One fifth-grade teacher explains why she believes technology is critical for her students. It wasn’t that long ago that I knew little to nothing about how amazing Google could actually be. I had no idea what it offered in relation to school and education, how it could apply to my teaching and learnJun 02, 2017
One fifth-grade teacher explains why she believes technology is critical for her students.
It wasn’t that long ago that I knew little to nothing about how amazing Google could actually be. I had no idea what it offered in relation to school and education, how it could apply to my teaching and learning, or where I wanted to implement it within the curriculum set by my school district and state. After attending the Arizona Summit featuring Google for Education for the second year in a row, my colleagues and I have come by leaps and bounds from where we were last year. But it’s not without reflecting on where we started, which we consider the age of dinosaurs.
Our school is back-to-basics in its teaching methods. The educator is there to teach — not just facilitate — using direct instruction, while promoting very little student collaboration or the use of technology. I trust and believe in the methods our school has implemented because we are seeing results. However, there are links within our educational triumphs that are missing.
Technology is a valuable connection we lack that would allow our students the opportunities to expand their knowledge. Think of the possibilities: They could travel to the Taj Mahal, see penguins in Antarctica, visit the places of their ancestors, travel along the Trail of Tears, and so much more.
With endless potential, my colleagues and I hope to introduce various Google apps and extensions in our classrooms within the next few years. Fortunately, Google Classroom is on the table for the coming school year, so the age of the dinosaurs might be disappearing from our view.
As if we needed to defend the usefulness of Google in our school, we have plenty of evidence that it will positively impact student learning. We see huge benefits in the following:
- Students can use Google Maps and street view with the Google Cardboard to take in-class fieldtrips.
- There are a variety of math extensions that greatly benefit students who lack the foundation in math, which enables them to progress.
- Flipgrid affords students who are shy or rarely participate vocally in class to share their thoughts and contribute to class discussions without the judgement of their peers.
- Pear Deck, Kahoot, iMovie, and other student engagement tools help educators teach students in a variety of ways.
If these terms and tools sound like a foreign language to you, be sure to keep your eyes peeled for registration for the fifth-annual Arizona Summit Featuring Google for Education on March 22-23, 2018.
Unlike our dinosaur friends, technology is not going away. Therefore, we must utilize technological advancements in classrooms to benefit our students. When we do, we’re enabling students to more fully adapt to the future workplaces and careers of their choice. As teachers, we owe it to our learners to be advocates of technology. If not, they will be left behind.
Cindy Jones is a fifth-grade teacher at Legacy Traditional School in Maricopa. The wife and mother-of-four earned her bachelor’s degree from Brigham Young University in Idaho and a master’s degree from Grand Canyon University.