Let’s take a quick look at our journey over the course of 6 weeks. It has been a wonderful experience and I have really enjoyed being able to work with such amazing colleagues researching and reading about things we are so passionate about. If we glance back at the beginning of this course I was full of excitement, eager to learn about an area of study that I am so passionate about. Excited to take on the challenge of finding ideas, resources, answers, solutions etc. Hesitant about what might come of my findings, but optimistic that change can occur. This is my very last class in my master’s degree and glad I got to end it this way as it has been quite the journey. Over the past 6 weeks, I have gone from feeling really good about incorporating tech into my classroom to moments of uncertainty. Now that we have come to the end of our journey I can say that I am confident walking way from this course with many ideas, resources, connections, solutions, answers etc. of how to incorporate technology into my physical education classes.
Week 2 we discussed the con’s that can be involved when incorporating technology into our classrooms. A physical education classroom is a very different atmosphere in comparison to the typical classroom, however it was interesting to see that many of the negative aspects of technology in our classrooms could overlap from one classroom to the next. Teachable moments are a big thing for me, when something arises I like to take advantage of those situations to teach our students something that might not typically be learned in a classroom. I am very thankful to have taken several classes from Alec and Katia and have been able to witness this first hand. While being a technology focused class they both have the ability to take a comment, question etc. and run with it to ensure their students are getting the full learning experience. If I have learned anything from my 2 year old son, one would be that you learn from watching, then by doing. Many people fear that by incorporating tech into the classroom we will lessen the chances of these teachable moments arising, I think it doesn’t necessarily change how often these moments will happen, however it may change the context of the conversation. Perhaps our conversations will revolve around our devices, perhaps not. I guess it is something that we will have to wait out, time will tell! It has been a focus of conversation all semester, tech as a distraction. Like I mentioned earlier, I am a very optimistic person and there are just some battles that aren’t worth picking. Why not use the tech to our advantage. If our students are excited about using it for their learning then we need to find ways of incorporating it appropriately and not just for the sake of incorporating it. I think if we allow chances for our students to be engaged and use tech on a daily basis we will minimize the distraction piece. Liz mentioned earlier in the semester about tech check ins. It is my goal when I get back to work after my maternity leave to incorporate tech check in’s into my classroom, I think this will also help minimize the distraction. Another goal of mine upon returning to work is to find a way to communicate with students and parents online. I think this leaves opportunity for students and parents to see what is happening in our classroom as well as seeing how their child is progressing.
In my list of con’s I listed several apps that had both pro’s and con’s, like anything there are always negatives to go along with the positives. I am going to try several of these apps in my classroom and hope that with trial and error we can perfect how they are being used and integrated into my classroom. All the apps that I plan to incorporate into my classroom will hopefully provide a different, fun, engaging, challenging, interesting learning experience for all my students.
Prior to incorporating technology into my classroom I think it is essential for my students and myself to come up with some guidelines of how and when our devices can be used appropriately. It is essential that I teach them to how to be good digital citizens. The one thing that I am still pondering is I don’t want students to have their devices in the change room. I think for privacy and safety of everyone devices should be left outside of these areas, in saying that I am left with “do I have a bin where devices are kept until used?” “Do I have like a mail slot type thing where they each have their own spot to keep their device?” How do I ensure for the safety of everyone that no devices are making their way into the change rooms? This is definitely something I need to think about and perhaps even having a conversation with the students and hearing their thoughts/opinions would be helpful.
Throughout the semester a hot topic of conversation was also that of funding. I was always under the impression that SCC was unable to purchase technology for the classrooms. However, upon conversing with colleagues etc. the SCC would be able to purchase a variety tech pieces that would work wonderfully in my classroom (ex. Pedometers, heart rate monitors etc.)
Upon my return to work I hope to write a proposal to our SCC asking them so if they would like to help expand our physical education program. In my proposal I plan to address why I think it is essential that we have these pieces of equipment and how it will benefit our students. Our SCC has been very generous with things in the past, so I am very hopeful that they will be willing to help a physical education teacher who is on a mission to make a difference.
I have been very fortunate to have read many wonderful things both positive and negative in regards to technology in classrooms over the course of this semester. Through these readings it has been evident that technology in our classrooms has been doing some pretty great things and many teachers and students are loving the variety of opportunities that come along with using tech in our classroom.
I am a firm believer that with using technology in our classroom we are able to meet the needs of all of our learners. We are able to make adaptations, provide differentiated instruction etc. One thing I really struggle with in my physical education classroom with grades 5-8 is to motivate each and every individual to actively participate in every class. Some students simply aren’t interested in participating and I struggle with constantly finding ways to encourage them to participate. Now that I have had a semester of simply focusing on tech in physical education I do believe that tech could definitely be a motivating factor. If I find ways of incorporating tech into my classroom that interests them perhaps they will be willing to participate in the activities.
I am confident that with tech being a revolving door like our society
Regina Pubic Schools will begin to expand their shared visions. My colleagues this semester have been able to point me in the right direction as to who I need to talk to in regards to tech related things in my classroom which has been very helpful. I hope to be able to use this contact in the future to successfully implement technology into my own teaching and learning.
Overall this semester has been quite the whirlwind, from ups to downs, to challenging moments to wonderful ideas. I am so thankful that I have been given the opportunity to learn alongside these amazing people who have given me such a great experience. My colleagues have supported me throughout the last leg of this journey and encouraged me to find new ways of teaching physical education. I hope that once I get back to work we can get a tech support group started and begin to put all my wonderful ideas into motion. Physical education has always been a passion of mine and I want my students have the necessary tools and resources to live healthy active lifestyles outside of school in their community, home, workplace etc. I am optimistic that with some changes, some trial and error, some ups and downs that the integration of technology and what is has to offer will be a success in our school. Thank you so much for a wonderful semester and I look forward to staying in touch with all of you and seeing how your tech journeys are coming along!