Thursday, June 26, 2008

What will you do different next year?

Over the past week or so, I have had a lot of time to think about how I use technology in my classroom. I am helping to create the Computer and Technology Literacy curriculum that our 7th graders will use in our district, and in so doing, have had to look at what I use in my own classroom.

My findings? I do use more than the average teacher, but I don't do nearly as much as I would like. I think for next year, I am going to try to do even more. How you ask? Just by a little creative thinking.

Here are some of my ideas for next year:
  • I am teaching a tools class - a fundamental skill-building class. I plan on using online time management applications to help them track their projects and such.
  • I also plan to show them how to keep an online portfolio, as well as online storage tools, so that "I saved it at home" is never an excuse.
  • For my French students - we do weekly dialogues, or speaking tests. Instead of having them perform them live, what if they had five minutes in class in which to record it? No notes - just them and a computer? I think that could be powerful - and easier for me to grade, too!
  • For my psych students - I did a wiki with them, but I think a weekly blog entry might be great for them to really think through what we are doing in class - not to mention make sure they are paying attention.
  • Again for psych - what if we did a cell phone poll in class? Totally anonymous, and totally fun!

I'm sure there are more, but that's what I've thought of so far. What about you? Do you have any great plans for next year?

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Summer, Education, Technology

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Okay, I'm back....or am I?

So this was a great deal longer than a 'brief' hiatus. I did, indeed, finish my Masters.  I stand now at the end of that educational road, but am wondering where I should go from here.  In terms of my education, I could become certified in educational technology, or go for me PhD. in educational technology.  Or, I could go totally crazy and become certified to teach something different altogether.  

Likewise, I stand in a similar situation regarding my blog.  I want to be innovative - to bring up thoughts and ideas that are different than what others have thought to ponder before.  Perhaps this is just year-end burn-out still talking - maybe I'm full of ideas that I haven't even come up with yet.  Or, perhaps, I am placing too much pressure on myself to be an innovator.  After all, I can be an innovator in my workplace by spouting out some of the different information that others have been touting for the past five years.  It all depends on who your audience is.
Some of my least favorite student projects have been those where it is obvious that the student has just tried too hard to impress me.  Perhaps I am doing the same thing, here.  

At any rate, I am back, and I will be posting.  If you have any topics that are of interest, please let me know.  Also - I am beginning to lay out my consulting schedule for next year.  If you want me to come into your school/district, please email me at sroustan [at] fhps [dot] us.  Happy summer!

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