TAG - It's All A Bunch of Turkey
TC Tech Team Newsletter - November
Here is an overview video for using SWANK - https://youtu.be/deB1pfSmF1w
- Login to Clever
- Click on Swank icon (bottom of page)
- Login the first time - email@example.com, pw - Warriors1 (after the 1st time, it will remember your login information)
Great Youtube Subscription - Tech Tuesday
I would encourage you to subscribe to Daniel's tech videos on Youtube via the link below. Daniel is the technology guru at First District RESA with a wealth of knowledge on digital tools for the classroom. He has instructional videos on so many digital resources. Go check out his channel on Youtube.
Don't Get Caught in the Groupwise Trap
Don't Take the Bite with Online Shopping
Many of us shop online but will be doing more of this in the next few months. Make sure you don't take the bite from an online shopping scheme. What in the world do I mean by that? Basically, double check those urls and make sure they are legitimate. If it is too good to be true, then bail because it is probably a scam.
Check out this article for ways to protect yourself when you are shopping online.
Maybe Instructional Technology is a Bunch of Turkey
Now that I got your attention, let's talk about the use of technology in the classroom. The truth is that technology can be a bunch of turkey when it is used as a "glorified" chalkboard or worksheet. As one of Bob Dylan's songs states, The Times They Are a-Changin'. We can choose to change with them or else we can remain stagnant in what we are doing and lose most of our learners.
I recently read an article (https://tinyurl.com/4n96922p) that listed the top five reasons we use technology in the classroom. I have listed these reasons but put my "spin" on each.
1. Creates a more engaged learning environment - Our students live in a fast paced society. Everything is constantly trying to grab their attention. Think about what our students are doing the majority of their day - Tiktok, Snapchat, Instagram, gaming, and texting....well maybe texting? Ok Millenials, Gen Xers, and Boomers....our students are not using Facebook like us. I know that probably surprises many of you but it is the reality for our students (Gen Z or iGen). Things are constantly flashing and moving in their world and technology allows us to reach them in that world.
2. Incorporates different learning styles - All of us know we learn in different ways. I learn best when I see and hear something (spatial/auditory). My husband would rather be actively engaged and working with something (kinesthetic). I know you get it. Technology gives you the tool to provide the style the learner needs. You may have a student that is good with creating an infographic or Google slide. Technology allows you to easily adjust to provide these options for your students.
3. Improves collaboration - Just think about how we use Google today. Who would have ever thought we would take something like a Word document and have multiple people working at one time on it? Better yet...most all Google products will allow you to work together to create it. It is all about working together to create a final product.
4. Prepares students for their future - Let's just think about the many things that our students will encounter that we have no clue that it is out there. One example is the bitcoin. Just think this is a digital currency that was created by a group or individual...no one really knows...that is not connected to a central bank or administrator. This past September, El Salvador was the first country to accept it as an official form of currency. Most of us do not even have a clue about digital currency but that is the world our students will encounter in the near future. The new things they will encounter are beyond our imagination, but we need to give them the skills to explore and create these new things.
5. Connects you with your students - How do many of us communicate with our students and staff today? It is definitely NOT over the phone...voice anyway. We use Remind, Class Dojo, Google Classroom, Google Meets, class pages/sites, social media, and digital newsletters. As an administrator, I made many attempted phone calls home but would then resort to text or FB messenger before I could get a parent to answer me. Even though I like to have an audible conversation with someone, it is easier and more convenient to communicate via one of the digital tools. Our students will connect with us via these technological resources.
I cannot say it enough. We must meet our students in their world. Technology allows us to do this. I visited a fully digital classroom earlier this week, and it was amazing to watch the students interact with the technology. I knew many of the students in the classroom, and all of the students were engaged and motivated. It was a very powerful experience. Check out what others are doing. Share your technology ideas with one another. Never hesitate to call us to come visit your classroom, if you are using a technology tool. That is the way we learn! We are here to support you and your students!