C4Wk4: Unleashing Deep Learning

“It’s about helping students to build attitudes and confidence through doing purposeful things that make a difference in the world”

Hands, World, Map, Global, Earth, Globe, Blue, Creative

Image taken from Pixaby

The evidence I have seen that “technology used without powerful teaching strategies (and deep learning tasks) does not get us very far” was sadly most apparent in Figure 7, from chapter 4 of A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning.

From this, I concluded that many of the assignments, classroom projects, and assessments do not fall into the higher “knowledge creation” end, but are still a fair amount within the “high-level uses of technology”side.  I especially found it interesting that my own pull out courses focused around remedial work and executive functioning skills all primarily fall within the lower third of “information consumption.” I think upon further reflection it would be beneficial to look more towards increasing opportunities within those top technology uses of developing & using simulations or animations and working with others from outside class.  Only then we will really be able to accelerate teachers’ abilities to put students more in control of the learning process as well as continue to form the must-have learning partnerships between teachers and students.

With all this in mind, I would also keep the goal of having core components of new pedagogies strategically integrated with technology to really unlock authentic and meaningful deep learning.  When these are clearly defined and developed, our students will be able to:

  1. Discover and mastery new content knowledge
  2. Collaborate and connect learning
  3. Low-cost creation and iteration of new knowledge
  4. Use of new knowledge with authentic audiences for “real” purposes;
  5. Enhancement of teachers’ ability to put students in control of the learning process, accelerating learner autonomy.

Technology contributes to dialogical learning in my classroom as I am a firm believer in modeling risk-taking and growing critical thinking skills. Ways to do this include:

  1. Connecting learning to student interests
  2. Asking good questions
  3. Using learning structures and teaching strategies that prompt student thinking

All of this impacts student learning because I communicate effectively with my students and constantly look for ways to celebrate their accomplishments and grow their own belief in their capacity to learn. This in turn can help them believe more in themselves.  Reflecting on Paulo’s Freire’s 5 ideas for dialogical learning was also very helpful and creating new classroom goals and how to continue to build courage within my students as well as the importance of demonstrating humility, hope, faith, love, and critical thinking by showing them I don’t have all the answers, but we will work together to continually overcome the challenges we are faced with, and most importantly during these “Covid times” we’re in it together.

Paulo Freire’s Five Ideas for Dialogical Learning

  1. Humility
  2. Hope
  3. Faith
  4. Love
  5. Critical Thinking

Teaching with humility means knowing that teaching begins with students, not teachers.

I also really resonated with the fact we must have faith in our students as it can instill a true and profound sense of self-worth and help them to value themselves in all future relationships.

Holi, Colors, Festival, Color In Hand

All of this taken into consideration, it will not only improve student learning but improve overall instruction as well.

Image taken from Pixaby

In our classroom, we constantly are using technology for collaboration in terms of teacher feedback and input around progress made on ILP goals and accommodation use. We also look at the strengths and greatly dissect areas of improvement and how to use our strengths to overcome them.

I think when it comes to using technology to really unleash deep learning combined with new pedagogy is still an area of growth and one I am looking forward to continuing to improve on.  With the change to almost full digital learning this school year, it has really opened the door and forced educators to relook at lesson plans and rethink them using new pedagogy and how to transform them into deep meaningful learning opportunities.

For students to become independent learners who effectively design and manage the learning process, we as educators really need to help model and demonstrate how to go about doing this. I think many students can easily manage it (something I work on heavily with my diverse group of learners) and others can even go higher with the design component, but it’s the word “effectively” that I think takes a lot of time and explicit feedback to guide them towards accomplishing this. I found the 6 Powerful Strategies For Deeper Learning In Your Classroom  (listed below) as another great resource and my ability to focus on how to reflect and improve on the different strategies used within our classes.

  1. Connect: Create a Community of Learners
  2. Empower: Activate Students to Lead Their Own Learning
  3. Contextualize: Use Human Themes
  4. Reach: Network Beyond School Walls
  5. Inspire: Personalize The Learning
  6. Wire: Make Technology the Servant, Not the Master

The best part is- the love for “finding the spark” that I think all educators share when working with students and seeing a subject, idea,  or project that really makes a student light up. Fire, Smoke, Match, Burn, Ignition

Image taken from Pixaby

“Working the hard edges of love”                                                -Brene Brown

In  Daring Classrooms, we all know that learning is inherently vulnerable, and therefore without vulnerability, no learning can take place.

I am vulnerable with my students by sharing in their successes and supporting them when things don’t go as expected. I also share stories of my own personal life through my professional and personal goals and how I continually set new challenges for myself and they share in my opportunities and failures, both positive and negative.  Building rapport with your students while holding levels of respect between an educator and their pupil is crucial for trust to be established and then deeper learning to take place, with bigger risks also at stake.

I teach my students courage by constantly reminding them that we have a mistake making risk-taking classroom. Providing a safe space for learning where there is no place for humiliation and embarrassment.  We develop a courageous classroom by bringing all conversations out to the open and keeping ongoing meaningful communication about our goals and progress alive. Allowing students some choice in the topics they explore and the methods they use,  not only keeps them more highly engaged but will allow them to see the greater purpose.  The “why” are they doing this.

I work really hard to develop a “shame resilient” classroom, where hopefully, none of the students I work with will ever feel unworthy of love and belonging. Many whom we can’t control their home lives, it is only that much more important than when they walk into our classroom or log into our Webex they instantly feel not only welcome but loved and a real sense of belonging and ownership to what we are accomplishing together. Any shame that happens through secrecy, silence, and judgment is instantly fixed through empathy and ensuring that any student I work with never feels alone. As I would hope shame is not something happening in our classroom as it is devasting and will change how a student views themself as a learner. Sadly, by the time I teach students in Middle School, most if not all have probably already experienced some form of shame or guilt.  I  strive to be an educator whose students think of them as someone who believed in them and hopefully only added to increase their self-worth.

When completing a VIA character survey, at my old school in the UAE, we spent weeks around these traits, sharing and talking about what everyone brings into the classroom and how to grow in other characteristics that were not listed as main strengths (such as humility for me). Really emphasizing that even if something was not listed as a strength, it is still something that can be developed- not only within myself but in my students as well.

My strengths as reported from the character survey:

Having bravery as my first listed strength I think matches well with my use of humor and zest for life when working with students who some deem “more challenging” especially when back in the USA and primarily working with those with Emotional Behavioral Disorders along with creating that courageous classroom. Recognizing learners as equals so true learning can take place can be very challenging at times when the opportunities aren’t always met with a 50-50 mindset, many times it’s a 90%-10% split with the student expecting more from you and them giving very little if not any buy into their education. I must continually change up the strategies to what is needed so any form of learning can take place.

Reminding myself that when you are brave enough often enough you WILL fall at some point and that having resiliency is important. The 4 main skills sets being:

  1. Vulnerability
  2. Clarity of Values
  3. Trust
  4. Rising Skills (resiliency)

All of these are opportunities I provide my students with through the ongoing communication and “real talk” we have constantly around their goals and progress. And when students apologize for something,  like coming late to class, we change the focus from it’s not THEM being disrespectful because they are inherently disrespectful or whatever it may be, but with the mindset that it is only behavior and one of which they have control over and with time and set intentions- can change. Especially now with digital learning, to “lean into the joy” of being vulnerable, and showing gratitude and ways to always remind us to be grateful and appreciative for what we have is more important than ever.

When my students deeply grasp the meaning of Self-Advocacy, I know they are truly ready for whatever comes next, beyond the 8th grade and highschool.  Incorporating school with home and the world, I know whatever life challenges they face they will be able to advocate and get what they need in order to achieve success.

C4Wk3: Learning Deeply, Digitally

The Moral Imperative

is the value and commitment to serve EVERY student to raise the bar and to close the gap.

Whether it is for students in the Special Education program or within the English as an Additional Language program or even those coming from any background, they are all given the commitment of high expectations and deep learning opportunities.

Moving from the first two weeks of the fundamental changes in education to focusing on learning partnerships to now Deep Learning Tasks- is one action step to help move schools forward in achieving such a shift in educational practices.

Seeing that the Change Process begins with- “Fostering deep commitment to the moral imperative…” makes me think not all schools are ready for this. Moving from the USA to the international scene in education I’ve realized that many schools out there are only beginning to remove discrimination lines on their acceptance pages and really looking at “the how” in order to best serve and meet the needs of all children an ensuring qualified and trained educators are filling these positions.



Photo by Marvin Kuhn on Unsplash

Equality in my Classroom

Students who enter my classroom, whether it’s the tiny room at end of the hall or a “normal” size room, know that the learning expectations and workload remain similar to those of their other classes.

Whether it is during a “pull out” small class group or “push-in” co-taught large class group settings students know that we continually push to raise the bar and hold them accountable to high, but fair, expectations.

I ensure that students have a firm grasp and understanding of what the learning targets or outcomes are for the day and try to set up the learning experiences so that they are clear and easily followed. In the past, I have even had a student who’s Individualised Learning Plan (ILP) goal was to make connections to what she was learning to real-life examples, and if it wasn’t clear- she would then advocate for that until she fully understood the connection. How amazing would it be, if all educators out there- did just that for their students all. the. time.

Make all learning, deep learning, connected to real-life contexts

Deep learning experiences will take thoughtful and meaningful conversations in the planning stages to ensure the intended outcomes are achievable.  Allowing students to choose over what they learn and how they learn it is a great step towards making deep learning experiences stick.

Whether it’s through stations or a simple choice board- like graphic organizers that allow students to choose different ways to learn about a particular concept, incorporating technology will only allow us to enhance these experiences and create better deep learning opportunities.

If we remember to bring technology in to enhance what we are doing and not start with it, I think it will long allow us to not only facilitate but serve as activators in these new and deep learning experiences.

Based on this week’s readings, I think I would shift my practice by attempting to have further conversations with my co-teachers on the ways to bring more deep learning experiences into our shared classroom space. Focus on the deep learning tasks and ways to reflect more with SAMR model and TPACK from week one to really see where we’re at and where we’d want to be. Ensuring that we are creating that student partnership and having them know that we are learning alongside them will be of value. So the students can see us designing and structuring the lessons tailored to their own unique learning styles and needs.

As stated in, A Rich Seam: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning,

“In deep learning tasks, the goal is to develop new knowledge, through the integration of prior knowledge with ideas, information and concepts, into a wholly new product, concept, solution or content. In good deep learning tasks, students also go beyond creating new knowledge to doing something with it  to using that new knowledge in the world.”

It is our job as educators to continually push for students to no longer memorize facts and details, when information is literally at their fingertips and a 2-second google away, but to get them to create new knowledge and then further apply it to new and real contexts. As a Special Educator, I am fully aware of the challenges many students will face- as the last step in acquiring new skills is to generalize it to new and unfamiliar contexts. But through focused design and meaningful planning and preparation mixed with repetition and confidence building the sky is the limit.

I’m confident that students entering my classroom grow in their confidence and start believing more in themselves and what they are capable of. We focus on strengths to then close their gaps.  Reminding each other we learn from one another and that mistakes grow brains and everyone’s thoughts are valued.  All students CAN and WILL learn is a reality in our class- where we learn to follow any negative self talk with the word- “yet” such as, “I can’t do this task… YET.” or “I don’t know how to do this task…YET.”



Photo by Frans Vledder on Unsplash

Nurturing Self-Awareness

Self-awareness plays a key factor in our Special Education program and specialized classes. The ability to self-identify and clearly communicate strengths and weaknesses play a huge role in the development and lessons for our classes. Once goals are established we then focus on self-regulation skills and self-monitoring them. So every step of the way we are continually evaluating our learning experiences from class to class.  Teaching kids to think about how they think is crucial. Understanding that everyone thinks differently, and that’s of value, is also important. Alongside with everyone learns at different rates or speeds and in different ways.

These concepts support our personalizing learning experiences since my role as their case manager and advocate is to ensure they know how to eventually become their own great advocate for their learning. Asking for accommodations, but first even knowing what accommodations are, what they consist of, and most importantly which ones help them learn the best.



Photo by Alina Grubnyak on Unsplash

I love sitting down with my students as we prep for their annual student-led ILP or SSP (similar to 504 plans) meeting and going through their accommodation lists and talking about whether or not they use it and find it helpful. There is nothing better than when a student can vocalize in their own words which accommodations they find useful and why as well as which ones don’t help them along with an explanation of why.  It also is wonderful when highschool teachers will tell me or write to me about a student I once taught in middle school, and how they are now advocating for themselves and can confidently speak about themselves as learners.

I also hope to give my students the real experiences they crave while creating & using new knowledge in a world beyond our classroom where they can see the point of it all and truly develop a love for learning.


Invisible Bais

Teaching students to acknowledge and confront their own bias even when not invisible can be a challenging task. None the less when it is invisible. This can also stem across cultural barriers that can lead to students feeling isolated or even scared.  As teachers, I think this is one area that proves challenging the more we celebrate our differences and teach tolerance. I am careful here about word choice, as wanting to teach acceptance I don’t think is the answer. Making sure as an educator I don’t bring in my own invisible biases in the classroom will take attention to my word choice that I don’t think I have been mindful of in the past.  This lesson similar to our Mad Libs activities was a great way to show students the value of the words they choose and their own unique basis that go along with them.


Ethical Practice Focus Group

This past week I was asked to take part in one of my school’s audit groups, specifically around ‘ethical practices.’ It was a challenging one for me, as I am constantly asking questions and challenging policies and procedures to ensure that what we do, is “doing right by kids.” This small subcommittee had some great conversations around ethical and equitable practices within the faculty and staff and I was surprised how little was mentioned even amongst foster equitable learning environments for the students or centering the discussion around those who should continually be the center of educational discussions- the students. In the end, it allowed me to voice concerns and hear others’ points of view challenging my own invisible bias especially in terms of local vs. overseas hires, and simply the makeup of our student body being primarily an embassy-sponsored school in transition. It seems now more than ever questioning our meaningful learning environment and what that really looks like is of utmost importance.


Create the Reality that ALL Students Can & Will Learn

It starts with you…. so what will YOU do?

C4Wk2: Partners in Learning

Technology is just a tool. It’s a powerful tool, but it’s just a tool. Deep human connection is very different. It’s not a tool. It’s not a means to an end. It is the end – the purpose and the result of a meaningful life.

Melinda Gates, Philanthropist, Duke University Commencement Address, 2013

Images take from article: How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning 

Deep Learning is quality learning… that sticks!

What really resonated with me this week was the importance of Michael Fullen’s New Pedagogies for Deep Learning with the emphasis on making learning exciting and the importance of building trust. He explained going about that quite simply by:

  1. Name it
  2. Model it
  3. Monitor it

“Trust” by Pro-Zak is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

This leads me more towards looking into the leadership roles within a school:  and how new leaders “figure out how to relate to the group, to change the nature of the work” and even more importantly build collaboration that lasts beyond the leader leaving. Especially in an international school setting where turnover is usually quite high;  a collaborative group continues on after the leader has then left.  These leaders must focus on creating conditions that pull students’ and teachers’ initiative and potential forward; therefore, paving the way for new pedagogies that allow deep learning to take place. Without teacher initiative and recognizing the potential to move forward, it reminds me a lot of effect size and what the many factors are affecting student achievement.  With the teacher as Activator with an effect size of .72 (and as a facilitator at .19) it is crucial that as educators we continue to reflect on our current proven practices. This hold especially true in the field of SEN/SPED when in order to make a years plus growth in one years time, choosing interventions and teaching practices with effect sizes of at least 1 is the most beneficial for our students.  Hattie Ranking: 252 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement is a great reminder of what those include. Specifically, Collective Teacher Efficacy is the highest at 1.57, which is the collective belief of teachers in their ability to positively affect students’ lives in education. This also holds a strong correlation to job satisfaction; and during a pandemic year, one that has greatly been impacted.

Image Taken from Visible Learning: Hattie Ranking: 252 Influences And Effect Sizes Related To Student Achievement

Another aspect I found quite helpful was his mentions of Assessment Literacy: or the ability to be skilled at looking at the data and how to proceed with it. Since now more than ever teachers are bombarded with data and evidence that leads to an overwhelming amount of it, but being able to decipher it and see how we’re doing as educators. I found that the Principal’s Training Center (PCT) course on assessment incredibly helpful towards making progress towards this and attempts at achieving mastery.

Image taken from Pixaby

In order for this deep learning to be possible and to then stick, human connections are even more important than ever… especially in a now Covid plagued world.

Teachers can no longer get away with saying, “I don’t care if they like me, they don’t need to like me, they need to learn.” Hopefully, with more and more research and understandings out there, teachers will begin or continue to acknowledge how important a safe environment and good rapport go hand in hand with student achievement. Especially in the world of SEN/SPED, if a child doesn’t like their teacher, walls go up and it makes any learning even that much harder to obtain.

“If kids know you care about them as human beings,it makes all the difference”-Pauline Roberts

Teachers need to (naturally) gravitate towards new pedagogies that offer a new way of teaching or new tools that sparks engagement and learning.

Photo by Wout Vanacker on Unsplash

As stated in the article, How New Pedagogies Find Deep Learning, “Is it any wonder that studies from many countries show that less than 40% of upper secondary students are intellectually engaged at school?” If that number isn’t alarming and cause for a change, I don’t know what other motivation there could be.

Creating the freedom to learn and the freedom to contribute and participate on a global scale is a remarkable task one that wasn’t even in existence a decade ago and will take the continued transformation of technology within the classroom to achieve.

We need to continually push for more exciting lessons:

Image take from Michael Fullen's New Pedagogies for Deep Learning

Learning PartnershipsHandshake, Hands, Laptop, Monitor, Online, Digital

No matter if you call it digital learning, distance learning, or off-campus learning, the partnerships formed are more important now than ever. Not being in the ‘brick n mortar’ model of education where everyone is face to face and one can easily pop in and out of classrooms to bounce ideas off one another and more importantly give that specific regularly and timely feedback only became more and more challenging.

The learning partners must find a balance that will be different to each learning context; from my partnership in the Math 7 classroom with one teacher to my Humanities 7 classroom daily with another, to yet even a 3rd partnership with my instructional assistant in two pull out small group classes; each one offers a unique and specialized approach to collaboration.

Achieving the right balance between structure and independence is something that continually takes hard work, a massive amount of organization and on going communication depending on the subject, the complexity of the task at hand, and even greater impact…. the level of familiarity with the content.  We must be co-learners alongside our kids. Able to model the learning process that is required when answering great open-ended questions after a strong trust is built and engagement flows.

Throughout each learning process, it now becomes the focal point for all individuals to have mutual discovery, creation, and use of knowledge. To even attempt to tie in the frameworks more often than just during the large department’s meetings when establishing the year-long plans.

Fostering Partnerships to Support & Enhance

The ongoing teamwork and collaborative efforts allow for the greatest student achievement as we are able to build on one another strengths.

Learning outcomes are measured by:

  1. Capacities to build new knowledge and to lead their own learning effectively
  2. Proactive dispositions and their abilities to persevere through challenges
  3. The development of citizens who are life-long learners.

And it is through collaborative effective partnerships that we can achieve these learning outcomes and continually push for higher student engagement and deep learning… that STICKS!

Effective partnering is built on principles of equity, transparency, reciprocal accountability and mutual benefit.Through such partnering, teachers not only become learners themselves, but also begin to see learning through the eyes of their students. This ‘visibility’ is essential if teachers are to continuously challenge students to reach for the next step, and if they are to clearly see whether teaching and learning strategies are achieving their intended goals.


Hattie. J. (2009). Visible Learning: A Synthesis of over 800 Meta-Analyses Relating to Achievement. London: Routledge.

Embracing a New Model of Education

Our school has really been a focus on ensuring as much face to face time learning can take place while not compromising the safety and health of our community. Professional development and resources have been increased and extended to help compensate for these changing times, though at times the learning process can be hindered due to last minute changes or frequent change in teaching models at a moments notice (when a certain number of positive Covid cases has been reported) this effects any long term planning or even knowing which days classes will come next.  It has been a true testament to the flexibility and teaching our student to embrace

man using computer inside room spontaneity. A term not many educators are comfortable with, as we plan and have attempted to control every factor within our classrooms that are now on the other side of a screen.

Our school could be more accepting of new pedagogies and models by taking further action after completing a SEN/SPED audit through Next Frontiers: Inclusion.  They offered huge insight into our school’s teaching and inclusionary practices, as well as examples and models of different co-teaching methods: which we’ve found to be very useful and lead us to question the overall program and placement of students who receive specialized educational services.

In order for new pedagogies to spread,  teachers, students, and leaders must implement them and then collaborate to share their experiences. Only then will their experience and energy, help impact these learning practices that are being had on everyone involved.

My goal for deep learning partnerships at our school would be for teachers to embrace their partnerships with students to master the learning process; while continuing to expand their repertoire of teaching strategies in order to enhance the foundation of teacher’s pedagogical capacities.
I want teachers and students to not only master content knowledge, but the process of learning. Most importantly learning how to learn by:
  • Students defining their own learning goals and  success criteria
  • Students monitoring their own learning
  • Students critically examining their own work
  • Students incorporating feedback from anyone including, but not limited to: their peers, teachers, and parents 
  • Students use all of this to deepen their awareness of how they function in the learning process

After all of this happens and students begin to make progress in mastering the learning process, our role as educators can then move from ‘explicit structuring of learning tasks, and spend more time providing feedback, activating next-level learning challenges, and continuously developing the learning environment.’

Let’s Cross the Finish Line Together

Image taken from Toaster Masters International

Last, as we consider the New Pedagogies for Deeper Learning all we need to focus on are the 6 C’. Whether it’s for project-based learning, through direct instruction, or through an inquiry-based mode of learning, having the teacher as an ‘activator’ (higher effect size) as opposed to ‘facilitator’ (lower effect size, even below the hinge point) will allow for deeper learning experiences to take place in our classrooms.

Character Education

Citizenship

Collaboration

Communication

Creativity

Critical Thinking

Nerivill1, Ocean, Women, Sea, Summer, Beach, Woman

Based on this week’s readings, in order to engage and support deeper learning, I will shift my practice to continue to work on my questioning- especially when in the large classroom setting (non pull-out environment) to ensure all learners are achieving their level best. I like to activate my students through the use of greater questioning techniques, holding them accountable, setting clear/high expectations, and helping them set their own goals and monitor their own progress- especially around self-regulatory skills and constant reflection.

 How Do You ‘Activate’ Students?

My practice has deepened since the start of my COETAIL journey as I have gained many new tools to utilize in my classrooms, ended my protest of Twitter, and expanded my PLNs through blogging.  I’ve implemented many “new” technology features to enhance the learning of my students right alongside me.  Modeling every step of the way, that it’s more than okay to make mistakes and try new things while continually reminding one another

“Please be Patient we are learning”- Dr. Brent Mutsch

C4Wk1- Frameworks for Learning

We Are All Teachers of Technology

Technology integration is a way for teachers to enhance their lessons for better student engagement and understanding. Using the frameworks of TPACK & SAMR as a guide to better help everyone reflect and improve their lessons.

TPACK is the combination of one’s Content & Pedagogical knowledge with Technological knowledge. Content knowledge being what the teacher knows about their subject matter- or the what, Pedagogical knowledge being what the teacher knows about methods of teaching and learning- or the how, and the Technological knowledge being what the teacher already knows about technology. With the dotted outline being the different contexts that lessons take place in all around the world.

 

I found the SAMR Lesson Planner mind map extremely helpful to help distinguish the use of technology from going from just the enhancement stage to being a huge transformation in learning and lesson design.

These two frameworks of technology integration are similar as they aid teachers in organizing and outlining what teachers need to know and do in order to better understand how to integrate technology in their classrooms.

Yet they differ in their focus. TPACK focuses more on the knowledge that is needed to integrate technology in meaningful ways, whereas SAMR focuses on what technology integration specifically looks like.

This video is a great explanation of how the two models are intertwined.

 

Our school currently uses this framework to create a safe environment for learning. My own practices align with our learning principles as I continually strive to ensure that learning stays personal as we continually focus on ILP goals and learning how to pull ourselves out of the learning pit.  Most importantly having students feeling okay to take risks and learn from our mistakes.

We also strive to move towards the model of the T3 Framework for Innovation which claims to quadruple student achievement based on their research.

I do not have a preference, over any of them, but I do find the Technology Integration Matrix as another extremely helpful tool when describing and targeting your use for technology. From entry-level to transformational levels across 5 different areas of meaningful learning environments: Active, Collaborative, Constructive, Authentic, and Goal-Directed.  What I really liked about this matrix was that they were all things that can be equally done through on-line learning as well as for in person instruction.  Whether you’re at the adoption, adaptation, or infusion level the main goal being to reflect where you’re at and see what lessons and units one can begin to transform.

My Classroom

Technology integration has increased dramatically since moving to distance/digital learning. Even with hybrid learning, more and more classes are fully functioning via Google Classroom and other Google tools.

Limited face to face contact with our students has really allowed me to dive headfirst into the technology pool and model what it is like for our students to take risks and try new and creative ways for teaching and learning.

Photo taken from Pixaby

My own practice of technology integration would vary dramatically between my different classes. From my “pull out” support classes like “Learning Resource Class”(LRC) or “English for Academic Purposes” (EAP) would be evaluated entirely different than my co-taught Humanities and Math.

Having a small group of 3-6 students in LRC and EAP with an instructional aide has been very effective at trying out new technologies and changing things up day to day or week to week. We’ve been able to enhance numerous lessons and move away from the simple substitution of technology within lessons to more modifications happening for great transformations to take place.

Looking back at when I first started teaching, in the United States, and resources and professional development was let’s just say, limited, my growth in technology continues to develop more and more in the international setting. From overhead projectors being replaced with SmartBoards and carrying on with doing the same thing though slightly enhanced, with the tech. to completely re-looking at lesson design and putting the focus back on the Pedagogy and Content and only THEN exploring the ways that technology can enhance your craft.

Here’s a glace at my Collaborative Co-teaching Bitmoji Classroom- but more details on the transformation involved coming soon!

Where do you see yourself and the technology use in your classroom?