What inspired you to take the digital leap into using tech to enhance pedagogy in the classroom?
I have always been very keen to integrate technology into my classroom practice but I believe it has become so much easier with the introduction of the tablet. I bless the day my husband bought me an iPad and I started using it in my classroom. When we were able to access iPads through a school district initiative we were able to really integrate technology into our classroom learning. Recently, our wonderful school PAC purchased a set of iPads for our students so our journey continues! This technology is so accessible to the primary students that I teach and allows all students to access the technology at their level and create some really impressive products. Exploring new technologies such as augmented reality and seeing the children’s faces when we create something new is like having Christmas every day! The children’s response to the technology and their eagerness, willingness, and total fearlessness when it comes to trying new things inspires me!
What advice do you offer other teachers to make the transition?
Making the transition to using technology creates its own incentives. The children are so engaged and keen to try out the new programs, apps, or projects using technology that it creates its own momentum. Choose one thing that you think you might feel comfortable with and try it. I like to experiment with the app first and then pass it on to the children and then let them experiment. When we experiment together we learn a lot and the possibilities for projects reveal themselves. Baby steps gradually grow into giant leaps!
What impact has winning the contest made in your teaching practice?
I believe that winning this contest has really encouraged me to continue to search for ways to incorporate technology into every facet of the curriculum and inspired me to further expand my efforts to try to embed technology into my teaching practice. I find myself constantly thinking “What if I did this?” or ”Could I do that?” or “Maybe the children could do it this way?” and then off we go! The technology we received as part of the contest has really facilitated this as well. We are very, very grateful to have such wonderful new tools to use on our journey! The children lean in to learning this way so easily and teaching with technology is so much fun! It’s fun for the student and the teacher! And the amount of learning that occurs is amazing!