Tips for entering the Classroom of the Future Challenge from last years winner Mistene Clapp

Entering the MindShare Learning Contest

Last year I taught the most fantastic class.  I am super competitive in nature and so were they, so when we saw the MindShare Learning contest it was a no-brainer, we had to enter.  We were a very tech-enabled classroom so it was exciting to think we would be showing off all that we can do.  

If you plan on entering, which you should, here are a few tips for getting started:

1) Pick a team – we picked a Tech Team from a group of students in our class to put everything together.  I taught grade 7, so my students were able to be responsible and make good choices about what went into the video and what could be left out.  

2) Make plans – the Tech Team and I made a monster brainstorm wall about what we wanted to include on a whiteboard.  We then transferred all of our most important ideas onto a timeline on chart paper.  On the timeline we plotted subjects, technology we used and which students would talk about it.

3) Get all clips and pictures ahead of time.  This makes it much easier to slot them into your presentation.

4) Practice – go over what you want to say.  Some of my students were extremely nervous, so they read what they wanted to say off of papers, I even had students hold cue cards behind the iPad when they were recording me.  Know that the recording will take time, in the video I spoke for 20 seconds (that’s all they allotted me in the timeline!) but it took me over 20 minutes to get it done properly.

5) Have fun!  This project was a great way for my students to show what they do on a daily basis and see how using technology leverages the curriculum I was teaching them.  It was also great for me to see what they could do without me running the show.  I really tried to let them take control and show the world what they loved about our class.

Winning this contest reinforced many things I had taught my class about technology and social media.  We were in the local news in a positive way and would discuss the impact this would have on our digital footprint.  We were all very excited to test out new technology in our class and decide what worked best for us and what would be best shared with another class.

Personally, this contest allowed me to make connections and meet with many different educators from around the world.  Through Twitter, ISTE and MindShare I have met many educators who help me to shape my practice and ideas of how I want to incorporate technology in the classroom.  It has provided me with many opportunities to work with other educators and share our story of how we incorporate technology and what we are passionate about.  It has been an amazing experience and we are very thankful for such an amazing year.