It’s hard to believe that, at the end of this school year, I will mark 25 years of teaching.
Throughout that period, I have seen many trends come and go. One “trend” can no longer be labeled as such - technology! Three areas in which technology has elevated my teaching most are grades, communication and direct instruction. Changing from the old, paper gradebook to an online gradebook was a fabulous time-saver! Communication with parents has not only become instant, but it has made relationships easier to develop. Best of all, using technology in direct instruction has had the biggest impact in my classroom. Teaching with technological tools at my fingertips has come easily at times. Showing videos and getting students out of their seats to manipulate flip charts or record a response engages every learner no matter their skill level or learning style. I get excited when I find a new way to share age-old concepts. I also know that students retain information more fully when they see it presented in different ways. Even when technology fails, I’ve learned to use these moments as a life lesson with my students. What better way to prepare them for adulthood? Integrating technology into my direct instruction has taken longer than applications for gradebooks and communication. Some innovations have been instantly fun, while others have been a struggle. Demonstrating the perseverance required to incorporate these refinements into my teaching has also modeled for students how to meet the challenges we all face as we grow. A GREAT tool with numerous advantages in the classroom and in the real world, technology is here to stay!
Janice Holland 4th grade