By far and without question, the number one advancement in my 22 years in the classroom has been the improvement of technology. I laugh about my first year teaching because I can still remember advancing the filmstrip projector in my classroom as the cassette tape beeped.
At 45 years old, believe it or not, I’m a ‘tweener’ in education. I’m old enough that I still remember hand cranking xerox copy paper, overhead projectors and programming my mother’s VCR. However, I’m young enough to have not grown up with all the technology we have today, but need to up to date and ‘with it’ as to not lose touch with my students. If I was 60 and close to retirement, I wouldn’t invest in getting to learn the tech as much, but I still have a lot of time left on the front lines with kids so I need to embrace it. I have two game changers for you this week that have completely changed my teaching career.
The first one is Google classroom. (I know, old news) However, the level of organization, communication and overall was of GC is amazing. I have been using it for about three years now and it really has been a difference maker for me as a teacher. It has been so awesome because it allows me to drastically cut down on paperwork, it lets me communicate with my students electronically and finally, it’s a storage tool for all of my class content over the course of years. The Google Teacher Center is an incredible place to learn all about everything that is Google Classroom.
The second one is Remind. I have used Remind for probably five or six years now and I can’t sing its praises enough. Remind is an free texting app that allows teachers and students to communicate with each other while not directly texting each other. It doesn’t show anyone’s phone number (including yours), it allows you to schedule texts (this is an amazing feature) ahead of time and its platform is really simple to use.
Most importantly with both of these, student’s find them really easy to use and like the platforms. I’m not going to go as far to say student’s LOVE the platforms (they do like them) however, the LOVE what the platforms provide for them… Timely information, easy reminders and a quick way to access you.
Whatever the technology is that makes you better with kids do three things…
- Become an expert at it
- USE it often
- Share with other educators in your building why you use it
You can be bitter about all the tech or you can embrace it. My suggestion is to do the latter.
Have a great week!