As much as it pains me to think – the start of the new school year will be here soon. There were some technology usage that went outstanding last year and there were some failures. Because of both the success and the failure (or maybe better described as blinding frustration), I have the following technology goals for this school year:
Continue with the daily class blogs. Overall the blogs were successful – even if the students resented having to check the blog to see what they missed instead of just asking the teacher. Parents were able to get an RSS feed of the blog so they should never have been surprised when their child announced a project was due the next day or claims they never have Spanish homework. Below are an example of a 6th grade class blog and an 8th grade class blog (both for Spanish class).
There are some changes to my initial goals with the blogs: there needs to be more tagging so that the students can easily find any information they need. I wanted to add more pages – with embedded Google Forms which will help with managing absent students, student info, etc. I plan on being a better role model and making sure all my sources are licensed creative commons and that I give credit. Last year about 90% to 95% of the work fit into that category, but if I expect the students to search for creative commons, the number needs to be 100%. Normally it is not an issue because I create so many of my own resources. That is another change for this year – I need to regain some of my personal life. I will reuse as many of the resources as possible, but I refuse to feel obligated to create the perfect graphic if I can’t find it on my own.
Another goal for next year – have better Plan B and Plan C. There frequently are issues with technology. I promise myself that I will not stress myself over something I can not change – like the Internet not working, Moodle crashing, or laptops randomly shutting off. I can not change it; therefore, I will not let it ruin my day. If I have better backup plans, I will be able to smile and move on.
At the end of the school year I asked the students to take a technology survey – there response to two of the questions is below.
The data tells me that I should continue to incorporate technology into the lesson. I need to make sure there are more opportunities for the students to come up to the Interactive Whiteboard, because they all enjoy that (especially when it is called ‘being the teacher’ and they are given control of the pen and can call on their classmates). Hopefully there are opportunities this year to sign out the mini-laptop cart. While there were some frustrations, using any type of technology was still highly engaging and motivating.