Mark is an innovative, creative teacher who for the past 2 years has been working in a pilot program at Rockford Public Schools. During the pilot program, Mark has empowered his students to communicate much more, both digitally and face-to-face. Mark has transformed his teaching and students’ learning with effectively implementing technology across the curriculum. Below are some insights from Mark about the impact he has experienced:
“Technology has transformed the learning in my classroom. I am able to differentiate in ways never before possible because there are multiple copies of me in electronic form. Before, I simply wasn’t able to be in two spots at one time. Now I can. This allows the students to learn at the pace that best fits their needs, receiving support or an additional challenge, if needed, through electronic resources such as videos I’ve created. As a teacher I’ve always wished that I had more time. Technology has provided this oh so coveted resources. When I give an assessment or an assignment the students receive instant feedback as to how they did. I no longer have to spend hours grading assignments. Instead, I can spend that time figuring out how to respond to that feedback.
The greatest change that has come as a result of this technology is the change to the students. Now no matter what challenges may lie in the way of the student learning I have the tools and resources to help them overcome those obstacles. Whether it is allowing a student struggles with extreme dyslexia, use a speech to text app to amaze his classmates with his immense knowledge of anything science. Or its providing the opportunities for a book to be read to them so the students is able to participate in class discussion about a text that otherwise would have been too hard, we can do it.”
Can you describe one or two of your tech integration highlights?
“Last year I had a student who was severally dyslexic and it effected everything expect his intelligence. Ordinarily he had difficulty expressing his thoughts onto paper. I will never forget the day I showed him dictation in a speech to text website. His eyes lit up and before I could even finish explaining what it was he had taken back his laptop and was racing off all of the facts he could find about Sharks. To see how excited this student was to finally be able to write, was amazing.”
What is a suggestion you might make to a teacher who is just beginning to integrate technology?
“Solider on! You may experience difficulties; you may feel like it is your first year of teaching again but charge ahead. The students will shock you with all that they can accomplish and the parents will be ever thankful to you for the differences you have made.”
Keep up the great work Mark, and I know you will continue to soldier on, while also helping other teachers soldier on too.