I have been at a workshop for two whole days! It has been heaven! I love learning new things. It brings back my excitement to do what I do!
I’m so spoiled that I got to spend two days learning along with other teachers. My school district allows me to do so really whenever I please. I am truly spoiled to be able to do this. I’ve been at the ICE (Illinois Computing Educators) conference. I have been learning and practicing what I love…”computing”.
But since I have been gone from my classroom for two whole days, that means I wrote sub plans for seven different classes for two whole days, grades K-8! I am a perfectionist/control freak so this has always been a daunting task for me. I simply try too hard. I write too much or leave too much work or not enough or confuse the sub or whatever. It has never been easy to leave my classroom in someone else’s hand.
It has always been a challenge for me to write sub plans for any period of time because usually my substitute teachers DO NOT speak Spanish and I always had to just leave movies in the past, or left things that had nothing to do with what the students were learning…or just busy work that they would get nothing out of…
But technology and 21st Century learning has changed ALL of that!
While I have been out of my classroom, my students have been learning and producing so many wonderful things! Here are their new blog posts that I simply emailed them instructions in an email with screen shots of what the screen should look like and check out what they accomplished!
I explained to them in videos and emails how to embed Vokis and video into their blogs, we went over Quality Commenting thanks to Silvia Tolisano and a great video she shared with me, they created Animoto videos and posted those to their blogs, they all went CRAZY with the comments and really, truly enjoyed themselves commenting on each other’s work appropriately and with such kindness and appreciation for one another. I was amazed!
I was not physically present for any of this and look at what they created! My substitute (who did not speak any Spanish) was there present as a warm body in the room to supervise. I was chatting on Skype while at my conference with a sick student, I emailed back and forth with I think EVERY one of them, commented on their blogs, moderated their work and comments, corrected and created a Google Doc with my 6th graders, chatted on the Google Doc answering their questions …and so much more!
I was not physically present, but present in many other ways for them while learning new things myself at the conference! What a wonderful educational experience for me and for my students. All these 21st Century Tools and the ease of technology have made my job and my students’ jobs so much easier and so much more enjoyable.
I will sign off with a chat I had on Skype with a 7th grade student after my first day away…
So they actually “LIKE” what we are doing in class! So much so that my email inbox has been flooded with questions and comments!