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Educator Discusses How EdTech Has Changed Teaching

Educator Discusses How EdTech Has Changed Teaching

Starr Sackstein, veteran educator and author, admits that she started teaching before technology was a must-have in the classroom. Now, she says she can't teach without it and explains why.

"I’m not a 'digital native' as many have suggested my students are, but I’ve fearlessly jumped into the pool of possibility and refuse to get out," Sackstein said in a SmartBlog on Education.

Though she says she worked and functioned completely without technology just a decade ago, she says the progress of learning with technology in the classroom has been just as "exponential" as the actual technology itself.

Her first and foremost favorite product of technology, she says, is Google Educational Suite. Through Google Drive, her students are provided "access to an amazing world of collaboration" between each other and herself.

Like many other educators, Sackstein is also a huge fan of Voxer. But rather than just using it for collaboration with other educators in group chats, Sackstein uses it to keep in touch with her classroom when not in it. Aside from using it to provide more detailed feedback about learning for students, Sackstein says it's also been "awesome for maintaining class conversation in my absence, I can listen to class discussions and provide questions on Twitter to be involved."

As for social media networks, Sackstein says her students have become better learners after she showed them the academic value of platforms like Twitter. She says by doing so, educators are also teaching students the importance of digital citizenship.

"In AP Lit, my students back channel class discussion and ideas...we do weekly Twitter chats to discuss informational texts that support learning in the class. The best part of it that the conversation spans three classrooms and my PLN [Professional Learning Network] who jump in to support the kids whenever they can," she says, according to the post.

Sackstein also finds profound educational value in tools like Screencasting, iMovie, and blogging apps which allow students to create and develop their ideas into polished projects to be proud of and to be easily shared with others.

"Technology is a necessary part of the 21st century. Teachers and students need to experiment until they find the tech that works for them. There’s so much out there and it can even done from handheld devices," she says.

Read the full post here, comment below about your thoughts on EdTech in the classroom and answer our poll.

Article by Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor

05/20/2015

What EdTech resource do you most use in your classroom?

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