teaching with the tools of a digital world


On your mark!

Early in the school year I decided to adopt a motto for my teaching this year “do something new everyday.” I feel like I have stayed pretty true to this, even though it has more likely been “do something new every week.” A lot of this has centered on my technology use in the classroom. I am continually looking for new ideas and new resources that I can apply in my classroom.

I’ve decided to highlight some of the things I have been doing in my classes up to this point as a way of recapping and documenting basically the firstquarter of this school year. First up is iPod Touches. The school district has purchases a set of 20 iPod Touches for each building (HS, MS and Elementary). Early in the year an email went out notifying the staff of their availability. Well, I was the first to reply and requested to have an app added to them so I could use them in my Earth Science classes. Since I was the first (and only) teacher to request the iPods I was asked to manage them for the high school. This brought a little extra work but mostly extra benefits, namely, the case of iPods almost never leaves my room!

Here are a few of the ways that I have used the iPods so far this year:

I have a few more ideas/uses coming up in the next couple of weeks but I will save those for when they happen.

One of the best things that has come from having the iPods in my room and from managing the set for the  high school is it has allowed me to look for ways to encourage other teachers to use them in my classroom. After a lot of suggesting and discussing other teachers have begun to use the hordes of available content in their classrooms. I hope I can continue to help other instructors find ways to use this technology in their classrooms, it is what helps me to learn more and try new things.


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And so it begins…

Tech in the classroom. Where does it fit? What works? Is it worth it? Does it do any good?

These are some of the questions I hope to be looking into through the rest of this first school year (at least).  I have set my professional growth goal as “Increase student engagement through technology

.”  Part of this was motivated by receiving the highest tier award for my district’s Digital Success Ladder ($1800) and just this week a Digital Educator Leadership Training award ($5000+) and three years of commitment to the program. How in the world should I spend this money? And more importantly what will make the biggest impact on student learning?


I will also use this forum as a way to track my successes and challenges and questions I have about which tech to use, how to improve what I’ve got and to brainstorm new ideas.