For a professional development day, teachers were in charge of presenting the innovative instructional practices they use with colleagues in attendance throughout the district. All presentations were spectacular - teachers were teaming with their grade level partners, the information presented was so valid, and attendees were so inspired and motivated to try out new ideas and instructional practices utilizing technology.
It was a great morning of PD where both presenters and attendees felt empowered.
As I was driving home three students who are on our student tech team that came to help us out, we got to talking about the differences between last year (without as many technology supports) and this year (in a school where we have 1:1 iPads). I was amazed by their answers, simple, yet completely impactful for me as a teacher and tech coach:
Student 1: "I just think it's easier. We don't have to wait anymore to get onto a computer. The iPad is ours, it's our work. I know where it will be. I'm actually organized!"
Student 2: "Learning is more fun for me because things are more entertaining. It's challenging because I want to do better and get farther and I don't feel rushed anymore."
Student 3: "I like that we can take our iPads and go sit somewhere and lay on the floor or something. I'm totally comfortable learning and it's fun to share with my friends what I'm doing. It's a lot easier too."
I emailed the fourth student of our tech team the same question, and her response was, "I think we can do more with them. Create books about anything, create songs even, or a movie. And if we research and stuff it should help us."
I smiled as I read her response, just as I smiled as I was talking with the other tech team members. Kids get it. They see what the influence of technology is, and they're engaged because of it. They enjoy creating something new, and look forward to exploring the world and sharing the views they have through their eyes. They're learning, as we all are, about life, living, and it's impact on them.
I encourage school teams to develop their own student tech team - there is nothing better than kids teaching kids something new and sharing their thoughts. Please contact us if you are interested in the application, resources, and process to starting one yourself!
They understand each other, the premise of mentoring others to learn something new. They comprehend the purpose for why we innovate, and it's even more powerful coming through their eyes, our citizens of the future, and the generation of tomorrow.