Today, one of our HS teachers, Kim B., and her staff opened their doors to show a SMARTboard lesson in action. I like getting personal invites because it shows that not only are staff embracing technology, they are also excited with the results and want to share. This is especially important as we move into Digital Learning Day “week” next week. The lesson started with the goals (reviewing current material and topics in literacy, math, social studies, and science) and then integrated the SMART technology. Tools like the SMART Exchange, activity builder, infinite cloner, clip art and more were used to bring it all together. Making money combinations, talking about Antarctica, and labeling the oceans and continents were just a few of the skills reviewed using the technology during this 30 minute morning meeting. Students were engaged, learning, and even celebrating their learning with the occasional fist bump. Fist bumping over math? Yes, you read that right.
This lesson was a great example of the two biggest things that I preach: “Goals before Technology” and “Constant Forward Motion” (no matter how small). The objectives of this lessons were clearly outlined first and the technology was chosen to be embedded in this lesson rather than the other way around. Second, this teacher, as so many of our teachers and staff do at Wildwood, learned a new technology and used it. That is constant forward motion. Constant forward motion shows a commitment to continual professional growth, changing with the times, and bringing the best of what is out there to the students and other staff. I love a work environment of people in constant forward motion, where the “techonomic” demand is always greater than the supply. In fact, just the other day, I had a Speech Therapist and staff pleading to get an iPad up to their site for a student in order to help promote his independence in a diversity of areas. I asked what the goals were and they listed off too many to count. Goals Before Technology! This lesson is just another example of why the Wildwood School staff are an amazing bunch, constantly moving forward one step at a time, taking the INITIATIVE to learn new things, and embracing new ideas and ways of teaching, learning, and promoting student growth and independence.
Do you have an example of “Constant Forward Motion” that you want to share with us at Wildwood? Even if you cannot physically invite me in, send along pictures, lessons, anything. I look forward to catching up with many of you out there at the virtual Digital Learning Day conference and at #DLDay and #DLDay2014 on Twitter.
Mark Giufre (deTechtive1) 2013