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Currently, teacher education and professional development is trying to get away from the traditional methods of teaching that do not facilitate student learning as much as it could have and instead look to other ways of doing things such as project-based learning, gamification, and blended or flipped classrooms.
For those unfamiliar with the term, blended learning is a formal education method where students receive part of their content or instruction in a digital or online format. Put simply, it means adding some form of technology into the classroom to enhance learning.
I recently took the 3-hour certification exam to become a Google Certified Educator (level 1). It was a rigorous exam and certainly mentally exhausting, but at the end of the day I’m glad I did it because it will make me a better teacher. Not that you NEED technology to get students to learn, but it’s always helpful to have more tools in your toolbox, right? This is something I recommend all teachers who want to become more confident in their tech skills and stay competitive.
The Certification shows that your proficiency in Google apps for education such as Forms, Sheets, and Classroom to potential employers and your professional network. You can get more detailed information about the certifications in general here, but I wanted to describe to you my experience getting the Level 1 certification.
Not all access is created equal.
Technology can be a useful tool in the classroom and is perfect for doing fun projects with your students, but what happens when your students don’t have access to the same resources at home that they do at school? Many educators, including myself, are devoting their time to learning new and innovative ways to incorporate digital citizenship, iPads, and mobile phones into the classroom. While this of course is a smart idea as it helps make our lessons more engaging and interactive, it is important to also remember our students’ diverse backgrounds.
Many teachers assign their students writing journals or reading logs to track their writing progress throughout the year, but why not try something that can really get your students excited and teach them valuable 21st century skills?
Try having students set up their own personal blogs to fulfil some of the requirements of the Language curriculum!
Blogging could be an appropriate assignment for grades 6 and up, depending on how tech-savvy your students are. While it’s fine to be teaching them the nuances of designing a blog of their own, you don’t want to be doing tech-support for basic tasks the whole time.
Here are 5 great reasons why you should shelve the journals and get online: