“I’m all in” is a strategy I’ve used to help bridge the gap between new technology and my curriculum pedagogy.
The Ontario Ministry of Education document Learning for All illustrates the benefits and effectiveness that differentiated instruction has in classroom curriculum. The use of iPads and some fabulous third party applications, such as Explain Everything, BookCreater and Paper 53 to name a few, has made the differentiation of curriculum easier than ever.
Although anxiety and frustration associated with incorporating technology into one’s classroom is often present, my teaching style involves embracing any new technology as a tool to help differentiate instruction, increase student engagement and allow students new ways to demonstrate their learning.
Now, my “I’m all in” may not be the same as yours. My approach includes forcing myself to use technology in every aspect of classroom activities. From using AppleTV and Google Slides to present materials, to allowing students the opportunity to choose their method and application on their iPad to create their product. Yes, it could mean assessing completed work using 5 different applications, but that is 5 new opportunities for me to learn new technology and be inspired by students expertise.
If I was to summarize the benefits of my “I’m all in” approach, it would include the following…
- Decrease Anxiety – Through regular exploration of new applications, I’ve been able to increase my technological literacy and embrace the ever changing world of tech, while increasing my confidence and reducing my anxiety.
- Eliminate Frustration – Experiencing the pitfalls for yourself and finding solutions (YouTube helps) allows you to reduce classroom frustrations during your integration of technology within your curriculum.
- Show Vulnerability – Openly displaying your technological vulnerability to your students allows them to assist you and develop capacity together and strengthen a learning relationship.
- Increase a Sense of Accomplishment – Integration of technology within my pedagogy has enhanced not only my professional growth, but allowed students to use features of technology to accomplish unique activities they otherwise would be unable to complete.
- Improve Creativity – Technology has allowed for the enhancement of content, process and product by allowing the use of images, videos and audio recordings at a level which just can’t be matched with pen and paper activities. Seeing the creativity of others becomes contagious and inspires new ways of looking at old pedagogy.
As educators in a new and exciting world of technology, I believe the opportunity to use technology in the classroom allow one to enhance professional growth, increase student engagement and ultimately meet the needs of every student. It is an approach that is best met by taking a leap of faith and going “all in”.