A few months ago, we asked for your help: we wanted real-life teachers to share what was happening in their classrooms technology-wise. And share you did! We heard from so many of you, and we’re going to be sharing your classrooms with our fabulous readers starting…today! I don’t know about you guys, but I find it so insightful to see what other folks are out there doing. Sometimes they mention a tool they use or an application for a particular device that I hadn’t thought of, and I wish I had been able to think of that particular thing so much earlier! This is why collaboration is so awesome, and important.
Today, we’re hearing from Michelle Kassorla, who teaches at Clark Atlanta University. Thanks for sharing your teaching with us, Michelle!
And don’t forget, if you’d like to share your classroom with us, please do! We’d love to hear from you!
Michelle Kassorla (Follow Michelle on Twitter!)
Freshman English, Clark Atlanta University, Private HBCU (Historically Black College)
I think it is educational malpractice not to teach with technology. If our graduates don’t know how to use the tools that are out there, they will not succeed. I teach with a Smartboard, using Netvibes, WIKIS, GoogleDocs, Engrade, Pinterest, Twitter, Zotero, and WordPress. My students don’t write essays, they create digital compositions. They need to work with all kinds of media, all the time or they won’t feel comfortable expressing themselves. It takes practice to use technology in a natural way.
Without a Smartboard, I feel like I am under a rock! When it breaks down, I am looking for another classroom to teach in. At first, when you teach with technology, you feel like you are teaching technology, not your subject–then you calm down and realize that the students are perfectly capable of learning how to do something. They know how to use google and youtube–they will manage! Then you start getting busy, and the technology is a tool that makes the dull stuff easy and the fun stuff great.
Google Docs, Google Scholar, Google Forms, Chrome
We have awesome Smartboards, thank goodness, and some great classroom computers. Most of what I do can be done on a smartphone because that’s what my students have, so I try to accomodate that. We are getting a new LMS system at CAU soon because our old one is so old I won’t use it (hence, the use of Engrade!).
The biggest hurdle is the fact that other teachers at the college don’t use technology in their classrooms. My students need to use technology all four years, and they need to use it in every class. Technology changes swiftly, they need to change with it, keep up-to-date, and feel empowered to explore new tools, use them, share them, and teach them to their peers. The good thing about technology is that it is so changeable–if you haven’t done it yet, you aren’t that far behind those of us who use it because, every day, there is a new tool, a new way of doing something, and we are all beginners! It’s an exciting time to be an educator!
That look the students get when I tell them to take out their smartphones, their laptops, and their iPads because it is time to start class.
I would have a computer or an iPad for every one of my students and a strong enough WiFi signal that they didn’t slow down in the middle of class when we are all working.