Guest author Patricia Brown, Technology Integration Coach at Old Bonhomme Elementary School in Saint Louis, MO: As we bring this school year to a close, I am sure you will use this summer to relax, but also reflect. As educators, we must constantly be looking and searching for new and innovative ways to engage students. Don't let the whole summer go by without exploring fantastic ways to improve the quality of your instructional practices, by refilling your learning toolbox! Not sure where to start? Here are some questions to ponder when choosing your summer learning experiences.
Are you exposing your students to opportunities that allow them to collaborate, create, connect, and critically think? Or are they just consumers? What does a digital age classroom really look like? Does it include students and teachers working collaboratively, creating learning spaces and opportunities in unlikely places, like bringing augmented reality into a classroom art show? How are you creating transferable skills? A student learning to create digital stories with video in their broadcast class should be able to transfer those same skills to their English class when asked to write a personal narrative. Whether you are attending a conference like ISTE, or creating your own personalized learning experience, utilizing this "break" to explore new technologies and strategies that help expand your teaching toolbox can be very rewarding.