The year is going strong and crazy. I love having so much more technology to use in the classroom. However, it is a leap of faith to use in the classroom. You never know when something is going to decide not to work as anticipated. Some of it is user error, some is random kinks, some is hardware issues. Irregardless, it is still something not working.
Stressing, pulling out hair, muttered expressions do not accomplish anything. For anyone who thinks creativity is not as essential in a technology driven society, they are wrong. Most of the work arounds for the issues that arise while I am teaching are highly creative.
I have also accepted that I can not solve all of my own problems. The students sometimes have great ideas. Even if their solution does not work, I am no worse off, and they are proud that they contributed.
I am tempted to make buttons that say ‘have you thanked an IT today?’ When everything seems dismal, help is only a phone call away. I can not image the user errors they have to solve.
Teachers are underestimated as resources. If we are all experimenting in our own classrooms, you are bound to encounter some issues. Most people are determined to figure it out. As long as we have our PLC or PLN and share our knowledge, we will be unstoppable. I think this especially true for Moodle. The course management system is constantly evolving, but it is not evolving fast enough to accommodate the large flux in users. On a daily basis we see the screen of failure: … Instead of having everything be managed and linked through Moodle, we are making use of other tools. Students were engaged yesterday (and impressed) that every time they hit refresh on the wiki there were more resources for them to utilize. I was creating the wiki page as they worked – since my entire lesson was Moodle based – and it was having a bad day. Some of the tools I found online yesterday for practicing/discussing conjugation:
- Burrito Builder AR & ER Verbs
- Conjugation Trainer
- Wall Wisher
- Study Stack
- Two of my favorite YouTube video resources are Tantofrito and SrMara
Finding resources takes time. But being willing to invest the time is what makes the difference between teaching with technology and learning occurring through technology. I go into every year willing to try new things. Some things work out spectacularly, some things are not as successful as I hoped for. As a teacher, we have to adapt to so many different situations – learning styles of students, physical constraints, time periods, and now technology. The adaptation for technology is a change in mindset. Teachers have to be willing to change the way they teach and the way they learn.
Current knowledge flows through blogs and wikis and PLNs, many graduate level classes can provide a trickle. By the time they would write a course proposal for new technology, it changes. I am sad that ClassTools.net is no longer functioning. I had just discovered it over the summer and enjoyed the simplicity and user friendly nature … so I will continue to explore until I find something to fill its place.