Teaching With Gadgets

How Technology Can Help Today's Teacher

Friday, January 06, 2006

Welcome To Day 1

Many people who know me would probably ask why I would start a blog. After all, aren't blogs for people who are in the tech industry or are leaders in a particular field? I think not. The blog, as I see it, is a place to record your thoughts in an easy to use format. If people read the blog then that's great! If I get no readership it at least is a way that I can review the progress that I've made using technology.

I'm a teacher of elementary school children. For those of you that are teachers (and even those of you who are not) you can well imagine that there is not much time in the day to handle the multitude of administrative tasks that go along with the job. Technology and other gadgets can make administration much easier and allow the teacher (or any other mobile professional) the time to focus on what matters most.

I have always been interested in computers and gadgets. My first computer was a Commondore 64 and I haven't looked back since. My first year as a teacher was a watershed moment for me. I can still remember doing report cards. We were required to comment on the student's progress in each subject (that's 8 different subjects in elementary school). On top of that the comments were handwritten. I actually logged the time it took and calculated it to take well over 45 hours (outside of the classroom) to write these up.

The following year I had switched school districts and, thus, schools. During my first informal chat with my new principal I asked him if it would be okay to use a computer to generate comments. He thought that they would look more professional (you think??) and gave me permission. My journey down the road of educators and technology thus began.

I have now been teaching for twelve years and am still surprised by the number of my colleagues that do not use technology to not only help with administrative tasks but also to help with furthering their teaching practice. I have searched for different websites dealing with teaching and technology. There are some that are related to much larger publication journals (read by the IT guys and lead tech teachers mostly) and not much else. There are certainly plenty of technological tools aimed for the education market.

I decided to create this blog to help those that want to learn more about the technology available to them. The options are dizzying. Also, while we may have the tools, we still could benefit from someone showing us how to use those tools effectively in our practice. I know that my favourite tech website and magazine articles are those that deal with real people having real experiences with their devices. When you read about someone else's experiences they get the creative juices flowing.

I am hoping to create a diary of my experiences with the technology in and out of the classroom. I also plan to keep track of frequent updates pertaining to new mobile technology, podcasts of interest, and websites of interest.

Thanks for dropping by and I hope we see more of each other.