My students this year are 8th graders in a rural community in Virginia. Middle-schoolers are some of the coolest kids you'll ever meet, and I get to work with almost 100 of them every day. As a Special Education teacher in a school that has embraced inclusion to the fullest extent, my students come to me with some of the very best and some of the very worst backgrounds you can imagine. Some of them could teach my class and some of them struggle to decode simple words.
All of my students come to me with so much potential that you can almost see it seeping out of their pores; unfortunately, many of them don't have the desire to shine to their fullest potential, and I want to unlock that potential!
Middle school is a particularly difficult time for students because they don't have any intrinsic motivation; they don't have that desire to impress their teacher any more like they did in elementary school, and they don't yet have the desire for true independence that comes in high school. For this reason, getting middle schoolers excited about anything, especially academics-related, is especially difficult.
My county is doing big things for our students by getting a Google Chromebook into each student's hands. This year every student in the county has access to one and the secondary students even get to take theirs home. This is fantastic for our students; however, there's a gap between the technology in their hands and the technology in the classrooms. While my students have flexible seating (thanks to DonorsChoose.org!) and are able to move around with their devices to collaborate and spread out to work, teachers are still tethered to their desk tops. I enjoy interacting with my students and moving around the room during a lesson, but if I'm using technology, that often means I'm dragging around a mouse and keyboard with me, which often gets misplaced in the process. Also, as a Special Education teacher in a school that has fully joined the inclusion movement, I spend the majority of my day in another teacher's classroom with zero access to a working computer. This device will give me the opportunity to meet the students on their level with technology and be able to access class websites, educational games and tools, examples, visuals, grades, student information, contact parents and principals if needed, and so much more without leaving my students' sides.
With this Google Pixelbook, I could use it as a screen or smart board and take a small group to any location and do a mini lesson without having to worry about losing instructional time trying to turn on and log in to a device that may or may not be working.
I could take my science class outside for a lesson and be able to take our devices without thinking twice. This device will literally help me take my class to the next level!
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