Throughout the last couple of years I have been trying to stretch myself as an educator. I recognize that the only way we will continue to meet the needs of our students is to continue to grow as a learners ourselves. One area that I have dedicated to learning more about is using technology to enhance learning. To say the least, this was out of my comfort zone. I decided to jump in with both feet and be ready to face each mistake I made head on.
I quickly realized that there are many fifth graders who knew more than I did when it came to programs that were available. At first this was discouraging, then exciting. We were able to collaborate on a different level where the teacher became the student. Talking about empowering the student! They ate it up and we both learned a lot. I have figured out that it doesn't matter where we are as a learner, as long we are open to new learning experiences. This lesson proved very important to me as Zeeland moves forward with our 1:1 initiative.
At the elementary level we have not received our Ipad's yet. I actually feel this is a blessing. As I have been working with staff in my building, I have been amazed at the technology they are integrating in their classrooms on a daily basis. I can see each teacher inching into their personal "stretching zone". Great things are happening and amazing things are yet to come. I like that we are waiting for the Ipad because teachers are truly changing how they teach, looking at technology as a whole, not just depending on the Ipad. Don't get me wrong, I am extremely excited for our school to get such an amazing device. I just love to see our building changing how we teach on a greater level than just a device.
As we all know, there are thousands of companies working to out do Apple and replace the Ipad. Devices will come and go. By changing how we think, not just what we use, we better prepare ourselves and our students for the future.