With today being Leadership Day 11, I made an executive decision to combine my original blog idea on adding IPad classroom teaching to the question of what I think should be witnessed in my classroom through the eyes of an administrator. It actually provides a very easy meshing of ideas, surprisingly, and so I should easily be able to share that with you.
The IPad 2 will join a long list of technology components you would find in my classroom in use daily. I am pretty sure I would shrivel up and wilt if you took my SMART board away from me. Then at the end of last year I nearly became as addicted to my SMART airliner. I could still use my board and facilitate learning, but I could be among the “masses” and get a much better scope of what each child was grasping as I navigated the lesson. SMART response became a vital part of my assessment process last spring, even though I did not have my own. A colleague of mine is overly welcoming of her technology and shares with me whenever I ask! I use a voice amplification system in my room as well. I no longer raise my voice over a group of kiddos- and I have it for those kiddos who speak quietly but still need to be heard my peers. So bringing an Ipad to small group activities excites me. It is going to be so fulfilling to see my students learning via this fabulous tool, and in my mind it will teach them that the Ipad or Ipod is far more than a social networking and game playing tool. It will teach them that it is a fabulous tool for learning and sharing. That is a TEK that I am not required to teach, but feel it ranks among the most important of TEKS in the education of these kids. Of course as educators we know that we teach well more than what the state tells us to teach. We do that because we truly do want the best future for the kids we spend our year with!
So with all that being said, what is it that I would like my administrators to see upon entering my room? What is it that I would like to them to communicate to me in regards to their vision of my classroom as they come in and join us from time to time? Those are quite honestly two very simple questions to answer!
With walk throughs becoming a large part of what administrators are doing for PDAS purposes, what I want witnessed at these times is simple. I want them to see students working on a variety of tasks, many of which revolve around technology integration. I want them to see my students using technology for something other than social networking and game playing, rather they will be using them to learn and share. I want them to see our community of learners working with other communities of learners around the world to better facilitate how we learn and grow. I want them to see a 21st century classroom full of the future leaders of our world, using advancing technology to change their world! That seems simple enough, doesn’t it?
The latter part of this of question is the part that too often is missing in our field. The communication part of our job. Wouldn’t it be great to hear your administrator say ~ Wow I see that Bobby’s group is very engaged with that Math App. I like how they are working together using technology to facilitate each of their strengths and struggles! Have you thought about maybe also trying…. I bet that would be a success as well! Great job!~ Moral- Tell me what you see– Stick around and watch how this works and tell me that you see what I see. Certainly share a suggestion or two with me…. and then let me know you are happy with what you see happening. That is to me the most critical missing piece, especially with those of us who are heavily changing the way we teach through the growth in our PLN. We are doing new and innovative things, and more than ever we need to know our administrators get “it” and see value in this change. With not every classroom at the same place in technology integration, it can be challenging when you make giant leaps and get little or no feedback. You have to rely on student, parent, and peers to share their feedback, or turn to your PLN. All of those will be vital in helping us to make integration changes, but administrators are a vital piece of the puzzle. It takes a village…. Right?