- My students came to me in 8th grade already understanding how to use the basic programs like Google Earth, Voicethread, Animoto, and more. It is sad to me that most have never used these programs for learning until they walk into my room. I teach both Geography and English and use PBL in all units. Most students look at the computer screen the way they look at notebook paper at first.
- Students came to me understanding (or at least feeling comfortable with) the idea that they are in charge of their learning and they will not have to “power down” as Alan November calls it.
- I had the support of the county tech team to acknowledge the importance of getting to the work orders on my computers. It’s not the team’s fault; we just need one technician in every school. I have a cart of 24 computers that stays in my classroom from a Blackboard pilot I was involved in a few years ago. Blackboard did not stay, but the computers did. Four years later, TLC is needed.
- Parents did not fear their kids having gmails. Students use their gmails for Google Docs (editing each others’ work, finishing work at home, you get the idea) every day and I still have some that are not allowed to have school email.
But all is not lost! Some of my wishes are coming true this year. My class will be involved in Challenge 20/20 with the Carol Morgan School (an international school) in the Dominican Republic, I am speaking at the National Middle School Association Conference in November, and I am finally a bona fide Twit!