I can here many educators now, ‘why would you do this? This will lead to issues! Students can’t be trusted.’ That is the issue, it not that we can’t use it in the classroom, it is that we are not always willing to let go and allow students to have the freedom to learn something without us. After spending 3 straight days working on what started as ‘tech integration’ for my district and ended as a ‘how do we teach better and maybe there is tech’. This simple switch in view has opened doors to where we can take our students in a way to become better 21st century students.
What does that mean? Well it is quite simple, we spent the 1st day thinking of reasons why certain things couldn’t work and a common thread was ‘well the students will do____, or the students are going to _____’. We then were shown its not that students can’t or won’t; it was that we are not taught how. You can follow the arc of the 3 days via twitter on our hashtag #BUHSD16 it than became what we can do to give the tools to our staff and teachers. STAFF and TEACHERS. This is not a path where just half the people students interact with can do, we need everyone on board to change the culture of our schools rather than force a culture change.
I am taking the challenge with 2 peers to increase social media literacy over the course of the year. I have a few hashtags that I am going to use in my classroom, #iBelieve16 is going to be used for the Band programs as the theme of everything is belief in yourself. This can be used to post wins and losses, ups and downs. #AskAGlenn can be used to ask questions of me that people think of outside of the classroom because learning never stops. Lastly, #GlennTix is going to be how I identify the exit question of the week. I have been poor at continuing the conversation beyond the classroom and now I have a way for students to interact with each other outside of my room. I also have a Music program Snapchat *gasp* I know!
Why? If we want them to use the technology correctly, then model it. While not everyone is going to use it better, but it can show some that you don’t have to out do somebody else to get the best view or snapscore. It is a controlled environment and if it goes bad away the toy(s) go. Set boundaries with what you are comfortable, do not go past what you can do or feel comfortable doing. Technology is not the end all be all, but the enhancement it brings can be something that turns over a new leaf.