Wednesday, September 26, 2012

21st century skills... without technology

So, I'm lucky in that students in one class have iPads (which I will distribute to them on October 1), but what happens in my other classes that don't have iPads? Most of them--but significantly, not all of them--have smartphones, but since students don't have access to the school wifi, our work with smartphones is limited. What's a tech-geeky teacher to do?

Monday, September 3, 2012

How Evernote makes lesson planning better

Up until last September I wrote out my lesson plans as a cryptic list of agenda items squeezed into one of those tiny boxes on the pages of the lesson planbook handed out to all of the teachers in my school. Using pencil (to make it easier to revise plans if necessary), I created a kind of shorthand that only I could decipher, sketching out daily and weekly plans as I hunched over my desk or pretended to monitor student behavior during cafeteria duty. (Oops. I mean, as I diligently observed student behavior during cafeteria duty.) At the beginning of a new school year, it was always my intention to go back and reflect on what I had done in the previous year. But the pages of the planbook had rubbed together from constant use, smudging the penciled notes and rendering my old plans illegible. So I relied on my memory and my computer files to guide me through the curriculum. As I realized that I had to consciously integrate ACTFL standards and proficiency guidelines, Bloom's Taxonomy in its revised and digital forms, and 21st century skills in order to improve my teaching practice, I realized that the old paper planbook, with its tiny boxes and smudgy skeleton lesson plans, had to go.