What is the biggest game changer that came to fruition during your career as an educator; it could be a program, a piece of technology, a philosophy, or any other resource/concept that really made you say wow? We asked this very question to numerous K-12 educators. With a range of experience levels in the field, we had a variety of responses with one common factor.
Those who have spent most of their careers working with students in the 21st century were more likely to find current technological advances packing the biggest wow factor in their classrooms. The internet itself was my biggie; it put lessons, ideas, and information all within the reach of myself and my students. We've been able to cruise the superhighway and broaden our horizons far beyond the walls of the classroom.
When we asked the game changing question to a veteran teacher of 52 years, it was a toss-up between calculators and ballpoint pens- no joke! When you think about it, the ability to make notations for students in a format that stands out is quite a game changer. Ballpoint pens were like the initial stepping stone for editing in Google docs! Check out what other resources have made the biggest impact.
Tackle it with a Toolbox
These teachers have packed some new ideas in their toolboxes to help students compose and share work.
Allison M., 3rd Grade, 18 years
Love Google accounts and the Google Chromebooks- I really like how Google docs can be created and shared, I also like that you can give feedback right on the documents students share.
Angela F., K-4 Technology, 8 years
Google 2.0 tools- I find something new each and every day. My favorites right now: popplet for concept maps at any grade level and thinglink - an awesome tool to make a multi-media project in a poster!
Katy P., Middle School Math, 52 years
The calculator- While it is an accurate tool that's good for checking work and a definite timesaver, kids don't have to think about things as much anymore.
The calculator per se
Is always right in its way.
The problem you see,
Is usually me
Cause the darn thing does what I say!
I always share this rhyme with my students, and that's the truth of it when they enter the wrong information!
The Power of the Projector
Many teachers felt that the introduction of an in-focus projector, Elmo, and/or Mimio has had the greatest impact. See how projectors have benefited these classrooms.
Allina G., 6th grade ELA, 15 years
It was the first time (4 years ago) I did not have to make transparencies!!!
Angie L., 3rd grade, 16 years
I can take any document, anything on the internet, or a book and share it instantly with my students to capture their attention.
Ashley F., 8th grade ELA & History, 7 years
The projector has helped me train the students on how to use their online textbook too. I am able to model the instruction for them, and they are able to follow along with me!
Jenny S., Middle School Intervention Specialist, 14 years
I can utilize the internet, and it is interactive with the kids.
Streamlining for Stakeholders
Whether it's reporting assignments, progress, or data, these teachers have found ways to streamline information to share with stakeholders in the educational journeys of students.
Claudia W., Elementary Intervention Specialist, 22 years
Assessing Reading: Multiple Measures (CORE.)- It has a collection of formal and informal reading assessments for use in Grades K-12. Each assessment measures a research-based reading skill. It is quick and easy to use.
Mindy H., 6th & 8th Grade ELA, 20 years
I love the Remind app! Over 90% of my parents have signed up for this. I can post assignments and/or snap a photo of the Smartboard display or an actual document. My completion rates have skyrocketed!
Heather S., Director of Special Programs & Diverse Learners, 21 years
Progress Book- It's the ability to view, share and add information to student IEP or 504 documents and the ability of all stakeholders of that student to view and add to those files that is most helpful!
The Game Changing Common Factor
One thing is apparent regardless of grade level, years of experience, or subject area, the biggest game changers all involved ways to help us share information. Whether we're projecting it, noting it in color, or sending a text reminder, our ability to share information with students and stakeholders has made all the difference. Let us know what has revolutionized your teaching in the comments below; we look forward to continually discovering the future wow factors on this ever-changing educational journey!
If you enjoyed the thoughts and ideas shared here, check out the trainings and tools (for teachers and for families) that we offer.