Student Voice – Technology in History Class


Today’s Contibutor: Melissa Prepster

Melissa is an 8th grade US History teacher at Gorzycki Middle School.  She serves as her campus Campus Innovation Coach and Social Studies department chair. Melissa loves integrating technology to help bring the past alive. In her free time, she likes hanging out with her 3 dachshunds, traveling, and attending concerts. She has seen the Eagles over 100 times and is a two day Jeopardy champ.


I recently acquired eight new Chromebooks to use in my classroom via a crowdsourcing website. I’ve been trying for a few years now to get a class set of 35 so that I can have 1:1 access in my room. We’re getting closer (I have 22 now).  I had my students write thank you letters to the individual donors who supported our efforts. Even though the students were thanking strangers for their financial support, I was pleased to see what my students wrote. Through their letters, I got a window into how the students feel about technology in their history class.  I thought I would share some their insights into blended learning, flipped classroom and Chromebooks.

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The chromebooks make class more exciting because we don’t have to read out of a boring old text book and it also makes the class fun because when we get to learn how to use a laptop more and we get to visit cool sites to have discussions in class. The chromebooks help me learn because our teachers are able to create some videos that we can watch. I also learn better through videos.   — Lauren

They [Chromebooks]  help us in history because we can find more information faster. Also there is a lot more information in a computer than a book. So if we want extra information that’s not in a book we look it up. — Jack

My teacher for Social Studies uses a website called BLEND, which is like an online classroom where we can take tests and complete assignments. Sometimes I’m busy after school so I can’t do that work at home and instead I can do it in school using the chromebooks you donated. When I am working on a Social studies project or notes, research is very helpful because a lot of information is online. The internet is a lot more accessible than a textbook. I can also use the chromebooks to type papers on google docs so I can work on a paper at home and then if I don’t finish it in class then I can access it from my computer or phone.  — Laura

We have used the chrome books almost every day from simple things such as looking up information for a project to taking major tests. These chromebooks have also made learning more fun now that I get to use technology. Being able to use this technology has also helped me if in the future I decide to go into a technical field, I will now be better equipped.  — Morgan

The chromebooks help me learn in my history class because we have websites such as the gms page, BLEND, google classroom, and the cloud that allows us to either turn in, work on, watch history videos or find upcoming assignments. Since our teachers put so much on websites now, I can get computer school work done at school rather than working on it at home. Lastly, the chromebooks help send us reminders to not forget due dates which is very helpful. — Caitlin

We use these devices every day in at least half of everyone’s classes. Chromebooks allow easy accessibility to the google drive and google classroom, these programs on the chromebook allow us to complete most assignments easily online. It makes our learning more fun whenever we get to use technology and devices instead of just a pencil and paper.– Isaac

 

It’s really gratifying to read their short notes and see words like “fun” and “easy”.  I also appreciate that students enjoy the organizational functions that BLEND and Google Classroom give them. I’m gladdened to see that students appreciate the flipped videos I create and the opportunity to watch them at their own pace. Finally, students understand that collaboration, communication and creation with technology will be part of their futures and I’m so happy to see them embrace that for themselves.

1 Comment

  1. What a joy it is to read your blog which was really written by your students! It is so good to hear that the students are embracing what you are doing. What I hear in this blog is true technology integration…meaning using it, not as an extension, but as part of what you are teaching. That teaches students that technology is not something extra, but is just a part of what you are doing in class. A high five to you for all your hard work, Melissa.

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