As an English Language Arts (ELA) secondary educator, one aspect that I hope is taken into the future of education is the use of Google Classroom (or a similar tool that offers similar features). Overall, Google Classroom is an easy tool to navigate in terms of organization, keeping track of assignments, and editing student work. One major reason that I appreciate this program is when it comes to grading. It is easy to grade student work and it also labels the work as ‘missing’ for those who have not turned in their homework. As someone who spends a lot of time editing final drafts of secondary essays, this program also allows me to quickly make comments and suggestions to help my students reach their target score. Another area where Covid-19 has helped open my eyes in terms of technology is how there are so many different applications that can be used as tools in the classroom and I would also like to be able to take some into my future room.
Without the use of technology this year, what would the school year have looked like? The platform Zoom gave thousands of schools the ability to function as smoothly as possible considering the circumstances. I am not suggesting that Zoom be taken into our classrooms when the pandemic is over, but I am saying that it was technology that aided and that technology does have a place when used appropriately. Technology is in the classroom allows students the opportunity to, “compromise, work toward a common goal, and think critically as they dive into course content with their peers…open-ended creation tools give students a space to demonstrate their understanding. They can capture their voice, record video, and tell the story of their learning” (Burns, 2018). Moreover, technology in the classroom allows students to be able to have more personalized learning, especially in an ELA classroom. An example of this can be seen with the use of audiobooks. Some students comprehend better by listening to the novel, or by listening to it and following along. Ergo, audiobooks, and other technological tools are features that I hope can be appropriately used in future classrooms. Another part of education that was not really there when I was in school was the idea of being an architect in my education.
One aspect of my internship this year has shown that it is okay to ask students their opinion on what they want to do (within reason). I think that this was done in part of the distance. For example, we wanted students to read five hundred pages by the end of the quarter and write reports on it. However, we did not choose what books they ‘had’ to read in order to attain the word count. Another example of a choice that was given was to the students that had already written a research paper. They had the choice to create an Adobe Spark Video, Blog/Website, or write another paper. This was to help motivate them to stay engaged with the class. I was never given choice growing up. Ergo, in my future classroom, I would like to continue to offer choices to students.
Burns, M. (2018, February 6). Putting Learning First With New Tech Tools. Edutopia.