Day 86: Presenting Technology to Our PTSA
Awe, shucks! I didn’t think I was doing all that much more integrating technology into my classroom than anyone else, especially the young teachers. But I must be. Last week, I was part of a panel of 4 teachers which presented to our PTSA; they continue to be interested in how iPads are being used since the technology levy passed that enabled the high school to be a one-to-one iPad school. We all had very different ways we used the iPad and technology in our classrooms. It was so exciting to see what others are doing!
I think I have always been an education tech junkie from my earliest days…having a Commador Pet computer in my first classroom and using the overhead projector (yes, that was high tech back in the Stone Ages) in innovative ways. For my first geometry classes, I used the school computer lab with Geometer Sketchpad to do explorations and develop conjecturing. Over the years, I’ve incorporated various mathematical software such as Fathom, TI-Interactive and TI Student Software to enhance student learning and projects. I was one of the first teachers at the time to have a website that was a go-to resource for my students. I clamored to be on any tech committees in the building I’ve taught.
As the years went by, I began using the TI-81 graphing calculator and have used all of its variations since (except for the TI-91). When I could get a grant written and approved, I purchased and use the TI-Navigator as my first student response systems. I also advocated for a SmartBoard (actually an ActivBoard by Promethean) when they were first available. And used the Promethean Clicker System as well.
Once the internet became readily available in schools and students had access, I began to explore how to use online resources to enhance conceptual learning. Geogebra, Desmos, Quizlet and various applets have made their way into my classroom over the years. In addition, once we became a one-to-one iPad school, I looked for ways to actively engage students through online student response systems such as Socrative, Kahoot!, NearPod, etc.
But I must say that a few years ago, I felt overwhelmed with all of the new possibilities and felt I wasn’t keeping up. I don’t have an educational technology degree so I sought out those that did to help me keep up. As I puruse various blogs and Twitter, I am in awe of what some teachers out there are doing.
Although I have tried many things, I find that there are still a few tried and true technologies that are consistently used in my classroom: TI-Nspire and Navigator, iPad apps that include Notability, Geogebra, Khan Academy, Quizlet and Desmos, internet sites including MathXLforSchools, GradeCam, our online textbooks, Rice University stat simulations, RossmanChance simulations and our current learning management system, Schoology. These are the things I shared in my presentation.
I hope to keep things fresh and alive for my students and technology seems to be the way to support them in an engaging and meaningful way.