The sign outside of my classroom door reads: sanctuary. Our classroom is a sanctuary of experimentation and risk, of ideas and words, of getting everything wrong in order to learn something new. It is a sanctuary where uncomfortable truths about human existence is discussed and our cultural differences are used to unite us instead of divide us.
Humble, genuine, wanting to be heard and listened to, mostly Hispanic, and totally honest: these are my students.
I am here to help them soar!
Can you remember the first site you ever explored on the Internet? The first email you ever sent, received? The first time you hyperlinked text into a blog? The first podcast you recorded? Oh, wait, those last couple you may have not done yet. Likely because you are like me and never had someone teach you how to use these new technologies that we assume our tech savvy students know how to use. I teach in a county with the motto "teach to the future" yet I am to do this without any training and without daily use of computers, laptops or tablets. This summer I am becoming a brave new teacher by immersing myself in the most unbelievably amazing professional training I have ever taken in my 20 years of teaching! Thanks to Jennifer Gonzalez and her website Cult of Pedagogy, I am learning 10 diverse methods of incorporating pedagogically sound technological platforms to improve student learning.
A close look at the Language Arts Florida Standards for 9-12th grade will show you that nearly all of the writing standards, which includes research and on-line publication, cannot be addressed in a classroom where the only computer is the teacher's.
I want this ratio flipped. Every student in my room should have access to a laptop or tablet and my computer is there only as a last resort. With Chromebooks, I will be able to implement four powerful resources to enhance student writing, analysis and speaking skills: edublogs, podcasting, flipped learning, and the studio of tools offered through Google Docs and Google classroom. These four foundations will better prepare my students not only for the real world and the future, but give them myriad platforms to grow, cultivate and project their voice into our global society.
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