My favorite and most useful apps that I have used during this project are Dragon Dictation and Haiku Deck. Both of these apps were use frequently by a student who would have otherwise needed someone to sit with him to scribe. Dragon Dictation enabled him to independently respond to questions in Math, Social Studies and Science. In LA he was able to create pieces of writing within a reasonable time frame as well. Haiku deck was used to help students learn high frequency words in LA. In Social and Science it was used to demonstrate understanding of concepts using pictures and short statements.
I can’t say I have had any “A-ha” moments when using social media, but I can say it has changed the way I teach. Social media has given teachers a way to share what they are doing in the classroom without feeling like they are “bragging”. When I am needing ideas all I have to do is ask and surely someone has something valuable to share. If I think I have done something of value, I just have to blog about it and share the link…it is there for others should they find it useful. It has completely changed how I share what I am doing in my classroom, as well as how I get ideas for my classroom. I still use google, but it certainly isn’t the only place I go.
I believe that the process of transitioning from the traditional way of doing things to the more technological way of doing things is more complex for some than others. Because of this, I feel like it was important to introduce all that we have learned at the sessions we completed, and to let staff know that we are here to help as they need it. I feel like my “session” is ongoing. I like to talk to people one on one about where they are in their own journey and then provide suggestions for next steps. I feel like technology can be extremely intimidating to those who are “reluctant” and unsure. I think it is important that we support and encourage them from where they are, rather than making them feel like they should be at a point that they are not yet at.
The positive impact that technology can have in the classroom from both the student and teacher perspective is undeniable, and therefore I believe it is essential that I demonstrate how “simple” it can make what we do, when it is used effectively. It is very challenging however for people to understand and accept that it is not “just one thing”, but that it does require a change in practice. My journey as a “Learning Leader” will most definitely continue, and I am hopeful that I can make a difference in both my students way of learning and my colleagues way of teaching.