Well here I am

I've been encouraged by colleagues to start a blog (to write about my exploration of technology in the classroom). However I kept thinking: a) I have no time to blog, b) What if people think what I'm saying is crazy/'stupid' c) Who would even want to read this?

Well I guess we'll see... so here goes nothing:

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First off, let me tell you a little about myself. I am currently a 5th grade math, science and writing teacher in an urban school district -- teaching at a PK-8 school with a student body that is predominantly high needs and African American. I have been teaching here for 6 years and have loved each one - thanks to my kids. I feel like this school is my family now and don't know how I could ever leave. After 'growing up' as an educator with this school, teaching in the same 4-5th grade band for several years, I was beginning to feel like I was hitting my stride. I thought, OK -- I got this. Then, my world was completely changed thanks to a grant approval for 32 iPads.

When I heard that the grant had won, I cried. My husband said, "Ohhh... how sweet! You're so happy!" I replied, "Nooooo! I'm crying because I'm scared now... I have to actually do all those things I said I'd do in that grant!" Oh dear...

Although daunting, I took on the challenge with a deep breath and willingness to try, fail and try again. I received the iPads in August of 2010. Since that time we've been working to integrate them into our daily instruction. So far we've been fairly successful. If you were to walk into my classroom on any given day, you will see them out and being used throughout each subject - math, science, writing... even a little social science for good measure. These shiny little devices have single handedly transformed my differentiation, assessment and outlook on what can be done in the classroom. On a daily basis, I think wow -- is this really happening?

We've received much positive feedback from parents, colleagues, administration, district personnel and even the kind folks at Apple. Yet the questions I keep asking myself are - how effectively are we using them? What could we do better? How can I push both myself and my students to use this technology more efficiently, effectively? In this blog, I'll be exploring the ups and downs, ins and outs of answering these questions....
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