When I first entered the classroom in 2013, my department and I co-wrote a grant and received 4 Chromebooks each. These 4 Chromebooks were shared among 30 students, the vast majority of which had no access to computers at home. This was a challenging venture (to say the least!), but we learned and grew together that first year. Our experience only increased my interest in technology and the possibilities it created in the classroom.
As my district gradually purchased Chromebooks for each student, I was able to start using Google Classroom on a daily basis. By the 2016-2017 school year, I was 90% paperless in my classroom. Technology completed transformed my students’ learning experience. Of course their interest was piqued and engagement rose, but more importantly, we were able to accomplish much more in less time. Google Forms allowed them to receive test scores the instant they submitted the test. Students collaborated on research projects using Google Docs/Slides. I was able to comment and make suggestions on students’ work in real-time (even if I was out at a training). The nature of students’ learning assessment completely changed through websites like Wordle, ActivelyLearn, Animoto, Kahoot, Padlet, and dozens more. I became a complete believer in the power of technology in education.
In addition to technology enhancing their learning, my students gained valuable real-world technological skills that they will use throughout high school, college, and their future careers. Digital literacy is a fundamental skill that all students in American schools should have access to–especially students in at-risk schools who would otherwise be left behind by the digital divide.
The combination of enhanced learning possibilities and ensuring that my students were technically literate led me to begin researching graduate programs with a focus on Educational Technology. That research led me to Seattle Pacific University where I began work on my Master of Education in Digital Education Leadership. in October of 2017. I am absolutely thrilled and thankful for the ability to further my knowledge in implementing technology successfully in the classroom as well as sharing that knowledge with other teachers through mentorship or possibly academic coaching. This blog will serve as evidence of competency as I work through the program.
Highlights and Experience
2013-2017: General & GATE English Language Arts & Yearbook teacher at Richland Junior High in Shafter, CA
2016: GATE Educator Certification
2016: Response to Intervention Program Completion
2016: Certification in Project Based Learning