It is interesting to take a few minutes out to reflect on my own use of “devices” in the classroom as I enter a transition period from a classroom teacher to a technology integration coach. I’ve always been the informal “techie” guy in my schools. At one point I actually made some fake billing documents to send my peers when I helped them with their VCRs and frozen computer screens. Now I’m in what might be my last year in the classroom for awhile. A good time to reflect.
Interestingly enough, I’m probably at the lowest level of device use that I’ve ever had. Ironic, as I’m in a private international school with a bring your own device program instead of a public school in the States. I currently rely primarily on student laptops and a projector as my devices. I have access to a Mimio board, but even with strategically applied tape to the cord, it doesn’t quite want to work.
In the past I’ve had iPods, iPads, and an ActivBoard (I miss you buddy) with which my usage was approaching somewhat of a Jedi Master level. I had kids creating podcasts, movies, App Smashing, before I knew what that even was, and enjoying some very interactive classes thanks to the ActivResponse units (dubbed OrangeBerries by my students).
I was also in on the ground level of getting all of this technology in our school in varying ways. From just making a good case for the technology to winning multiple grants and purchasing the iPads for my own classroom, I was definitely pushing for something new in our school and leading the way for those around me.
My current school has iPads, but they’re housed in the library on the other side of campus. Out of sight, out of mind. I think this might be the time to start thinking about how I can reintegrate them into my classes to rebuild some of my street cred as a tech coach. We all know there’s nothing worse than the guy coming in to help you and telling you all about the things he used to do five to ten years ago.
I have one more semester in the classroom before I transition into my new role full time. I’m going to use this semester to really think about how to use what is available at our school for the most benefit of my students. In the past I may have been working to fit the lesson into the technology. Over the years, I’ve learned this obviously isn’t the best way. I’m excited to challenge my self here and see how I have grown in my use of devices in the classroom.