Elementary Tech Bytes

Week of February 27

The Messy But Awesome Reality of 1:1

Three years ago, twenty seven iPads arrived in my classroom with twenty seven sets of eager eyes staring back at me anxiously awaiting to do something, anything on the devices. I knew the devices were coming, but there was still a sense of uncertainty and even a little bit of fear that came over me at the thought of trying something so completely different in my classroom. Yes, I had a pretty good handle on using technology, but this was a whole different ballgame.

Finally, after letting the devices sit a couple of days, I got tired of the students asking me a thousand times a day when we were going to use the iPads. I tried a simple digital citizenship lesson at first, and it worked seamlessly. I felt like a rockstar. The kids were excited. What was I so worried about? This iPad thing was easy.

The next day, I decided to go all in. Any type of creativity app I could throw at students, I did. You know what? It was probably the most epic fail of my career. Creativity apps? I couldn't even get them all logged on. I was overwhelmed with more problems than I could deal with. The kids were bouncing off the walls. In my frustration, I vowed that I was done.

Later that afternoon, as I drove home feeling slightly sorry for myself, I got to thinking. Yes, that entire scenario was a huge mess; however, I learned a lot from the disaster. Then, I had to laugh a little, because I acted just like my students when I gave them something difficult to attempt.

Over the next few weeks, I regrouped and started on a small scale. Did everything go right moving forward? It wasn't even close. However, every lesson got a little easier, and students caught on quickly. Things that initially took ten minutes to work through were completed in seconds. Looking back now three years later, the initial investment of time the first year was completely worth it. I was able to build on what I had done with my last class every year and provide students with some awesome experiences I wouldn't have been able to do otherwise.

A few thoughts as you get ready for next year...

  • Start small and keep progressing forward
  • Even on days when you feel like you can't, you can do this.
  • Don't worry if it doesn't go right the first time. There is always tomorrow.

Finally, please know that I'm here to support you with whatever you need. I absolutely do not have all the answers, but I will do whatever it takes to help you get them.
Fifth Grade Social Studies Resources

I've started pulling together technology integration resources that are aligned to fifth grade Indiana Academic Standards. This is still a work in progress, and I will start working on other subject areas shortly.

Anderson Technology Integration Website

As with the academic resources, this is still a work in progress. This website will house how-to guides, tutorials, and resources you may need as you transition to 1:1.