This has been quite a year. My first real North American teaching gig. My first son was born. My first year of pushing collaborative learning and tech on my classes. There were a ton of headaches and rewards. I hope my students learned a lot because I know that I learned a lot on the job this year too.
I really missed the mark with a few technological ventures, but luckily, I discovered Google Apps this year. It has taken a lot of tweaking, and now I’m really excited for next year. I’ve used the shared Docs for notes and terms. I’ve shared slides on Presenter before exams. I’ve distributed and auto-corrected quizzes with Forms. Actually, the quizzes have been a pleasant surprise. They are a great chance to get some formative feedback from the students, so I can shape future lessons. The students can take the quizzes inside or outside of class, and lately they’ve felt a bit challenged by other random quiz takers since the Form is available online.
I’ve never been a big fan of Apple products, but I’ve also enjoyed how much of an impact they’ve had on my class. Today my students were wandering about taking pictures for a visual media unit. When we got back to class, the students sorted their photos and presented them with Apple TV. A few students were excited to beam their photos in front of their peers, and a few others were scared that they had downloaded their whole camera roll to me.
All in all, this year has been great for collaboration both in class and out, and I know that I will continue to learn and share that learning with my future students.