Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Reflective Day 2: Integrating one piece of technology

     Okay so today's post is about what piece (only ONE Michael) you want to integrate this year into your classroom. Narrowing this down to only one was difficult but since we are going to be a 1 to 1 building next year, I thought that using my MacBook (Pro or Air whatever we get) is a good simple goal.
     I have so much else I am using that I could have chosen, but here is why I picked the MacBook. First, I have been a PC guy my whole life and have used a PC for teaching since I first started way back in '93. I have used a digital grade book, word editing and now on line stuff. However, I have never, ever owned an Apple computer. While I am sure that it is real easy to pick up and learn (supposed to be more "user friendly") there are always little tips and tricks that I need to learn and master before the start of 2015-2016. We should be getting them in a month or so and even if they are later than that, it still gives me an entire semester to play around and use it. I learn by doing. Give me whatever and I will mess around and work with it.
     The second reason is pitching or selling the idea of 1 to 1. The idea is a great one: put a piece of high tech into the hands of every student and have them use it. But, if I do not use it or seemed completely lost or are not getting the most out of this great opportunity, then how can a 16 yr old high school student see the worth or value of it? If I am supposed to model what I teach, then how do I not model the MacBook? I firmly believe that no matter what you decide to do, if the teacher, the adult in the room does not have a full buy in and is not completely stoked on the idea, then incorporating ANYTHING is doomed to fail from day 1.
     A final reason has to do with the general trend towards integrating more technology and less reliance on textbooks and traditional materials. I do not believe that technology is the be all end all of education. However give me a piece of good technology and I will make the classroom more engaging and interesting for students. I can probably do that without a MacBook, but having that technology is just another tool that I can use to improve my instruction in the classroom.