Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Beginning the Journey

I have been wanting to cloud compute in my classroom for at least 3 years. This year, I've decided to make a full effort. I currently have 2 PCs in my classroom, but also have access to a school laptop & a previous co-teacher's 2 PCs. I also sign up for the computer lab every possible minute that it is open (luckily it is right next door to my classroom). Beginning in April, I felt guilty for monopolizing the computer lab so I eagerly went to my district's "tech guy" & principal. I asked if they could scrounge up 4 or 5 PCs for my classroom, hoping for at least 2. Two have been found & I'm patiently waiting for their arrival. Part of my dream has also been to include mobile devices.

Four years ago I began to use my personal iPod with my students. They really seemed to enjoy being able to watch & listen to pod casts in both whole & small groups, as well as individually. The short media segments not only assisted with their learning, but engaged them in the tasks at hand. However, having 1 for 20 children was quite limiting.

Two years ago I received a BlackBerry for my birthday. OMG! I was not only using it for my email accounts, calendar, & social networks; I was also syncing documents to help me keep track of my 1:1 & small group conferencing notes. I was in love! I immediately saw what the benefits would be for my students. One little problem was $ ~ not only do smart phones cost a bundle, but then there's the cost of the data plans.

So...what's a techie teacher to do? Forge ahead. Continue using as many available school computers as possible. Continue to write grants, seeking funds for mobile devices: iPod Touch, Droids, Netbooks, & Mi-Fi services. I'm using my website to set my classroom up with Google Apps; allowing my students to email & create both at home & school. Seek assistance from my principal to see what funds are available for technology. Rope in my incoming students' parents to see what devices they have that could help us out.

I know that I will have some bumps in the road, but I'm looking forward to the successes!