In a 21st century world, it is important to inspire 21st century life-long learners who can communicate, collaborate, be creative and think critically. Fortunately, educators are now given the technological tools to motivate and engage students in a nontraditional way. I often reassure teachers, through my instructional coaching, that technology is not just one more implementation tool for teachers. Rather, technology should be used in the classroom to enhance an already created lesson to engage and motivate students on a deeper level. As teachers become more comfortable, teachers can begin to implement technology on a deeper level using the SAMR model.
When our building was introduced to the 1:1 initiative, I was the teacher that hesitated to implement the iPad and rarely scratched the surface at the modification and redefinition stages. Yet, I quickly realized that in order to improve my student learning with such a powerful device, I needed to modify and redefine some lessons using technology. So, I connected with fellow foreign language teachers and developed an action plan for my Spanish students to create their own blog that connected them to their passion in the foreign language. My students quickly learned that Spanish was all around them!
A technology innovator uses technology not just as a substitute, but rather an enhancer. Technology innovators reinvent routine lessons and professional development, within the classroom and school building, to engage and connect their audience. Innovators use technology as a tool to unify students and life-long learners to the learning that doesn’t just happen during normal school hours but beyond.
I am a technology innovator.
I connect my foreign language students to the world around them using skype and social media. I connect my teachers to fellow educators both locally and nationally using Twitter. I develop lessons that use technology to engage my students at a higher level of curiosity and critical-thinking. My co-workers develop new teaching strategies and best practices using resources supplied through the internet. On one hand, I lead my students through virtual field trips to Spanish-speaking countries using Google Earth. On the other hand, I lead my co-workers in professional development using technology. I teach my Senior Internship students how to advocate for themselves using Google Plus. My co-workers and I advocate for our students using social media.
As a technology innovator, I strive to integrate technology into my classroom lessons for students and my professional development for teachers. In everything I do with technology, I connect. I develop. I lead. I advocate.