Thursday, May 14, 2015

Empowering my Students

I love the way “The Balance of Screen Time” asked three questions to guide the use of technology in the classroom.  

1. Is it appropriate?
2. Is it meaningful?
3. Is it empowering?

All three are very valid questions, but “is it empowering” really resonated with me as I read through the article.  This is a question I ask myself everyday as a teacher.   I teach in a smaller Core where every student is at risk for something… academically, organizationally, and/or socially.  Some students benefit from our core because they desperately need to make a connection with a teacher and teacher to student ratio helps facilitate that relationship.  Every student needs to feel empowered at school.  This is easier for some than others.  I feel passionate about my students feeling empowered.  I also feel a great responsibility.  That is one reason incorporating technology (when appropriate and meaningful) has been so empowering for me as a teacher!  

I love this quote:
It's not that introverts can't speak up in a group. It just isn't our preferred method. The screen isn't a crutch. It's a way to make minor adaptations to make the interaction one that creates energy, rather than expends it.”
I used to worry that students who weren’t raising their hand and actively participating in class discussions weren’t engaged or learning.  I have changed that way of thinking because, by incorporating technology, students have proved me wrong.  They are able to show their knowledge and participate.  I now know the students who gain energy and thrive off constantly raising their hands and verbally sharing their learning.  I am also comfortable knowing that some of my students cannot do that.  And I am comforted in knowing I have ways to level the playing field and meet my students where they are at.

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