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How Are You Using Technology in Your School? by Cheryl Oakes

School systems have done a great job getting up to speed with getting information into the Student Information System (SIS) with technology. The technology is available, for example, to make attendance an automated part of the day, and now attendance is easier and more efficient than in the past.

When aggregated information needs to be looked at it is easy to sort and filter the information in order that the presentation is timely and focused.

Rather than looking through pages and columns and rows of information trying to find a needle in a haystack, teachers and administrators can answer a question using a filter or sort. When you ask teachers or administrators to give examples of how technology is being used today in their schools they can quickly list things like attendance, testing, looking at data, communicating with the staff by email, communicating with the public, by email and webpages.

The teachers did not readily come up with how technology has impacted their instruction. I wonder why?

Our teachers are using an online writing program to score student writing, at first this was confused with supplanting the way students would learn how to write, but in the long run, it provides a structure on how students should write giving the teacher lots of time to work with individuals on the how to write and individual instruction. So, in effect you can say that technology allows the teacher the opportunities to give more individual instruction while others are writing. The teacher has the same goal to instruct students on how to write a descriptive paragraph, give students time to practice and to write for an audience. Technology can help but it doesn't take over.

My son, who is in university, told me about he has an awesome writing teacher, she uses the technology to edit his work and by using arrows and speech bubbles on the papers he emails to her. She provides her feedback by using a note section in her word program and that is how she gives him guidance on how to improve his writing. She is able to tailor the instruction to her individual student. He likes it, maybe it made the edits and changes more about his writing. Maybe it made the edits more focused about the writing and he was able to get past that it felt like it was directed at him the person.

How are you using technology differently in your instruction? What would you talk about first? Your Student Information System or how you are impacting your students? Do you have some suggestions about what made your students more interested and engaged in their work? Share them with the group here in the comments.