a "Can of Paint" in the classroom
New Technology in a Classroom
Whether you are going to conferences or simply searching the internet for ideas, you eventually end up looking at new technology. As a teacher there are so many things that get mentioned at meetings that I want to scream. Many years ago when we first received teacher iPads on my campus, I was terrified of how they would use it in the classroom. Honestly, I am still. Technology can't be just thrown into a classroom and hope it will work. I think of it as a can of paint.
Step 1: Open the “can of paint”
In the classroom, it does us no good unless you first open it up. In order to yield any desirable results though, you must know what to do with it. Pouring it out and hoping the kids figure it out won't benefit anyone. This is a tough step because we are so comfortable with what we are doing. It can also be very overwhelming if you are trying to learn 3 or more apps or techniques at once. Take it easy and limit to 1 or 2.
Step 2: Know what to do with it
When I taught PD on iPads, I would make sure that the teachers are using the device daily. They need to be comfortable with any technology they come in contact. Daily use and understanding about its capabilities and limitations are what makes you better. I told them that they needed to use it to take pictures of their families, use it pull up a recipe or plan a trip with their friends. These tasks are similar to what you might have the students doing in a lesson. Knowing how to navigate is huge in this era of fast-paced living. Any downtime in a classroom as you fumble with technology loses the attention and engagement you worked so hard to create.
Step 3: Be willing to get messy
So you have a grasp of classroom management and have done steps 1 & 2. Now it is time to stop being nervous. So often when I bring new tech into the classroom, I freak out a bit. I forget to trust myself and that I know what to do with it since I have been using it for a while. Be confident in your prep work and daily use to "paint" away. You will mess up but your willingness to try in front of the students will breakdown some walls for them too.
Open the "can of paint" and get after it.
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