Prior to this current school year I’d have to define my knowledge of technology as limited. Now, don’t get me wrong, I was pretty darn good at the basics. Internet, word processing, excel, and of course Facebook were no problem. That being said, I can’t say that I was using technology in my teaching. Yes, I let my students play the occasional computer game but I was not using technology to improve my teaching or my students learning. The reality is that I didn’t really know where to start, what to do, and I wasn’t completely sold on if it would truly be worth my time.
Agreeing to be a part of the Next Gen Leadership Cadre meant choosing to have an open mind, to learn, and to TRY. It meant choosing to get out of my comfort zone, to try things even when I wasn’t really sure what I was doing, and often it meant asking for help. Starting out, there was a lot of apprehension. Maybe even a bit of reluctance. I know, I know – I signed up for this, but how could I use something with my students when I wasn’t even good at it yet? Ah, there’s that word. Yet. I wasn’t confident in the beginning but have become much more so and continue to improve. I have become comfortable with trying something new with my students even if I’m still learning it alongside them. (Well, mostly. Hey, still a work in progress here.)
What did I learn? I learned that my students are completely okay with me learning things right alongside them. I learned that there is an overwhelming network of support that I can call on when I need help. I learned that all that help truly wants the best for me and my students and will offer support in a safe, non-judgmental way. I learned that using technology can offer so much to my students. I learned that I’ve only scratched the surface of using technology in my teaching. I still have so much to learn. Has it been easy? Nope. Is it worth it? Absolutely! So for that, I will continue to choose to be a work in progress.
Today's thoughts come to us from Ms. Kelli Barnes. A special education teacher for 13 years, Kelli has enjoyed learning from and working with a diverse population of students in grades 1 - 6. Being a mom of three young children has given her a renewed sense of patience and understanding of her students, as well as a lot less sleep. She generally runs on sunshine, coffee, and chocolate. Kelli has been married to a farmer for eight years and enjoys her life in the country.
Smartphones are everywhere. Literally. According to the Pew Research Center, about 77% of U.S. adults say they own a Smartphone, which is 42% more than just 7 years ago. Even in an article more than two years old, teenage ownership of Smartphones is reported at nearly 80%. These are what we call realities. The same was true when horse drawn buggies were replaced by automobiles. Wagon trains replaced by locomotives. Bus and car travel replaced by airplanes. Food cooked over an open fire to microwaves. I think you get the point. New technologies became prevalent and the old ones faded into history. It’s called evolution.
When processes and products change as a result of evolution, a person has two options, ok maybe three.
Option 1: Adapt and try to ride the wave
Option 2: Fight back
Option 3: Bury your head in the sand and pretend that things are not fundamentally changing
In education, I feel that we have an obligation to first and foremost be informed. We have to know what changes have occurred outside the walls of our school as well as try to anticipate what is coming next. Here’s the reason: we have dozens, or even hundreds, of students counting on us for that each year. You may not like that technology plays such a predominant role in our lives...ALL of our lives. If you are reading this right now, you are benefiting from advances in technology. You might think that it is devaluing relationships, making us apathetic, and is wreaking havoc on the employment landscape. These can certainly be true - but only if we let them.
I understand that not everyone will embrace the evolution and role that technology plays in our lives, but the fact of the matter is, it's not going to stop or slow down. It’s is only going to escalate. What is your role as a teacher? I mean REALLY, what is your role? Don Wettrick cites this role quite often as he interviews thought leaders, entrepreneurs and change agents on his StartEdUp Podcast. By the way, do yourself a favor and load some of those episodes up in your library! As he states, and I wholeheartedly agree, our job is to prepare students for their future. Period. It's not to prepare them for a future that you wish could be. It’s not to prepare them for jobs of the past. Its for their future. Although there are many, many unknowns, the one thing that we know with 100% certainty is that their ability to effectively use technology to create, collaborate, communicate, and automate will be essential to their survival in the workplace.
How do we accomplish this? We start by cutting back on the time we give kids to use to technology to consume and increase the opportunities for students to create and innovate. There are a number of studies that are drawing correlations to the increase in teen smartphone usage to depression and suicide. As a parent and teacher this is terrifying. I will leave it to you do the reading for yourself, but some of the correlations I have read stated that this is a result of everything from body-shaming to cyber bullying. A recent Time article even referenced a clinical explanation of link between, “media multitasking—texting, using social media and rapidly switching among smartphone-based apps—with lower gray-matter volume in the brain’s anterior cingulate cortex (ACC), a region involved in emotion processing and decision making.”
Back to Don, he had a conversation with Seth Godin about the recent school shooting and Seth said something extremely insightful. He said “a cat can’t be curious and angry at the same time.” He went on to explain that if we are engaging kids in meaningful, authentic, validating work that fosters curiosity, maybe, just maybe, they can stay out or come out of the darkness. The kind of darkness I’m talking about is the kind that makes mass shootings and suicide seem justifiable and the only option to kids.
If we refuse to give students opportunities to learn how to effectively use technology to create meaningful content, make connections, and illustrate their learning, then we are truly doing them more harm than good. In his book, Launch, John Spencer does am amazing job of illustrating the new “digital divide.” It’s no longer the division of students that have technology and those that so not, but its now a “Creative Chasm between those who passively consume and those who actively create” (p. 18). Ask yourself this: which student is better positioned to meet the employment needs of the workforce once they graduate? Better yet, which student is going to be able to carve their own path in a workforce where freelancers will make up more than 50% of the workforce.
So how are you handling technology’s evolution? Are you flourishing, fleeing, or fighting against it. But, before you answer on behalf of you children and students, maybe, like me, you need to put your own phone down and work on improving communication with those that matter.
Today's ideas come to us from Mr. Kevin Schamel. Kevin began teaching in 2006 and become one of RCS’s eLearning Specialists, where he has been helping to support and coach teachers, students, and administrators since 2014. He received his Bachelor’s Degree from Miami University and his M.Ed from IU East. Kevin comes from a family of educators, is married to a middle school math teacher, Kristin, and has two wonderful boys at home, Jaxon and Greyson.
Time to Play
Play is the key to learning. Young children experience the world through play. Skills needed throughout life are developed while playing. Play promotes inquiry, experimentation, investigation, excitement, imagination, and collaboration. Play encourages risk-taking!
Children use play to try new things. They’re not worried about making mistakes or messing things up. They jump right in! Somewhere along the way, learning becomes serious business. Once we understand our strengths and weaknesses, we doubt our success at anything new. We question whether or not we can manage. We worry about exposing our insecurities.
In order to change, we have to shift our thinking. We need to shift the expectations we have of ourselves. It’s okay if we don’t have it all figured out! It’s okay to try and fail—the best learning happens in those moments! We can depend on each other to build on our weaknesses. We need to become more childlike in our approach to learning.
So…how to start?
Let go of your fear. It’s time to PLAY!
Today’s thoughts come from Brandi Jackson. Brandi is the Instructional Coach at Dennis Intermediate in her 15th year of teaching at Richmond Community Schools. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from IU East and a Master’s Degree from Ball State University. She recently completed the Principal Licensure Program at Indiana Wesleyan University. Brandi has previously taught Reading Recovery as well as multiple elementary grade levels. She and her husband, Daniel, have two children, Lydia and Benjamin, who keep them busy. In her spare time, Brandi enjoys spending time with family, reading, and enjoying the outdoors.
I sometimes have brainstorms about technical solutions to make the bureaucratic aspects of education more efficient and meaningful. I call these “edtech puzzles”. But when I sit down at the card table to put together the puzzle pieces, I often get stuck wondering “Is this puzzle worth the effort?” I wonder if my little time-savers and shortcuts are where I should really be focusing my energy. Do they help me build relationships and transport me and my students toward bigger goals? I have journeyed on the thought tracks pondering methods to assess my own ideas by comparing the estimated input cost of developing and teaching a new tool or procedure against the estimated impact of the tool. But these routes are merely spurs that always lead back to the main line on which this train of thought chugs into the terminal station asking, “What are my big goals in education?”
Many authors have written about the critical value teacher-student relationship hold in education. I certainly agree that is one of my “big goals”. Relationships build trust. Relationships give us knowledge of students’ backgrounds. Relationships open our being to transformation. I needn’t resurrect a phoenix that has already risen on the wings of others’ good writing. My concern is what do we do with those relationships? If we succeed in building a positive relationship with students, we have made ourselves vulnerable and accepted the responsibility of faithful stewardship of students’ trust in us.
Without a lot of to-do, I humbly offer these big goals for education as what we could be doing with the relationship we develop with our students:
Today's thoughts come to us from Mr. Christopher Blinn. Christopher teaches students with special needs at Richmond High School. He enjoys working with those who are developing their vision for life after high school. Outside of school, Christopher parents a four-year old and a two-year old with his wife Kate. He enjoys cooking, biking, gardening, and tea.
As a Kindergarten teacher I spent my first year with Canvas in a love-hate relationship. I saw all the new and inventive things other teachers were doing and wanted to do the same with my young students. I spent most of Year 1 getting frustrated because I couldn’t do what others were doing.
Then Year 2 came. I decided to stop trying to have my 5 year old students do what 10, 12, and 14 year olds were doing and just focus on the basics. This was a game changer for me. I stopped the negativity and only focused on the positives. The “what would work” instead of the “what wouldn’t work.”
So I started at the most basic task-logging into Canvas. Some may underestimate how difficult a task this is. Students must be able to match numbers and letters as well as be able to identify what is an uppercase letter and what is a lowercase letter to know when to use the shift key. (Anyone who thinks this sounds easy are welcome to stop in a kindergarten room in the fall!) We spent months learning how to log in independently, but we finally got there! Every single one of my students can log into Canvas on their own! (You’re welcome 1st grade teachers!).
With that hurdle crossed, we could move on to actually using Canvas! Yes, my kindergartners are using tools in Canvas. Are we using all of the wonderful parts and pieces? No way. But that is where I stopped worrying about using everything and focused on just a small portion. With the help of our e-learning team, my students can now record themselves reading their weekly book ,which saves me so much time from before when I would frantically try to get to every student. Now I can listen to them read at my own time and be able to plan small group lessons based on the type of errors they are making. My students also record themselves reading sight word lists during our center time.
Being able to use the media recorder and learning how to upload and submit their assignments has been the game changer in my room! For everyone that says the little ones can’t use Canvas-they are so wrong. Canvas just needs to be used at an appropriate level for them. It’s really about just giving them the opportunity to try. My goal was to give them a foundation to build upon as they move through the grade levels. My advice to those hesitant to put devices into their young students’ hands is to focus on what they can do and the rest will follow.
Melody Williams is a kindergarten teacher in her 9th year of teaching at Richmond Community Schools. She has earned a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education from IU East and a Bachelor’s Degree in Middle Childhood Education from Wright State University. Melody has previously taught Reading Recovery and Special Education although her passion lies in kindergarten. In 2015, she earned REA Teacher of the Month and in 2016, was named Crestdale Elementary Teacher of the Year. Melody and her husband, Lee, have two young children, Kyson and Kynsie, who keep them very busy. In her spare time, Melody enjoys spending time with her friends and family.
How did I get to this point in my career? I always felt like I was born to teach, and I worked hard in the testing grade levels of 3rd and 4th grade. I was devastated and nervous when my principal of 10 years retired and we’d be getting someone new. Little did I know, that new principal was moving on from the eLearning Team and would push me in new ways. My classroom became a place that was truly becoming student-centered, I was shifting to let students teach me, and we teamed up with Test to have a technology day. It was empowering for me and my students! I saw students become leaders in technology when they weren’t leaders in “traditional” ways. We utilized our LMS, Canvas, spheros, Sway, and more. I couldn’t wait to start this year doing it all from the beginning. I had no plans of leaving, until I did.
A retiring librarian position was not being filled, so it was listed as an eLearning position. I took a huge leap of faith and pushed myself out of my comfort zone, and applied. I interviewed, and the rest is history. Not only did I change positions and buildings, but I joined the Cadre.
The Cadre pushed me into redesigning this for the classroom, but I no longer have a traditional classroom. Thanks to a first grade teacher in one of my buildings, she took on Canvas assignments and creating weekly tasks for her higher groups to record themselves on their weekly phonics check. We even presented this at our January PD day. From there, I have done weekly Canvas discussions in my media center classes. I have learned to embed Flipgrid, use Chatterpix, and completed an iMovie project with O365 documents and Canvas assignments. I have worked with the district eLearning Team and am headed to Colorado this summer to present with Cadre members at Instructurecarn!
So, what has been my take-away? Or what do I hope your take-away is? Well, I hope that you take a leap of faith. Try one new thing with technology each day, each week, each month - just try it! Things have not worked flawlessly, but my students and I persevere and problem-solve together. I would have never dreamed a year ago that I'd be doing what I'm doing now. Making one change continued to push me and has enabled me to become the leader I am today. If I can be of assistance to you, please reach out to me.
Today’s post comes to us from Mrs. Sarah Vance. Sarah is in her first year as an eLearning Teacher with Richmond Community Schools. She runs two Elementary Media Centers, in addition to visiting classrooms to support technology. This is also her first year in the Cadre. Sarah is in her 11th year with Richmond Community Schools, where she spent 10 years as a classroom teacher in grades Second thru Fourth. Sarah earned the Rising Star Award her first year teaching, along with the No Excuses Award. She was the Charles Elementary Teacher of the Year in 2017. She earned her Bachelor’s Degree from Indiana University East and her Master’s Degree from Earlham College. Sarah and her husband, Adam, have 3 boys. In her spare time, Sarah chases after her 3 year old twins (aka “the twin-ados”) and watching her 6 year old play soccer and t-ball.
I have a confession to make.
There have been times that I’ve thought to myself, privately, that the teachers that weren’t trying new things were bad teachers. I’m young, fairly tech-savvy, quick with technology. I had failed to empathize with teachers who had been here much longer with much more experience. I had failed to recognize that change can be overwhelming.
Sometimes, when we’re overwhelmed, human beings have a tendency to behave like turtles. We retreat into the safety of our shells, because that’s what we know how to do best. I think it’s something that we don’t empathize much with because we’re so focused on growth mindset right now while failing to recognize how many of us grew up in a fixed mindset culture based on internal beliefs. We grew up in a culture of inherent skills and traits, even though we are trying to teach our students to think differently.
I have colleagues who are in their turtle shells right now because we’re in the middle of an education revolution based firmly in technology, and they’ve self-labeled as “not a tech person.” And, in turn, I had labeled them in my head as a “bad teacher.”
This is neither fair nor right. We need to change how we talk about reaching out to our co-workers. I say this because I’ve seen people that I thought of as rigid, old-school teachers start to change. If someone else—someone who hadn’t written them off—hadn’t helped them out, pulled them out of their turtle shell, then maybe they would never have seen the light about new pedagogical methods.
There’s a reason for this empathy. This was the semester that I feel like I found my limits. (I’ve said that for several semesters in a row now, but bear with me).
I haven’t done a good job of integrating technology in the classroom as I feel like I have in past semesters. I’ve regressed to lesson formats that may be engaging, but don’t necessarily empower students to take learning into their own hands. And recognizing that? It’s made me take a step back.
So what’s my plan when I get back from spring break? Reaching out. I plan on reaching out to the teacher who says, “Until someone can convince me this is better than what I’m doing, I won’t do it.” I plan on reaching out to the teacher who is more open to technology than expected, but is afraid of messing up. Not just in my building, but in this ever more interconnected world of education.
By dismissing people as being “set in their ways” or saying they’re “never going to change,” we’re enabling the fixed mindset that we rail against. Let’s unite and reach out to show that growth really is possible for anyone.
Today's thoughts come to us from Mr. Hunter Lambright. Hunter teaches various math courses at Richmond High School and is the varsity track coach.
In 2012, I was a 22 year veteran of the classroom, presenting at the Indiana Conference on Learning, and I had the chance to see a session by Meg Ormiston (@megormi) on using technology to enhance teaching and learning. During the session she said several times to the whole room, “You MUST be on Twitter!” She actually stopped her presentation and had us create accounts. I created an account…reluctantly. I was thinking, “I don’t do social media” and “it’s a waste of time” and “I don’t want to be a part of the drama.” Well, here’s the deal, I was wrong!
Meeting connected educators
By far the best part of Twitter for me is the connections I have made with people in all aspects of education from around the globe. I am always most impressed by the practicing classroom teachers that participate. They have spent the day fighting the good fight and still take some time to “glow and grow” with the rest of us. What’s the common theme among those that participate in chats? It is not subject, grade level or school district, it’s seeking to improve. And it’s their students-they come to learn, share, and connect to better serve those in their care.
#RCSeLearn #RCSNextGen #RCSeMadness
The @RCSeLearn team hosts a Twitter chat every Tuesday night at 8 pm. This is a labor of love for our team- but none of us had ever hosted (we had occasionally participated) a Twitter chat until we started in January of 2017-an idea from our Director of Secondary Education, Mike Shunneson (@RiskTaker4Kids). We take pride in creating topics of interest, engaging our followers, and moving the needle while having fun. We have all gained so much through this endeavor and want to share it with others. This spring we will host our 50th chat – not something I would have ever imagined doing (see the opening paragraph!). Twitter, and our use of hashtags, has allowed us to learn, share, and keep the conversations going.
Total transparency here – I like getting “likes, retweets, and follows.” It’s not the purpose to my tweets or my “why” on Twitter, but it is a fun side currency and I would be disingenuous if I said otherwise. This is why we included participating in chats, following connected educators, and hosting/moderating a chat in our #RCSeMadness Challenge. We are working at building a Twitter based professional learning community. We are excited to see the growth and development of folks like the @EduTryGuys and all that they have added to our collective experience. We are pleased to have more teachers from the district serving as guest moderators and hosting a chat for us in the near future – it is a sign of the growth we have seen through Twitter.
Personalizing your Professional Development
Twitter provides a tremendous opportunity for personalizing your professional development whether you are a teacher, coach, or administrator. You can search Twitter and find a hashtag and/or a chat for virtually any area of educational interest. Some of the best chats I have participated in have included a mixture of young professionals, weathered veterans and pre-service teachers- each bringing their unique perspectives. Twitter chats have also led to a steady diet of professional reading: Ditch That Textbook (@jmattmiller), Teach Like a Pirate (@burgessdave), Explore Like a Pirate (@mrmatera), The Innovator’s Mindset (@gcouros) to name a few.
Share your knowledge and receive so much more back
We all have felt the isolation of “teaching on an island.” Twitter allows you to break out of the classroom walls, reach beyond, and connect with educators from your school, district, state, nation and world because it is not confined to “the schedule.” It has been my experience that when I have shared – I have received far more by just being present, engaged, and interested. Not a week goes by that I don’t find a new source, app, or idea shared by someone in a chat.
Connection to our Professional Library
By following connected educators, interacting with them through chats, and seeing them present at conferences (even hosting them as keynotes at our own conferences) -Twitter has led us to build a substantial professional development library available to all RCS teachers. As mentioned above, most of the professional reading I have done in the past two years is directly related to people I have connected with on Twitter. Often, the authors have made appearances in our #RCSeLearn Chats – I think the current record is three published authors participating in one of our chats! We have even based some of our chats on the authors we have met through Twitter and their books.
Twitter Changed My Life
Twitter is, like any technology, a tool that can be used for positive or negative purposes – it’s how people choose to use the tool that makes the difference. It provides a powerful opportunity for good, for personal growth, for ending isolation, and for connecting people interested in serving others – that’s what I would tell my 2012 self anyway!
Today's post comes to us from Mr. Tim Arnold. Tim is in his second year as an eLearning Specialist with the Richmond Community schools. Prior to that, he spent 26 years as a social studies teacher, coach, and educational leader at Nettle Creek Schools in Hagerstown. Tim curates a nationally recognized technology and learning blog and was selected as a top ten educator in the State of Indiana in 2008. Tim and his wife Julie, a “rock-star” 6th grade science teacher, are graduates of Indiana University (BS ‘90) and Ball State University (MA ‘97) and have two college age children, Kelsie and Nick. Find Tim on Twitter @arnoldtimw.
This whole year has been about pushing my limits. I knew walking in on the first day I would have my work cut out for me. I watched last year’s K kids grow and mature into almost first graders and at the same time, I watched the K teachers struggle and push and encourage these changes to happen. By the end of last year, these kiddos were still a work in progress, and most definitely headed to first grade land. This was a whole different beast of firsties than the crew I had currently. Changes were a must. I had to readjust and purposefully plan, do things I had not done before. Classroom management was CRUCIAL for these upcoming first graders.
From day one I have had to make strategic plans of action to deal with behavior, readjust how I teach, constantly rearrange my room layout, and move seats, often times on a whim. When talk of the cadre came about, many thoughts ran through my head. Well this is interesting. Do I have time? What will my peers think? Can I push 6 and 7 year olds to use iPads and technology with a purpose? Can I learn all of these new things while keeping up with the current? Is it worth that many days off? How will my students behave when I’m gone? Will they be upset that I miss one day a month?
It was overwhelming to even think about taking on this challenge. However, after a few days of debating and weighing my options, I submitted my application.
Just hitting that submit button pushed hard on the threshold of my comfort zone. I felt a wave of anxiety rush through me. What have I done?! Can I take it back? What if I hate it? What if I can’t keep up? Then I got accepted. Oh gosh, I’m going to miss so much school! So many sub plans! What if I fail?
Fast forward to now. The cadre has been a game changer for me. I have found strengths within myself that I was unaware of before. I have pushed my teaching to new limits. I have stepped SO FAR out of my comfort zone. AND I LIKE IT!
I cannot wait to hit the ground running next school year. I am excited to redesign some things and start with iPads and Canvas from the first week. I have been more successful teaching small groups while my kiddos are independently working on iPads completing meaningful work! It has been fantastic!!! Math time was a HUGE struggle for this crew. We just couldn’t do it whole group. I had to change something so I dove in whole heartedly and completely changed how my classroom ran during math.
Reflecting on the year, this was probably the best change I made. In addition to the match switch we also worked with Chatterpix and FlipGrid. These apps were amazing because I have so many kiddos who are not independent writers and through these apps they were able to express their thoughts and ideas successfully!
Cadre has changed my teaching mindset. I have always been an active learner, but this year I have truly stepped out of my comfort zone. Aside from Cadre, I have been accepted to Butler as a non-degree grad student beginning this summer. I will receive my certification in educational neuroscience. Signing up for school was another HUGE LEAP right out of my little safe box!
I am SO excited to start this new journey in my teaching career though and I can’t wait to see the affects it has on my future students! After this school year, my comfort zone has grown immensely.
Cheers to pushing those limits for days, weeks, months, and years to come! If your comfort zone keeps expanding, do you really even have a comfort zone? #foodforthought #challengeyourself #orremainthesame #whatcomfortzone
Today's thoughts come to us from Kaylynn Hooker. Kaylynn molds minds as a first grade teacher at Starr Elementary. She is the mother of 2 children (one biological and one bonus!), a wife, educator, pet lover and avid cross-fitter. She loves simplicity, family, friends and fitness.
How did twenty years go by, and I somehow land at Charles Elementary School, and in a course about something called Canvas? I won’t bore you with my entire career story, but I would like to focus on my certainties as an educator. One thing I know for sure is that technology has enhanced my teaching from the moment my career began. The other is that embracing change isn’t that difficult if you don’t overthink it. Just jump!
In my first experience in 1997 as a fourth grade teacher, I plunged into a low socio-economic classroom that provided computers to students from a grant. Each student was given a PC to take home to complete assignments and involve their families in using technology. Little did I know, I would add computer technician to my job duties, visiting the homes of my students and trouble-shooting their PC issues. Wow! What a hands on learning adventure. I built relationships with the families, and grew my problem solving skills. Where would I be today without this beginning experience with technology? Would I have been a teacher that feared change and let it cripple my growth as an educator? Thankfully, I’ll never know. I kept jumping!
After a few years, the grant ended. But if monies were allocated to technology, I took advantage of my opportunities. Whenever I was approached to pilot anything digital, overthinking was not an option. My answer was always YES! Smart boards, document cameras, clickers, extra PCs, netbooks, and iPads found their way into my 3rd, 4th, or 5th grade classrooms to engage and empower my students. Somehow I didn’t have the fear that my colleagues felt when they heard the “T” word. I leapt!
Perhaps some teachers at my school groaned because with new technologies comes new programs to learn. New programs can mean new problems. Who has time for that? Learning and creating takes time, but blending technology can save time too. Knowing this, I became part of the corporation technology team and learned about GAFE, Adobe Spark, Book Creator, HyperDocs, Padlet, Kahoot It, Quizizz... The list goes on. This team experience helped build my resume and helped land my position at Charles today. My journey has brought me to using Canvas with first graders.
I never thought I could handle teaching students below the third grade, and I admit I thought that my days of using technology would decline with young learners. After all, they are learning to read, write, add, and subtract! I didn’t have much time to overthink it, and I jumped! My preconceived notions were all wrong. I CAN manage first graders, and they CAN use technology in ways I didn’t expect. My Canvas course has helped me create digital learning experiences geared for their needs. They CAN log in with complicated passwords, access websites, record videos, take pictures, submit assignments, and reply to messages. Who knows what else they are capable of? I know for certain I’m going to keep embracing change to find out!
This post was written by Kim Weber. She teaches 1st grade at Charles Elementary School in Richmond, Indiana. She taught at Fayette County School Corporation for 20 years in 3rd, 4th, and 5th grade. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Indiana University East and her master’s degree at Indiana Wesleyan University. She lives in Connersville with her husband, Art, and 2 teenage daughters. Boating on Brookville Lake is her favorite way to pass the time during the summer months.