Saturday, January 2, 2010

Sharing An E-mail from Mr. Woodbury - A Teacher Embracing Technology

We have so many great teachers at BHS. I wanted to share an e-mail from Mr. Woodbury, a veteran math teacher who will use every tool possible to engage his students in relevant experiences. The e-mail was in response to an article from TwinCities.Com titled iPods and educational applications have Minnesota students giddy about learning. Because of Mr. Woodbury, it seems that a few Massachusetts students may also be giddy about learning.

Thanks for the great article. If someone had told me last year that my whole teaching platform would change so drastically I would have told them they were nuts.

The smartboard which I so dearly loved and cherish is no longer top dog, it is not even in the room. The iTouch and all the alternatives they present have buried the TI-84 and its cumbersome way of doing graphing. The kids can research from their desktop. I am allowing, at very key times, kids to use a cell phone to gather information.

No longer is the teaching within room 259 bound by the walls of the classroom. The whole world is available at their fingertips. For their project on the Mass Pike the kids called the transit authority form the classroom. Developed questions together. Researched online what the transit authority offered them. While the kids are on the phone others are downloading the excel spreadsheets that the contact person was talking about. The kids want to get the information in real time, like everything else they want it now. The good part is they do it with enthusiasm.

The chat room went incredibly well. Yes a couple of kids were immature, but the kids got sooooo much out it that experience, I might do another during exam time to offer a review hour. The kids formed their study groups and then created study group emails so they could focus themselves. I get emails on a Saturday night from the kids when they are doing homework. They are buying into this so deeply they almost scare me.

As I reflect on this quarter I am amazing myself about the changes in education. It is like I need to hold on tight so that I do not fall off with the speed of how things are circling around us in education.

If I had a few mini's, then the kids could learn Excel much faster. I probably would still not be totally happy, because just like the kids another toy would appear on the educational frontier. Not bragging, but I have raised the technology bar so high for the kids that I am having a hard time imaging what things will be like in June.

The New Year is a great time to reflect. I almost feel re-invented. The new teacher coming out of college is going to have to think outside the box, all the time, or think about another vocation.

1 comment:

  1. I love this email, especially the phrase "I almost feel re-invented." Seeing technology used effectively to promote student learning excites me!