Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Taking Shape

August 1st has come and the planning for the upcoming school year is starting to take shape. Next year, all students in my school will have a school g-mail account. This has helped me decide on some of the technology tools that will be used. I have decided that I will integrate the use of Socrative and Google Forms into the class routine as much as possible to help with getting feedback from a much greater cross-section of my classes. While, I do not think it will be possible to be fully paperless, my plan is to go as paperless as possible and use Google Docs and Google Forms for classwork and homework whenever practical and possible.

During the summer, my district has been sponsoring EdTech Tuesdays, (#edcampsummer), based on the edcamp model. As I decide in what ways I will alter my teaching style and incorporate more technology into the classroom, I have found the topics introduced and interaction with other teachers at these gatherings very helpful. One of the most useful observations shared with me was from two high school teachers from my district. They told me that along the path of increased use of technology in their classrooms this past school year, there were many days of failure. I needed to hear that and on days when my plans bomb, will remember their observations to help me keep the faith.

There is plenty of work to be accomplished on the lesson planning front. To give the year a better flow, I need to give much more thought than I have in previous years on the sequencing of individual lessons in each unit. Specific technology tools and Apps to be used in the lessons will have to wait until I have a better idea on the sequencing. I also need to restructure my class website a bit to make it more useful and accessed by my students. It will be a busy month of preparations.

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