I had this brief moment of reflection just a bit ago. I was thinking about the things that I had asked my students to do today and I realized that most of the things they were doing couldn't have been done in school even just a few years ago. Things are changing quickly and I hope I am able to stay on top of the wave of educational technological changes.
As I write this, it's 10:20 in the morning and I'm in the middle of my freshman level World History class. There are students who are finishing yesterday's assignment: a video from PBS where Bill Moyers interviews Salman Rushdie. These students are thinking about radical religious views and how fringe elements in religions change the public perception of those religions. This follows up a #PBL project that we just finished where I asked students how religion causes people to hate.
Other students have finished the video and are working through 2 assignments on the Sas Curriculum Pathways site. They are analyzing documents, watching and listening to online presentations, and emailing me their results. I posted the link to the assignments on our class edmodo page and their grades will be posted to our school engrade account in the next few days.
While they were working on those assignments, I was posting grades and typing a test that my US history students will take on Monday. The test will be on engrade where I can automatically enter the grades with a click of a couple of buttons.
The first period US History class worked through a study guide that I gave them for the test. They used my notes, which are online in power point form on the school website, and various internet sites to help them work through the study guide. They will continue to work on the study guide over the weekend and will text me or post to edmodo if they have questions. As the day goes on, I will tweet out several questions and answers for Monday's test as a reward to those students who have followed the class twitter account.
Technology has certainly changed our world and is changing our classrooms. I'm just hoping my surfing skills will allow me to stay above water.