Removing the “teacher hat” can allow you to reflect and contemplate the varying aspects and teaching methods within your classroom. Being on spring break has allowed me to do just that. What’s working? What would I change? What skills do the students need before the end of the year? How can I integrate technology to enhance student learning? Thinking about the last question led me to contemplate what technology skills students need to have. Is it enough that they can navigate a tablet and create amazing projects? Am I really driving home the concept of their digital footprint and do they truly understand what it means? Do they even need to know how to type effectively in a tablet-based society or is that skill becoming obsolete as well?
The rapidly, ever changing technology has led me to reflect on what exactly students should be learning. Should you be teaching to the present, or attempting at teaching to the future? Are fads in technology here or stay, or simply a fad?
Curious about what other educators thought on this topic, led me to twitter and a chat I participate in tonight, #mdeschat, whose focus was on tech tools in the elementary classroom. Here’s a summary of our discussion and the thoughts around technology and it’s place in the elementary classroom:
Question #1: Thinking about elementary students, what technology skills do you feel our students need these days?
Question #2: Given this wide range of skills students need to be exposed/master, how do we ensure that our schools offer kids experiences?
Question #3: What tech projects/tools have caught your teachers’/students’ interest recently? Where are you experimenting technologically?
Question #4: With so many skills and apps/sites/tools should we try to rein it in and plan an organized tech curriculum in elementary?
Question #5: How do you think elementary schools should be using social media?
Question #6: How can each school train students in DC?
Question #7: ?What are your top three favourite/recommended technology tools/sites/programs you recommend for everyone else
When it comes to technology, the answers seem to be endless and ever-changing, but also seem to build on previous skills. I think that in order to be an effective teacher in this day in age, you need to stay on top of the trends, and find the time to experiment. Don’t be scared! Learn from your colleagues and learn from your students. Remember we are all students of technology!