Cha- Cha- Cha- Changes…

Wow! Time flies!  I have been busy this last year away from my blog.  I have taken on more technology duties at school, which I love!  My husband and I have added to our family.  Very exciting, yet makes us even busier!  I am also in the final stretch of finishing my Masters degree.  SO…. needless to say this was not always on the top of my list.  My goal is to start posting here again more regularly.

Okay, now onto my thought sorting.  This past week I had the opportunity to attend a conference with my fellow Lutheran educators for our national conference.  As a teacher who uses quite a bit of technology, I see it as an important part of our schools.  I see its value.  I can envision the future of where it can take our students.  I can see the big picture of how technology is being used in our world and in education.  I have been to quite a few technology conferences where hearing this vision being shared and sharing this vision with others is very comfortable for me. I am glad that some of this vision was making it’s way to the Lutheran teachers conference I attended.   While, I think we still have a long way to come, we are still moving forward.

While I was listening to Leonard Sweet, I felt very inspired as an educator to make my students more a part of the big picture.  I want them to enjoy learning and to strive for greatness.  I want them to be lifelong learners.  I want to be a lifelong learner and strive for greatness.  I know technology can help us to do just that.  Technology alone cannot do this.  We need teachers who can use the technology to accomplish these things.

As Leonard was speaking, he shared a video with the audience.  Changing Education Paradigms.  In the video Sir Ken Robinson gave a great illustration of how we expect students to sit and listen to “boring” lessons/ lectures.  Then they can go home, connect, and learn in more “exciting” ways with technology.  By making a shift to using technology we can reach the students of today.  I realize and repeat it often that it is not the technology, but the one who uses it that is effective.  I heard once, and I don’t know where, that “Technology will not replace teachers.  But teachers who don’t use technology will be replaced by ones who do.”  It is not a phase and it is not going away.

While listening I kept thinking of another video- Did you know.   I love this video and it always gets me to think.  It illustrates the shift that has taken place in our world.  The changes that continue to take place.  The changing will always be there.

To wrap it up, I was very pleased to see that in our “small” Lutheran world connections are happening more and more.  I am also happy to see that through those connections we can gain more for teaching our students.  I am looking forward to making more connections in the future and using all that I learn to educate the future!

The Winter Doldrums…

Here it is!  The Winter Doldrums have arrived in my classroom.  We are through with all the Holiday projects.  Now I am searching for something to keep us motivated on these cold, yucky days of Southern IL winter.  It’s all fun and games when we get a snow day, but to just have cold that is the worst.  Blessed are you who have weather above 40 degrees.  As for those of you who have colder temperatures than us “southerner”, I guess I’ll take what I can get.

Anyway… about a year ago I found two very exciting places to go for collaboration and projects to get me through some of the days when we just need to “spice it up”.

http://projectsbyjen.ning.com/

http://elementarytechteachers.ning.com/

There are so many good ideas here for teachers who teach technology like me.  Or for those of you in a “regular” classroom, there are ways to integrate tech into your lessons.  I try to frequent these two sites somewhat regularly.  One suggestion I have is to visit the forums and just scan some of what others are posting here.  I have picked up ideas, resources, and information I can use in my classroom immediately.  Some of the projects are very easy to integrate and can be used as a whole or in parts.  There are also some wonderful people who contribute and there is usually someone willing to collaborate on different projects.  Happy browsing!