Keith Tidey

Teacher Spotlight

Subject

6th-8th Grade Social Studies 

School

Sparta Middle School 

District

Sparta Area Schools

Notable Mention

“The integration of technology in my class room has had a huge impact on learning.”

Keith and his students have experienced how technology makes teaching and learning more efficient and empowering for kids.

“The integration of technology in my class room has had a huge impact on learning.  First, students are naturally drawn to technology.  They want to use it and interact with it.  They are engaged with it and know how to do many things already.  The key is focusing that interest so that they are learning.  The old days of sitting and getting are gone in my classroom.  Students are constantly exploring, asking questions, learning, and teaching each other.  Second, technology is organized.  It has forced both students and myself to be digitally organized.  Students lose far fewer things because it is organized inside of their Schoology account.”

What is a highlight you’d like to share from integrating the technology?

“One of the technology highlights in my classroom has been student blogs.  Each student has their own blog and uses it for two purposes.  One is to communicate with each other.  They can comment on each other’s work.  They challenge thinking and clear up misconceptions.  Second, it is a digital portfolio.  Students share their work with their parents at conferences.  They can look back at previous assignments as the learning spirals throughout the school year.”

What advice would you recommend to teachers just beginning to integrate more technology with students?

“My suggestion would be to start slow.  You do not have to change everything overnight.  Start with one thing, maybe www.postermywall.com.  Have student make a poster about their learning that will be hung in all of the classrooms in your grade.  Then, add another option on the next project.  Pretty soon students will know how to use five or six options for projects.  Now they have choice.  They can pick the vehicle that will work best for them.  My journey with technology started last year.  In my mind, this is a three year process.  By the end of the third year, I feel like things will be established in my classroom for the entire year.”

Great work Keith!  The skills and tools your students will certainly continue to impact their learning for their futures.