Saturday, September 29, 2012

Technology Overload

A few weeks ago, our classroom received a package.  We had to wait until the VERY end of the day to open it.  The anticipation was driving us bonkers as we stared at the brown fed-ex box.

(Grainy Android Photo)
In the box was TWO IPod Touches for learning!  To say we were ecstatic would be an understatement.  It was interesting to see how many of my firsties could tell me exactly what the technology was and was not. I immediately got lots of "That's an ipod touch, NOT an iPhone." and "You can't call anyone on it but you can play lots of games."and "My sister/brother/aunt/uncle/mom/grandpa/dog/ has one of those!"
Google Image

AND THEN, this past week, our classroom received yet another package.  I received it after school and absolutely positively could not wait until the next day to open in with the kids.  I ripped into this one and found:
A brand-stinkin' new LAPTOP!

At this point, you are probably wondering   Who? What? When? Where? Why? How?

I'm about to let you on the  big secrets.  Shhhhh.  Don't tell!

*This new technology came from donorschoose and costs me/my school $0!*

I stumbled upon this website last year when a fellow co-worker told me about it.  She had purchased a new bookshelf for her classroom library AND got her and her teaching partner all new student desks.

Donorschoose is a a website for teachers who create projects based on what their classroom needs.  You will find projects of crayons, pencils, and glue sticks as well as computers, projectors, and furniture.  How it works is any person can donate to your project. Anyone.  Friends, family, co-workers, strangers you've never met, or businesses.  At any given time, you can find an organization to match your donors *dollar-for-dollar*  It is truly an amazing idea.

I set up my account sometime in between my first and second year of teaching, but I never created a project.  I was scared.  I couldn't bring myself to do it because...let's get real.  I don't know anyone with a lot of $.  I didn't want to create a project that was not funded.  I didn't want to fail.

This year, I was relocated to a brand new school.  My circumstances caused me to reevaluate my fears.

When we opened our school doors, there wasn't a single computer in our building that teachers or students could access. 

"What?" You say.  "How can you possibly stalk other bloggers, get on pinterest, check your facebook, or update your twitter write lesson plans, update your online grades, take attendance, or email parents/administrators without a computer?"  

I will be the first one to tell you: You can't do any of those things.

We were told the computers were on their way.  But it was driving me crazy to the point where I couldn't function as a teacher.  I decided to take things into my own hands.  I'm a bit of a control freak self-starter.

I first posted a project for 2  Ipods. I was nervous to put a computer on because I honestly didn't think I could fund it.  

Within 3 days of me posting the project it was funded.  THREE DAYS?  

That was so easy.  They send me a email saying they had shipped my new toys learning tools.

Next, I posted a laptop and Cah-Bam! Funded. Shipped.  

Signed.  Sealed. Delivered. 

The whole shenanigans. 

<I'm almost positive I have exhausted all of my grandmother's generous donor's resources.  And I don't want to push my luck.  I am going to take it easy on the projects for a while.  >

But I'm writing you to tell you that you can and should do it.  Check it out here.

Think about what your students would benefit from the most that you do not have and just ASK.

It's almost that easy.

Now onto a very important topic that I need your advice on....

I do not want to end up like this:
Google Image
 I need to keep all of my hair intact on my head.  But this new technology situation, (albeit: the possibilities are endless for my kiddos and learning.  I'm not bashing it one bit.  I'm grateful for the technology. Really.  I am.  Honest.) it is driving me crazy.

How do you manage to incorporate your technology into your student's learning?

Do you have a pocket chart? A schedule that tells you which students are going where?  Do you let the student's choose?

And how do you teach them to become independent with the technology?  I even have a technology helper, but those poor little firsties just do not have experience with some of it- especially the tape players! "What IS that?"

I currently have 2 Ipod Touches, 1 cd player, 2 tape players, and *will* have 4 computers.

How do I manage it all effectively?

I'd love to know your thoughts :)

-The Frizz in First

P.S. It has been raining nonstop for 8 hours today and my hair is FRIZZ-EE! And I haven't even stepped foot outside.  Yikes!

1 comment:

  1. I'm so jealous about your new technology!!! I have 6 mp3 players that was funded through DonorsChoose. It takes some of my firsties a while to figure out how to get to the book they want. But...once they do... they love it! Me too! Congrats on getting your project funded. :-)