Day 112: Samantha, Learning Specialist, Middle and Upper School

[ By on March 15, 2013 ]

Over the past year, I have attempted to incorporate more technology into my classroom. Google Drive has replaced the over-stuffed binders that once held each of my lesson plans and lesson materials; “flipped lessons,” educational apps, and “blended learning” trends have transformed the traditional lesson models I used when I first started teaching. My students and I have become quite accustomed to the wonderfully simple “Create” and “Share” buttons on Google, which allow us to collaborate via the “cloud,”as the tech world so aptly calls it.

When all RCS systems were down this morning and it became clear to me that I would not be able to access my online lesson materials, I had to do the unthinkable–teach without my SmartBoard and Google Drive! I arrived to my morning class and asked students to take out a pen and looseleaf. They looked at me quizzically. Was I really going to have them hand-write something and copy down from the board? Were they really going to have to file papers away in the proper section of their binders? What would they do when they got to the bottom of their paper (um, take out another sheet)? Once our mutual shock had subsided, class proceeded as normal. Students, no longer hiding behind Macbook pros, practiced penmanship and eye contact. How novel!

Today’s technology breakdown taught me that there is never any harm in going back to basics. Technology can fail us, and when it does, we will be just fine. Sometimes getting out heads out of the cloud is just what the doctor ordered.

When not on the Hill, Samantha enjoys exploring the nooks and crannies of NYC and watching “House Hunters International” in excess.

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