Future as a Learner

Dreaming with my eyes wide open :)

I will no longer just say “technology integration” but instead I will say I am “integrating pedagogy, technology and content knowledge” into my classroom.  As I continued through the MAET courses, my focus has changed from a teacher seeking technology integration to a teacher who seeks the best learning environment for my students.  I am now a huge proponent of repurposing tools to fit my students’ needs.  There are so many amazing tools I can dream of having in my classroom!  This essay will continue to change as time and life continues.

In the short term I am excited to have 2 new iPads to use with my students.  I am excited to use apps for oral language and writing workshop.  Any app or tool that encourages my students to share and have a purpose for writing is amazing.  Part of the Common Core involves using digital media to share writing with an audience.  I am so excited to explore new ways to use speech to text apps and photojournalism apps with my young students to communicate stories and what they are learning about at school.

I have always loved the amazing connections that technology have provided in the classroom.  I love how my classroom blog provides a connection to parents, grandparents and other teacher who subscribe.  My goal is to extend my connections to students as well.  I want my students to be able to use apps, blogs, and photos to communicate with their parents.  My dream is to have a way for students to email writing workshop pieces instantly to parents or post to Twitter using speech-text apps.  These kind of opportunities will give my Kindergarten students a new purpose for communication and how they share their writing with an audience.

I really enjoyed listening to my classmates and a former MAET student discuss “flipping the classroom.”  I love the idea of having students apply what they learn IN the classroom instead of the other way around.  I also remember my initial reaction when I first heard about this idea, “Well, that is probably just for secondary education students.”  As I listened and reflected, I thought, well maybe it could work for my young students as well.  I had to look at “flipping” in a new way.  I had to put on my Kindergarten teacher glasses.  I think this idea would be very beneficial for young students and their parents.  I often have parents ask me “how I say things.”  It would create a stronger school-home connection because the parents would be able to see concepts and vocabulary in small lessons or short “how to videos” that show centers around the room.  In a sense, the videos could be for both students and parents.  I could use video to read stories and ask guiding questions for parent to discuss with their children before they come to class.  This would create an opportunity for children to prepare and feel comfortable with the lesson the following day.

I am also very eager to continue making connections with other educators.  Social media has opened up new doors and cracked some other windows that I wish to explore.  Learning doesn’t have to be a lonely process.  I love sharing ideas on sites like Pinterest, Twitter, and Facebook.  Since I started CEP 807 this fall, our school has adopted an online lesson plan book.  Teachers can share and collaborate online via this web based plan book.  It has really blurred the lines between classrooms and many teachers are having “a-ha!” moments about things that are happening right next door.  Collaboration has reached a whole new level.   it is a bit scare to “put yourself out there” but I know that it is a healthy way to grow and collaborate. Just when I think I am comfortable with collaborating online, a new way to share with educators pops up. I am excited to see what is coming next!

In the future I hope to become more involved on a grander scale.  I am currently part of a technology committee for our district, but I want to get involved in the community and not just at the school.  I want to continue to learn about ways our community is using technology and how I can provide other learning opportunities for my students.  As technology advances around us, my big goal is to provide my students with the best opportunities possible inside and outside the classroom when it comes to technology.  I will continue to seek out every possible learning opportunity for me and my students.

-Bethany Arsenault