One of the most common comments I get from teachers at a technology in-service in August is, ” I wish I had known about this before the summer.” What they mean is they wish they had the information before they went on summer vacation so they could have played with the idea, website, technology, and decided how to use it in their classroom. I do understand the frustration here. The start of the year is a great time to start a new website, wiki, or blog. After all we are trained to think of classroom management and curriculum as a linear, day one implementation. So why not the use of a new technology?
As a secondary person that has launched the use of all kinds of technology in my classroom there is no perfect timing. August and September are always busy with start-up. Suddenly you are busy with grades, and projects, and other duties through November. Before you know it you are thinking, who wants to work on a website over Thanksgiving, and you just want to make it to Christmas after that. In January it seems like a good time to start that website or blog, but you have that research paper, project, etc. you are working on with the students, Before you know it, it is spring break and you are not doing anything over spring break because you need, well, a break. In April you are near the end of the year and do not feel like starting anything new. By May you are counting the days till you are off for the summer. So, you see, there is no “perfect time” to learn and implement a new technology like the present.
So, here is what I want you to take from this:
1. NOW is the perfect time to play with that website/blog/wiki you were going to build.
2. Pick one technology tool and get good at it. Think about ways it will benefit your students.
3. Find a good site to follow to learn PD. My favorite is twitter, but you can use any of them.
4. Find out what resources your district may provide to you: Atomic learning, Adobe 9, edmoto, etc.
5. Have FUN. So many of the education technology sites out there are easy you just have to dive in.