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We preach to our students that while they aim to be their best, they should appreciate the journey. But, are we this gentle with ourselves? One fifth-grade teacher reflects on her goal to better integrate technology in the classroom, while navigating the challenges along the way. Technology can be

Aug 09, 2016

We preach to our students that while they aim to be their best, they should appreciate the journey. But, are we this gentle with ourselves? One fifth-grade teacher reflects on her goal to better integrate technology in the classroom, while navigating the challenges along the way.


Technology can be a double-edged sword. The rate at which it evolves can make teachers feel like they are behind the curve. News flash: We cannot master it instantaneously. The reality is that successful technology assimilation takes more than a few minutes of planning and one cool idea. Rather, it requires proper tools, resources, and support from administration.

Cindy Jones is an educator in Maricopa, Arizona. The fifth-grade teacher attended the 2016 Google Summit in March, but is still vetting appropriate ways to use technology in her classroom. In the meantime, she’s working to recruit support from school personnel. Here’s her take on making her tech dreams a reality:

Each year, I have to mentally prepare myself for my new set of students. I take a lot of time to consider what I would like to do in the classroom for the following year, and my planning usually centers around a theme. This year, I set my sights on a more reading- and writing-centered classroom. But because technology is crucial in our society, I’m choosing to incorporate many of the skills and apps I learned about during the Google Summit.

This summer, our school’s computer teacher and I worked diligently to formulate a proposal to incorporate more technology into the classrooms as a way to bring our teachers’ and students’ learning into the digital age.

Although our district is slow in coming to the realization of a changing world, we are not giving up hope. We are both working to become Google Certified, which will allow us share our knowledge with our fellow teachers, keeping the proposal alive. We can continue to utilize the Google Chrome extensions for our own teaching assistance in Google Docs, Sheets, Slides, and more.

As previously mentioned, I take time to consider what I can do for my upcoming students. I have contemplated very heavily the tools and skills I learned from the Google Summit. I did this not only by investigating the amazing apps and ideas from the astounding key speakers and teachers, but also I took to heart what they said about our students and this new generation of learners. It is up to us to keep them engaged, excited, and willing to try new things.

What a blessing it is to be a teacher in this day and age when technology is readily available and challenging us to become inventors, scholars, and lovers of learning. So this year, I commit to striving for technological progress rather than perfection.

Are you looking to add technology ammo to your tool box? Register now for upcoming professional learning opportunities focused on technology at the Arizona K12 Center. In fact, encourage your peers to join you on your quest to reveal the importance of tech in the classroom — there’s strength in numbers.

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