Connecting My Classroom


Posted by Michelle Vidotto | Posted in Technology | Posted on August 20, 2013


As the start of the year gets closer, I begin to think of new and engaging activities I can implement this year.  I strive to develop skills that my students will need in the future.  I continually try to make cross curricular connections with subjects and try to implement activities that are meaningful and engaging.   Part of this is to incorporate technology into the classroom effectively.

With that said, implementing technology can be a challenge at my school.  I work with traditional Mexican Mennonite families who do not always see the use of technology as a benefit.   I struggle to keep a balance between respecting their cultural beliefs regarding technology with my views of the benefits.  My hope is that as I continue to educate their children, parents will begin to understand when technology is used properly and safely it will help foster, enhance, engage, and encourage their child’s learning.

There are several new things I would like to incorporate this year as I think it would benefit the large ESL student population in my classroom.

I would like to introduce my students to blogging.  I found the article by Kathleen Morris on how to make blogging meaningful and useful for students informative. I will definitely keep these things in mind when I begin blogging with my students. Blogging would allow my students to create stories or express their thoughts on a particular subject being discussed without letting their writing ability slow them down, which is the case for many of my students.  Blogging is a great way to document students’ writing progress, as well as, other projects.  The digital portfolio would be a great way to show parents how their child has progressed.  Often report cards are difficult to read, due to the language barrier, as German is the primary language for Mexican Mennonite parents.

Using educational apps with the iPad would help alleviate some of the concerns Mexican Mennonite parents have regarding technology.  Hopefully, they would view apps as a safer technological tool, as the apps utilized on the iPad would be selected by the teacher and not used with the Internet.   Using the iPad would benefit my students by allowing them to improve on skills they are struggling with in a creative and engaging way.

Lastly, introducing the students to the world of Skype would be fantastic.  Many of my students have little experience or knowledge of the outside world.  What a terrific way to connect the concepts being studied with other experts or students from around the world!

I realize there is more to teaching than just technology.   As an educator wanting to make a difference, the technology I want to implement this year are tools I think will help the students feel successful and view school as being meaningful, engaging, and a vehicle to a better way of life by furthering their education.  This graphic via Bill Ferriter @plugsin helps put the use of technology into perspective for me.


I’m hopeful the parents will feel the same way as I do about implementing these technological tools.  I will let you know in my next post.  Wish me luck!

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