s technology to its full potential. These tablets that the students would have would enable them to have a more hands on experience in the classroom since many studies have shown that by having a very interactive classroom your students will get more from it. My students would have access to the internet while in my classroom which would create a more equal playing field for some of those kids that do not have internet or a computer that they are allowed to use at home. This would make it possible for them to use the programs and websites I want them to use through access to my Symbaloo account.

If the classroom allows it I would love to be able to arrange the student’s desks in such a way that all of them feel like they are involved in the class such as in the shape of the letter U.

My Classroom Priorities

In the classroom, some of the main priorities I would focus on would be giving students that one to one time on their tablets, letting them apply what they learn to things they care about, and promoting group activities and projects.
Giving students that one to one time with technology will not only help them become stronger with technology but it will also help them to focus on the task at hand.
I want my students to feel like what they learn is important and can be applied into the real world whether it is just through watching videos on my smart board about people in different careers or if it is doing a story problem that has their favorite book character in it.
Using their tablets on projects whether in groups or by themselves will give them the chance to be creative and to create their own content. I hope that through this they feel more motivated and proud of their work.

The bottom line is this:
I want to be able to provide my students with all the advantages that I can give them and technology can help them achieve their goals.
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