The other day, my mom mentioned that her friend, who has been a teacher for 25 years, has decided to retire. She’s still an active and vibrant 50 something woman, and still loves teaching. When my mom asked her why she’d decided to retire now, she replied “teaching is changing, they are starting to use so much more technology and I don’t have the energy to keep up, or learn new things at this point in my career”. This really struck me – it’s clear that my mom’s friend feels like she’s stretching to keep up with those who have embraced using technology in their classroom. I can sort of relate… Before this course, I really hadn’t given much thought to using technology in the classroom and I didn’t really want to! I assumed it would be a burden, and just another new ‘thing’ I would have to make time to learn about. Needless to say, I was a little bit reluctant to take Using ICT in Education. But as the course went on, I found myself more and more interested in what we were learning about from Dr. Nantais and through reading Kathy Cassidy’s book, Connected From the Start. I now feel that I cannot close the door on using technology in my classroom. I would even go so far as to say that I don’t think teachers should have an option not to use technology anymore. I know that is a bold statement, especially coming from someone who had zero plans to integrate technology into my classroom program and bordered on being “tech illiterate” before this course. I’m not saying that I think teachers somehow need to get their classrooms outfitted with iPads or that you have to find a classroom somewhere in New Zealand to Skype with, but I personally think that I would be doing my students a disservice if I didn’t give use technology in my classroom, or at least give them some choice to use it. We’ve heard a lot throughout the education program that children need culturally relevant authentic learning experiences, etc., etc. Well I can’t think of anything more culturally relevant today than using technology! We all use it in some form or another, and most of us rely on it. I’m still not sure how I will integrate technology, or to what extent but I know that it’s something I need to incorporate somehow. I liked Kathy Cassidy’s advice, which is to “start with just one thing”–after nine weeks in Using ICT, we’ve learned lots of “things”, so I’ve got a lot to choose from!
Thank you for great nine weeks or learning Dr. Nantais!
There are a couple of last things I want to share…
Usually if I’m surfing the internet for education blogs, it hasn’t really got anything to do with ICT, but now I find myself going so much deeper into the blogosphere searching for teachers who are talking tech. You can find so many helpful ideas, links and resources. The latest blogger I came across is Erintegration. She shares so many creative ideas for using technology in the classroom. On her blog, I found a resource that I think is worth sharing called Homeroom. It’s like Instagram, but it’s private and you only connect with the parents of the classroom. I like the idea of this because our phones are so accessible, we can be taking photos and sharing snippets of what’s going on in our classroom rather than having to maintain a blog. It’s also great because it can be accessed on a computer, iPad or phone–whatever parents prefer.
Through my online travels, I also found this site called BloomBoard — it’s basically a website that is all things Education. Other Educator’s use it to make ‘collections’ to share resources and strategies for teachers and learners. It’s like Pinterest, but it only links to other articles. The collection I wanted to share on here is called Making Peace with Technology and it provides links to a ton of other ICT resources and tools.