Most of us remember School of Rock. Jack Black as the wanna be rock star who poses as a substitute teacher at an expensive private school who turns the class into a rock band. What’s interesting, is how he does it. It’s not all about the blackboard and taking copious amounts of notes. The kids are familiar with this but once they discover that they can use their talents in a way that helps to contribute to the rock band their energy and engagement changes and grows. I’m sure there are a few computers in there somewhere.
School of Rock is a great example of what can be achieved away from the whiteboard or blackboard (for those who may still be using them which I know there are some). The scary thing for us as teachers is that technology is moving at a speed faster than any of us could have imagined.
I’m 27 and even I feel behind and I’ve been growing up around computers since I was about 8 years old.
It’s scary because with all our job responsibilites and expectations, our families, having some sort of work/life balance, kids complaining about how “boring” English is or Science is preferring instead to send a text to the hot guy on the other side of the room from underneath the desk, technology can sometimes be left in the “too hard” basket when trying to integrate it into our teaching and learning programs. It is now the common divide between teachers and students and we have to face up to it.
Creating a specific class or interest group and “wall” that you can then post information to.
Using the “wall” to post polls, assignments, notices, alerts.
A calendar feature to help students keep track of when assignments are due. If they are part of more than one group they can see all their assignment due dates.
A grade book feature where you can keep track of students results and they can also see what they have achieved.
A library to keep track of links and documents that you post to your “wall.”
Some suggestions for ways the pages could be used include specific class work/discussions, faculty groups, sports teams or other extra-curricular activities, whole year groups and parent contact.
Most importantly, you are interacting with the kids in a way that is accessible and familiar to them.
So, as teachers we can either choose to let technology rule us or we can choose to rule with technology. We know our stuff. We know what to teach and how to teach it well. Challenge yourself to mix it up a bit. To do something a bit different. See what happens. You might surprise yourself. Least of all the kids themselves.
This post is part of Kick Start Your Blogging Activity 2. We were required to post on one of several topics and I chose a review of a technology learning tool.