Piloting being a 1:1 iPad classroom* and being an almost completely paperless classroom left me filled me up and wanting more. It inspired me to be a risk taker, it inspired me to follow a brewing passion (technology…duh?!!) and it pushed me to go big, prove to everyone, to show everyone that if the students in my classroom can accomplish this, do this, be successful at this then anyone can…everyone should!!! Quite frankly, the end of last years’ school year was career and life changing for me.
When the new school year began this year I was filled up with idea, inspiration and a ton of tricks I was going to try in my classroom. We were going to seriously rock it as a 1:1 iPad. Only I forgot to do one thing…. I forgot to check to make sure that I would even be able to be a 1:1 iPad classroom. Call me naive, call me dumb, say duhhh Carrie, but I seriously believed that if we seriously rocked the 1:1 iPad pilot …I mean rocked it so hard the audiences would cheer and clap and break down the stage if we didn’t come back out for an encore rocked it there would be no way that our technology awesomeness could be denied. Well it was and not just in a just wait a bit it will happen or maybe next year style…it was a road block. Full on stop traffic.
I thought about crying in a vat of coffee and piles of chocolates or get so mad I’d bust, but really neither of those would solve my problem…coffee and chocolate are so very nice though. We were a classroom full of skilled iPad users/paperless classroom with some access to iPads and we would no longer be able to be paperless. What was I going to do…
I decided that I was going to ignore this stupid road block and take it upon myself to find away around it. It might take longer, it might mean I’ll have to ask for direction, it might mean we have to conquer some mountains but gosh darn it we were loading up the car and we were going to get there. We were going to get back to being a 1:1 iPad classroom.
First I reassessed any students who were not already being evaluated for assistive technology. Were there any other students (last year we identified two) that if we took the technology away from them it would significantly impact their organization, their access to information, their participation in class etc. We identified two more.
Second (and this was super hard for me) I had to have a talk with my students who would not qualify for assistive technology. I explained to them the situation and told them that we would still be using technology, we would work together to pick a preferred technology tool and they would become an expert at it. It would have to be a tool that was accessible by desktop. We would also go back to hand writing notes and worksheets.
Third I decided I needed to stay ahead of the game. I needed to continue to use all the new tools and techniques I was learning about. I needed technology stayed ever present and an active part of every period, every lesson, conversations…an ever present tool.
Fourth (and final) I was going to make sure I made and took opportunities to teach others. I was going to make sure I took opportunities to work with my peers, help them figure out technology, how to use something, how to create with something. I was going to work with our tech person to make opportunities for me to help her or for me to teach staff some of the tools I use with students.
…most of all I was not going to give up. I would keep sharing, keep talking, keep asking, keep moving forward with as much technology because road blocks can’t last forever and if they do I’ll just find a way around them!
A Note about the post… I am fully aware of how very lucky I am as an educator to work in the district I work in. I am also extremely grateful for the tools and technology that I have to teach with. Technology is an amazingly fantastic tool that is powerful and has so very much to offer students. When you know the technology is there and you know its potential its hard to not have it. I also know money doesn’t grow on trees!
*A classroom that each student has their own individual iPad to use, in many cases (in mine) the students are allowed to also bring them home to use