“I cannot even imagine what technology our students will be using when they are our age,” says educator Angie Benson of Parowan Elementary School in Utah. We feel the same way!
In this edition of Teacher Feature, Angie shares her successes and challenges in using technology in education, and passes on her experience and advice to other educators.
Does her experience and advice resonate with you? Be sure to comment below!
Name: Angie Benson
School: Parowan Elementary School
District: Iron County School District
Grade(s): Kindergarten, 4th Grade
Subject(s): General, Reading Specialist
Tell us about your experience with technology in education.
I love everything Smartboard. Because I have tried to further my education with Smart, I have been able to become so much more technological savvy. I love teaching other teachers about the technologies that I have learned. Just the fact that I have learned how to clip movies and music is invaluable to every teacher. Everyone always wants to know how to download Youtube videos and I also learned that from Smart. Now we are working on Formative assessments in the classroom with the ʺclickersʺ. I love technology!
How has using technology impacted student learning?
I do flexible grouping in spelling. The students only move on to the next spelling list when they have mastered the list at hand. All of my lessons are on the Smart Exchange which allows my students to access these lessons when needed. I teach a lesson from the Smartboard and students go into break out sessions and focus on their specific lessons using the computer lab, i-pad, and Smartboard. This impacts the student learning because students are highly motivated to learn the information so they can move on to the next level. One other website that I use with the Smartboard, laptops, and i-pads is the Learn Zillion site. This site allows me to make Writing or Math assignments, aligned to the common core, and then if the students are not clear on one part that was taught they can go on the assignment site and watch one of the 7 videos that deals with that assignment. We know that students all learn at different rates so by allowing students to watch a video, reinforcing what the teacher has taught, in order to complete an assignment, is invaluable.
What challenges have you encountered? How have you overcome them?
Technology doesn’t always work the exact way you want it at the exact moment you want it to. I say just keep on trying. The biggest mistake that one teacher made at our school is by saying, ʺThe clickers didn’t work that first time I tried so I haven’t used them againʺ. It is frustrating to all teachers when the technology doesn’t work. Don’t give up. Probably the students in your class can learn the problems and help you figure out what to do.
What tips would you give to other teachers?
Keep on learning how to use technology and use it in your classroom. Go to technology conferences or learn from the teachers in your own school. Use technology to enhance what you already teach. It can be so much fun and our students are in the technological age and we need to help them get ahead in life. I cannot even imagine what technology our students will be using when they are our age.