Featured Teacher: Andrea Johnson
I decided to shine a spotlight on Andrea as our Featured Teacher this month because she has been so inspired by attending her FIRST EdTechTeam Summitand #gafe4littles conference. In addition, Andrea has sought out ways to make sure that her kindergarten students are exposed to all things #
edtech! Lastly, Andrea and I have worked together for about 8 years before I moved to another school site. I love her willingness to try something new and her resilience. Here is her insight about using technology in the classroom and what she has learned this past week at two educational technology conferences. I am so proud of you, Andrea! Blaze that trail!
What has been your past experience with technology in the classroom?
My past experience with technology has been somewhat limited. Since I have been teaching Kindergarten I would go to the computer lab once a week and have the students play on Starfall or ABC mouse. I have one Ipad in class and use it as a reward. The student that gets it is able to play on the apps that I have during center time. I also got a SMARTboard in my class last May and I have been in love using it as an interactive tool with my students!
My experience at the summit and #gafe4littles was amazing!!! I felt that my teaching was getting a little stagnant and this was just the thing I needed to give me a jump start. My excitement actually started about a month earlier. I attended a #PubPD, hosted by Rosalinda and Michele, and expressed my need for something to “light my teaching fire again.” She had me open up a Twitter account and got me connected with some people that were excited about technology at my grade level. This is how I met up with Christine Pinto and #gafe4littles.
Attending the EdTechTeam Summit, I feel was a great stepping stone for me to get started with the technology. I was amazed to find out about all the Google apps and how easy they were to use and interact with one another. I left the weekend with my head swimming but excited to try out my “#onenewthing!” My first “one new thing” was to go home that night and get all of my students signed into Google Classroom. I knew that this would be a super big obstacle. I sat there and entered them in one by one into Google Classroom. Then I was like, “now I need to get the kids to sign themselves in on the Chromebooks.” Well, I was feeling pretty good and decided to create some login cards. With the help of another Kinder teacher, we were able to create cards by using Google Sheets and merging them into Google Docs (one new thing number 2). 😉 The next hurdle was actually getting my students to log in. I decided to work with our big 4th grade buddies to help me out with this. It was a success!!! All of them were able to sign in, take a profile picture, find our classroom and complete a simple assignment. I was feeling pretty good about myself and my students at this point! I thought we were on a roll, what can we do next. The next day I had them in a small group sign in by themselves, find the classroom and click on the new assignment I had pushed out to them. I had linked a website to the assignment where they could get trackpad practice by moving puzzle pieces around while practicing letters and sounds. It was an amazing day and I was so excited that I had done it on my own!!! I was also super excited because I knew that I was going to the #gafe4littles conference in two days!
At the conference, it was awesome to be with other primary teachers that were excited about bringing technology to their students! The day was filled with lots of learning experiences and TONS of resources to take back to my classroom. It was a conference that was tailored to whatever the group wanted to learn and I felt that it was so beneficial. The most important thing that I took away from this conference was to believe in the ability of my students and my ability to teach them technology in class.
What impact has it had on your teaching, your students, or your work with colleagues at your school/organization?
I feel that I am ready to begin a new journey where I am not afraid to try new things and excited to create new lessons with the use of technology.
What has been your biggest FAIL with edtech?
Not feeling that this was something I could do. I felt that I was so behind with technology and that It would just be too hard! Attending the EdTechTeam Summit made me see that this was not true at all!
What can you recommend for other primary teachers?
Don’t be afraid!!!! The kids can totally do it and if something goes wrong they are kids and it’s no big deal! Start slow and just add to it.
|*RO APPROVES OF CAPTAIN CRUNCH!*
Captain Crunch or Frosted Flakes? Explain your reasoning!
OOH… Captain Crunch all the way!!!! Frosted Flakes gets so mushy and disgusting! 🙂
Anything else you would like to say?
Thank you so much, Rosalinda, for being my muse and getting me excited about teaching again!!! Love you!!!! <3
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