Jaime Smith had a healthy amount of skepticism when it came to technology integration.
“I feel as though this year is my best year teaching. I remember sitting in CBD training and hearing multiple times that technology was going to allow more one on one with my students and not believing it, but that is exactly what it has given me. I am much more organized and am able to receive data instantaneously, which allows me to make corrections, reteach, and review in a timely manner. As students enter into my classroom, I can click on an assignment (choose unsubmitted) and immediately talk to students about missing work. If students missed a day in class, I can refer them to the worksheet or assignment on Schoology, rather than digging through papers on my desk. Students can see that something is due (while away) and even take the initiative to do it on their own, never getting behind. They have all of the resources (assignments, handouts, worksheets) at their finger tips at all times.” – Jaime Smith
Can you describe a few of the ways that you’ve integrated technology to enhance student learning?
“I had struggled with incorporating Marzano scales into my classroom seamlessly. Schoology and Google Forms have changed that. They have made scales a two minute activity with real-time results (in less than thirty seconds). Google Forms creates an easy-to-read chart that immediately tells me what percent of my students are at each level of the scale. I also allow them to explain or ask for help, via the Google Form, so the very next day (or even that lesson) I can review or address target goals that aren’t being met. I don’t have to wait until I grade assignments or get a chance to look at their self reflection, it is immediate.
My class is not what I imagined technology would look like, it is mixed module. Discussions start in Schoology and then are talked about among the class, with students able to elaborate on each other’s comments, even if they may not have had much to contribute originally. We are reaching a higher level of thinking quicker, and are able to immediately have meaningful discussions.
I’m even using it in Physical Education. My Advanced Physical Education class posted goals and workouts with their own evaluation of what is working and what they feel isn’t. Students commented and offered suggestions and helped build each other’s quarter 2 workouts. It was awesome to see it unfold and be able to ‘track’ it. They were each contriubuting to not only their own, but thier peers’ personal curriculum.” – Jaime Smith
So what advice would you give a teacher who is just beginning to integrate technology?
“Don’t be afraid, you will learn along the way. Immediately after roll out, I jumped in. My students and I worked together to troubleshoot. It was sort of a trust fall between us. I was honest that there may be days where it wouldn’t work (and for the first few days I had a back up plan), but many times it was one button or a quick fix. I also had the same patience with them in regards to using it. If students were struggling with submitting work, we just reviewed it, or went over it in class and I gave them a last chance (to submit) without being late as we walked through it together. Within a week we were smooth sailing. It was actually an easier and smoother transition than I expected.
One time, a big mistake turned into an awesome opportunity. I forgot to click the button (for Google Forms) that makes it include their names. Everyone turned in an assignment, but I had no idea whose was whose to grade or provide feedback. Instead I posted the spreadsheet on the overhead and students received peer feedback and it turned into a completely enriching discussion. The students had no idea I didn’t know the names, they just thought I removed them for their own privacy. :)” – Jaime Smith
You’re doing a phenomenal job, Jaime. Keep it up!