When teaching in a 21st century classroom it is impossible to avoid technology. This year, I have fully embraced it. This isn't to say that I haven't incorporated technology into my teaching and lesson planning, because I have for many years. However, this summer I finished my Ed Tech Endorsment and something shifted in me. A power and passion has driven me to a new motto. Create, Collaborate, and Contribute!
Yes. I have been using technology in my classroom, however, it wasn't in an authentic way. I see the world around us changing and if we don't change with it then what good are we to the students we teach? It is inevitable that our students will be challenged to use technology in many different ways from this day forth. And, unless there is an apocolypse (I'm certainly not crying dooms day) technology will continue to advance. I am thrilled by the myriad of options students have on a daily basis to contribute to the world. Of course, their is social media. But, how many students also have their own Youtube channels and add to them on a regular basis? More than I think we know.
Students are creative. They are young and full of life. They question everything. They want to know. They want to explore the world around them. With technology they have the ability to do that. Anything that sparks an interest can be explored through video, blogs, news articles, virtual tours, and more. To not introduce these methods of learning into my classroom is shameful. If my goal as a teacher is for my students to learn, then right now is the perfect time to share the world with them.
This week, my plan is to guide seventh grade students as they build their own websites. These websites will provide an avenue for creation, collaboration, and ultimately to contribute. Creating and maintaining a website will allow students to authentically interact with the world by sharing their thoughts on literature, current events, social issues and more. I have not allowed students this opportunity before. It will be an adventure. But, one I am ready to embark on.