My name is Hollie Williams, I am a 4th grade teacher in Western Nebraska at Westmoor Elementary School. My technology awareness has strengthened as I continue to work towards my master's degree in technology from Lesley University in Massachusetts. I am looking to provide more of a project based learning environment for my classroom using 21st Century Skills. The students are actively engaged when technology tools are brought into the picture, I would like to make this an everyday occurrence, unfortunately I am limited to two computers for 27 kids.
Last year I had an opportunity to start a technology club after school. I thought a few students would be interested in movie making, blogging, and/or photography. However, I did not realize the interest level within our school, I was not prepared at all when 90 students showed up in my classroom the first day of tech club! What a success story, however a learning experience at that. These students want to collaborate and problem solve using digital tools and they were willing to stay after school for it as well. I don't want this to be an exclusive experience for students though, I want it to be incorporated into their curriculum each day.
I want to get on board with the tools and equipment of the future because I am responsible for teaching the next generations what is out there and how to use it effectively. I feel very fortunate to have two computers for my classroom but I cannot help to want more. I envision students videotaping their book discussions and uploading them to YouTube. I also would like to see more individualized correspondence with the use of a class blog. Math concepts could be easily taught and practiced using interactive tools such as cameras, computers, or Ipads. I believe if the student computer ratio for the classrooms gets better I can create more of an authentic project based learning experience.