GAFE Summit

I was fortunate to attend the GAFE (Google Apps for Educators)  Summit the past two days.  As usual after attending PD Conferences, part of me is exhausted and overwhelmed, and part of me is excited to incorporate my new knowledge right away. I have been leary of allowing students to utilize their cell phones in class due to their tendency to become distracted by social media and games, rather than focusing on their work. I am thinking about some ways that we can utilize the technology, unfortunately we don’t have any Chromebooks, IPADs, or other technology that I can put into students hands in the classroom. We do have a computer lab, but there aren’t enough computers for my larger classes. I may be able to work out a way to have groups work together, but space is an issue.

I believe that utilizing the technology can be wonderful for students, I also know that I have a learning curve to overcome in implementing this usefully. I want to choose one or two things to begin, I’m thinking of possibly creating a web site where students can log their HW efforts, and share their struggles and successes. I thought of this while sitting in a session with an English teacher sharing how she has her students keep their reading logs on line and writing book reviews on line. I don’t know if this will work well for math but I’d like to find a way to make students more accountable for HW completion and focus on their problem solving which will make them more successful in the long run.  One of my issues is again, access to technology. Not all of my students have computers at home.

Another thought I’ve been considering is to utilize Interactive Notebooks with my Algebra students. We are focusing on becoming fully CCSS implemented by next fall, so these students will be doing geometry and statistics this semester. I think it may be good for them, they have been doing algebra for so many years and it will be new. On the other hand, it will be challenging. I have talked a little with Jessica, after reading this blog. I like the idea of these students having notes and practice all in one place. I can’t assign HW to them, it just won’t get done, so in class activities will be mainly the practice they are getting. I am looking at several different ways of handling the practice, in a way I am looking forward to this.  It certainly can’t be worse than what we went through last semester.

A lot to think about and the semester starts Monday. . . . .

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