Forgive my portmanteau: I am operating on little sleep right now. A parent on my district’s unofficial Facebook group posed an interesting question of how technology is used, (or used poorly) in the classroom as the case may be. All I can speak to is my own experience, motivation, gumption, grit, and determination to continue and share my own relationship with technology and how I help students use it to their full advantage.

I am a digital pioneer, and still exploring the vast, unknown territories of technology.

Pardon, though, I’m going to take a well-deserved shortcut and post links to past posts concerning this very subject.

Here are the big ideas and guidelines I crafted:

  1. Technology must be used to access critical thinking skills
  2. Technology is to be used to create, publish, and share voices.
  3. Technology is a means to share information and the teachers’ roles are to help students question and challenge that information.
  4. Technology makes the virtual and real world more accessible.
  5. Teach that technology is a tool: use the tool to build.

This is a start to how I think of technology. Currently, my greatest joy is providing a blog space via Edublogs for my students to write. Everyone student has access, from a first-year English learner, physical or special needs, highly capable, and so forth. My middle school students don’t trust me at first when I say they can write anything unless it promotes harm or hate. I am, first and foremost, an ELA teacher, with writing as my area of expertise. I can share wonderful stories such as Humans of New York, Storycorp, This American Life, The Moth, and many more. I can share CrashCourse and VSauce Youtube channels, and Khan Academy. There are podcasts, collaborative, problem-based learning ideas, engineering, coding, writing, creating: the idea is to have students become creators of content, not just consumers. These don’t replace curriculum, but help students engage.

Note: this blog is my own teacher site. It is not shared with students, but other teachers from around the country in my PLN (Professional Learning Network.) It is not supported or sponsored in any way by my district. I pay for this and write on my own time. If you want to engage in a collaborative, constructive dialogue I am here.