Spotlight is a series of posts highlighting teachers across Austin ISD who are innovating and trailblazing with BLEND, the district’s new digital learning space.
Celange Santiso-Black teaches English Language Arts and Social Studies of Texas at Gullett Elementry School. She says, “I am a not a tech savvy person, but, I am always willing to try something new.”
Describe how you are using BLEND in your classroom.
I use BLEND in various ways. In Social Studies, I have used it to for discussions on a YouTube video about Texas’ diversity and to write expository essays. In reading, our class used it to understand our vocabulary through a brick and mortar lesson. I plan on using it as a way for groups to respond to literature during our next literature study. In writing, I keep spelling rules on BLEND for reference and would like to start an online journal.
What is your favorite thing about BLEND? Why?
My favorite thing about BLEND is the childrens’ excitement about using technology, especially for an assignment that may be more mundane. For me, I like how I don’t have to carry a bunch of essays and all the writing process that goes with it around—it’s a much lighter load to take home.
What impact have you seen on the students?
The impact of BLEND is that students are more willing to do assignments they would find otherwise tedious, and it helps them practice typing. In addition, it is right up their alley since this generation of students is truly plugged in.
What tips would you offer to other teachers starting to blend learning and use BLEND in their classrooms?
Just go for it! Take a lesson that you would normally construct using paper and try it out on BLEND. You’ll find it’s quite conducive to your own personal daily use of technology and the children’s as well. It’s a win-win.