How Education Technology Is Being Used In Iowa

edudemic teacher profile

A few months ago (and more recently), 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 Andrew Fenstermaker, who teaches first grade at Penn Elementary, North Liberty, IA. Thanks for sharing your classroom with us, Andrew!

And don’t forget, if you’d like to share your classroom with us, please do! We’d love to hear from you!

Your Name

Andrew Fenstermaker (Follow Andrew on Twitter, or take a peek at his blog)

What Do You Teach?

(grade/age, subject(s), level, public/private)

First grade, Public School, North Liberty, IA, USA.

How Long Have You Been Teaching?

7 Years

How Does EdTech Play A Role In Your Classroom?

Technology serves as a tool for students to create, consume, hack and make their own learning. We use iPads to break down the classroom walls and enrich our learning through global experiences. In addition, students are able to create digital portfolios, blog, Skype and much more. We view our iPads, SMARTBoard, computers are vehicles for synthesizing our learning in ways that couldn’t be done before.

Are There Ways You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful? Counterproductive?

Technology has been a tool that allows me to create more authentic learning opportunities as well as individualize one’s learning. However, with 1st graders, it takes more time up front to educate them on these digital tools. Multiple step directions are a nightmare to start. It can be a turn off to using technology at such a young age but if you learn from your failures it can open doors for you and your students.

What Is Your Favorite Piece Of Classroom Technology?

At this point and time, our iPads are our favorite technology tool. With the touch interface, students can easily navigate through the apps and device. The two cameras allow for movie/picture creations to showcase and capture learning.

What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom?

I wish I could have an iPad for each student. If not an iPad, some device that allowed my students the ability to connect with the world around them. Maybe an Android tablet, a Chromebook or even a laptop.

What Hurdles Do You Face In Terms of Making Changes in Your Classroom?

One of the big hurdles is having the time to fit the learning process of technology into my classroom. Some may think it is counterproductive to spend time teaching the kids how to use the technology instead of teaching them subject matter.

What Do You Love Most About Teaching?

I love that each day is different. I love the challenge of getting students to understand new concepts. The more a kid struggles the more it motivates me to figure out what I can do to help that child. You get to work collectively as a whole to accomplish goals that are bigger than one person. The little notes of appreciation I receive from students and/or parents remind me why I do this. Having a parent almost tear up because their child can finally pick up a book and read independently and knowing that as a teacher I helped foster the life skill of reading.

Imagine Your Ideal Classroom – Tell Us About It

My ideal classroom would have a tool for each student to be connected with not only the teacher but the world around them. I would have more than one teacher in my classroom. Student learning would not be uniform but more student driven so that each learner was taking his or her own path to mastery.


Want to get featured on Edudemic? Get all the info about how to take part in the Edudemic Teacher Profiles in the post here!