Have you hit your wall yet this year? The moment when you ask yourself why. Why do I get up at 4:45 to go to work? Why do I invest so many more hours than I am required to work, to teach 10 year olds?
The end of the year can be challenging, especially when you are hit with the pressure of standardized testing coupled with the fact that your students just gave you the ever lingering “stomach bug”. That’s where I am today, and today I was asked the biggest “why” question of all. Why do we integrate Apple technology in our classrooms?
This made me ask myself, why is the integration of Apple technology important to me and more importantly my students? I can think of a plethora of reasons, but here are my top three.
1) Understanding how to use technology effectively is important for the generation of students I teach.
The technology I use in my classroom is already outdated. My students used our iPads for four years, and thankfully, our iPads are getting refreshed within the next two weeks. I am not naive, the most up to date piece of technology will be out of date in the next two years. The fact that the students have the hottest new gizmo out there isn’t as important as the fact that working 1:1 with devices is powerful. It is also important that students understand technology is a tool. A tool they will work with their entire life.
2) Being able to problem solve independently greatly outweighs a student’s ability to bubble in the right answer on any test.
I used the word hypotenuse today. I used it because the fact popped into my head as I was teaching area, and I thought it would be cool for my students to know an advanced word. I haven’t used that fact in 12 years, but I use problem solving all of the time.
If we were honest with ourselves we would know that a lot of the material we cover students will not need to understand to survive. However, the ability to problem solve will allow our students to survive and thrive in their future. Society doesn’t know the great challenges of our future. Those challenges may not even be created yet, but we must create citizens that are willing to problem solve the future’s challenges.
3) Allowing students to create and choose how to show what they know empowers them and makes them accountable for their own learning.
Worksheets don’t work. Apple devices allow students to create and think in classrooms. These devices personalize learning and allow students to be productive in a way that works for them. When people have choices, no matter what age, they are more inclined to work and have buy-in. Student buy-in and engagement is priceless.
So, why do I teach? I teach because I care.
Why do I integrate Apple technology? I teach with Apple technology because my students matter. They are the ones that will build tomorrow. It is my job to show them tools that will allow them to do so.