I’m on spring break this week and have spent quite a bit of time perusing web sites, looking at lesson ideas, and trying to be thoughtful about how I am going to proceed for the next two months. I have just been notified that I will have access to a cart of Chromebooks to be shared with another teacher. She would like to alternate days with them, giving each of us 1-1 time on alternating days. I have been thinking about this and have a concern with that. Because we are in our last eight weeks of the year, and my students have not had any access to technology to speak of this year, I am concerned that we will not have any time to do anything of value if we alternate. The other option is for each of us to have access to 18 computers every day. This would allow me 1-2 access in class, and with smart phones and a couple of ipads that students bring, I could be nearly 1-1. I have to be sure that students have gmail accounts, and that they have knowledge of how to use the computers and any programs we might want to use. It seems like alternating days might make this difficult.
On the other hand, I knew it would be a different ball game to plan lessons with technology in mind, but I am beginning to realize how different it is. I am feeling a bit overwhelmed looking for lessons, thinking about how to alter them for my classes, and how to focus the lesson so that all students feel they are able to access the material. I guess I won’t really know until I try, so I’m starting on Monday with a simple lesson that includes both pencil and paper, and a portion on-line to evaluate students ability to jump in and become comfortable with the technology part. I guess until I do that it will be difficult to know where to go next. I’ll try to have a couple of ideas ready for each day until I know.
I really wish we would have had access to these earlier in the year. Our district has four high schools, two are 1-1 computing schools and two are not. We are piloting the SB test this year with our sophomores, and the district has been frantically attempting to implement technology at the two sites which have not had the tech strength. It has been a furious implementation that has taxed the tech personnel as well as the teachers and administrators. I am grateful that our administration has given us the opportunity to try some things with the time we have left, it’s just been quite a year of change and I guess I’m a bit tired. We have had to switch our curriculum from traditional to integrated to prepare our students for full implementation of the integrated pathway next year, which has been challenging. We are still searching for books and resources also.
I guess I’m feeling a bit inadequate at the moment, and wondering if I can continue to have the strength to implement new ideas, try to incorporate the technology and finish teaching the students the topics they need to know to move on to Integrated III or Pre-Calculus next year. Somebody please tell me I can get through this somewhat gracefully. I am still not well versed in geogebra myself, how can I teach students to use it?