This is part of Maria Perryman's Getting Better Together work. Maria and all the Teaching Channel Laureates are going public with their practice and seeking support in getting better from colleagues and the Tch community.
Technology is moving at such a fast pace. I'm trying to keep up with it, yet I can't seem to fully grasp it. I've embraced social media by using Facebook and Twitter, and I just recently added Instagram. I've even tried Periscope!
As an educator, I feel as though I should know more about technology and eventually master it, so I can keep up with my students and be my best for them. Last school year I was very fortunate to have a student who was a technology guru. He helped solve some major technical problems that we would have had to otherwise call the district tech department to come out and fix. He was in total charge of all my technology.
I must have thought I would have him as my student forever, because I didn't take the time to learn from him. Well, as the saying goes, you don't know how good something is until it’s gone. This is one reason why I decided to focus on getting better with technology - and to try blogging, both for myself and with my students.
Another reason why I want to focus on learning more about technology -- and blogging in particular -- is because my students live and breath in a world where everyone has a smart phone and most homes have internet in some capacity. I've seen toddlers who know how to take selfies! For our students, technology is a way of life. But then they come to school and they're not afforded opportunities to learn with the tools that they're used to, or the tools that they'll need to use when they enter the workforce.
Using technology becomes one sided for my students. They only use it for socializing and don't know how powerful it can be for learning. We can't assume that just because our students are savvy at texting or gaming that they know how to utilize technology for its educational benefits. As an educator, it's my duty to become technologically savvy and teach my students how to learn with technology, but this won't happen until I become comfortable with using it myself as a tool for learning.
How do I get started? After seeking advice from Teaching Channel, I decided to reach out to fellow laureate Kristin Gray. She has experience writing blogs, has her own blogging site, and is very knowledgeable about technology. We set up a time to talk through my concerns, fears, and questions so that I could move forward. We used Google Hangouts on Air, which I'd never used before. I loved our session, and I loved Google Hangouts. It was great to actually see Kristin as we talked! Technology is awesome. We accomplished plenty during that session, and I'm now ready to begin my journey in blogging.
My first step was to write this blog. Check! My next step is to set up my own blog. Even though I'm very nervous about this venture, I know blogging can be fun. I'm looking forward to networking with other bloggers and educators, and I hope to write blogs that share who we are. Educators are people first, and we wear many different hats in and out of the classroom. Every day is a different adventure and I want to capture this full range of experience in my blog.
I'll also include my students in this process. There are many ways to teach students how to learn with technology, and I want them to begin by embracing blogging. I hope that they'll enjoy blogging about the literature they're reading. Soon, after my students present oral book reports, I want them to turn their reports into blog posts. I'll utilize kidblog.com for this project.
Once my students are used to the process of writing blogs, they'll be given the choice of continuing to write them, and picking topics of their own. They might even develop their own blog sites. I'm excited to see what my students decide to do with their blogging.
Let's get better together. Please walk with me as I go through this blogging process. And if you have blogging tips - for me as a blogger or me as a teacher who wants her students to blog - please let me know!