Today’s Contributor is Ed Yeager.
I am a self-contained third grade teacher and the CIC at Pillow Elementary. These are difficult times and many of us are waaaay outside our comfort zone. The virus has changed so many things that we used to take for granted. It is easy to get frustrated or down. However, it is also an opportunity. We have been thrust into using technology in ways that we might not have imagined only weeks ago.
I tossed and turned the other night, with thoughts of the virus, distance learning, etc. keeping me from sleeping. So I got out of bed and (old school) got my writing pad and wrote down my thoughts, then went back to bed. Early the next morning, as I was checking on my students to see who was working in our Blend course, I typed my rhyme in a Word document. I emailed it to a few people. The response was positive, so I used Loom to record a video of myself reciting the poem, and posted it to YouTube. I then shared the YouTube link.
Only a few weeks ago, I would not have thought of using Loom to make a video. A YouTube channel of my own? Fantasy. Yet here I am. Because of our current circumstances, I make videos for my students every day. I often post them in discussion threads in Blend (Canvas) and have been blown away at the responses. Many students type an answer, but others now use the Rich Text Editor to make a video and submit that as their response. Wow!
Technology has changed (and in some ways enhanced) how we teach. It is scary at first, but I am living proof that we can all learn to use these tools to benefit our teaching. My Blend course has grown, expanded, and flourished since this mess began. Students are active, questioning, raising a red flag when something is broken or they need help. Through technology, I can answer their questions, fix things that are broken, and keep the ball rolling…All from home!
Mind over matter. That’s what I tell colleagues when they ask how I learned this or that new technology. Attitude makes a difference, and as Mr. Hicks often says, “Effort Creates Ability”. We can let circumstances get us down and ruin our day OR we can see it as an opportunity to learn and grow, using technology as a tool to help us along the way