Teaching is about helping students progress and grow. Teachers have to be visionary and see beyond what a student is capable of the short and long term future.
As a teacher, I often feel pressed to be the dispenser of knowledge to my students. Through these technology courses, I have learned to that I need to let my students have more ownership in the learning process. My students are able to do more than I sometimes imagine if I give them the time and support to create.
My role has changed from a presenter to a collaborator and supervisor. It is about learning how to learn and scaffolding learning. Students love to share and brainstorm together.
My students often quote me by saying "It's a tool, not a toy." Our technology devices have purpose and are not about playing games or replacing me. Rather technology is a tool to help me differentiate learning for my students various levels, abilities, and interests. For example, by using Utah Compose I am able to look at reports of their writing to plan instruction for students.
It is also about engaging students in ways that are more appealing than and giving them a purpose to create something that they will share with others. Students working to create something that will be seen by other classmates, classes, etc. is motivating for them to do their best and to see others' learning and techniques to learn from them.
I also have found that technology helps me to be more diverse in my instructional strategies. Sometimes my class room is "flipped" with my students learning information independently or with partners using technology to build their background knowledge and allow them to go at their own pace or review as needed. For example, I used Edpuzzle to show my students concepts about fractions prior to our whole class discussion. This was beneficial with a substitute as well.
By using informative assessment with technology, I am able to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of my students so that I might build on their knowledge and to address concerns. Using sites like Kahoot and Quizzizz, I can assess my students' needs.
Technology has become part of the framework of my instructional design. It has altered how I design my classroom routines. I look for more for what is the right technology tool for the job to support, engage, and assess my students.