Hello fellow teachers! I am a 4th grade teacher up in Schiller Park, IL which is about a mile outside of the NW city limits of Chicago and literally right across the street from OHare Airport. I enjoy teaching so much and am working really hard this year at integrating technology. I have been reading so much of how this generation of learners are so different from us. Although I am in my late 20's, I still feel like an ancient fossil compared to them in the computer world. At the beginning of the month, I started a class blog with them on edublogs. Each week we post what we have done on Friday. They really like the whole project. Today I had a big "Ah Ha!" moment. Although I was the only one typing while they were dictating the words to me, they were so ENGAGED. They were listening to each other (even though 3/4 of the time they were speaking over each other) and they were working on word choice without even knowing it. They were helping each other pick more "colorful" words, as we say in our classroom. I was so taken back. As we proofread it before we publish it, I always have a few students read part of the entry. I can't believe how many kids caught some of my typos! They were really on the ball. So for those 15 minutes that we spent blogging during Writing this morning, we were able to work on summarizing, word choice, conventions, and voice! I know I'm a novice, but this was a big awakening for me.
Our technology director came in yesterday to team teach with me. She brought in a set of Renaissance Responders. She had made up a quick Powerpoint about fractions which was a small review for my class. They used their responders to type in their answers and send it to the computer. Again, they were so engaged. I really liked them, but was wondering if anyone out there in the techy world has used these for "greater" purposes than to get a read on how the class is doing as a whole on certain topics? I feel like I just chipped at the ice with these gadgets.
I'm so ready and willing to integrate technology at a higher rate for the remainder of the school year as well as next. I am inspired by what I read so many of you are doing in your classrooms. I think that it's so impressive! I am so excited to learn more!