Introduction

Hi, my name is Adam Wason.  I work in District 205 at Lockport East High School.  I just finished my 12th year teaching, all of them spent at Lockport.  I also graduated from Lockport, so all together I’ve been at the school for 16 years.  I am currently teaching sophomore level Physical Science and junior/senior level Earth Science.  I’ve taught Physical Science for all of my 12 years, and I’ve taught Earth Science for the last 9 years.

I really do like using technology in the classroom.  I think it’s something that all students today should be exposed to as often as possible.  We currently are 1:1 here at Lockport with the students all having chromebooks that they use every day.  I would say that I’m probably one of the teachers here that uses the chromebooks most often.  In fact, I don’t think I’ve printed off a single piece of paper in the last 2 months.  Almost everything the kids work on in my class is set up through our school’s PowerSchool Learning LMS.  They have their notes there, videos, practice problems, quizzes, tests, pretty much everything.

Some of my favorite tech tools I use are things like Kahoot and Quizlet.  Those are two that I use all the time in my class for review games to make it fun for the kids.  EdPuzzle and PearDeck are others I like to use for certain topics.  They also do a great job keeping the kids involved in the lessons.

As great as all this is, I do run into trouble using technology in class the way I do.  I have many students who don’t like online tests, don’t like taking notes on google docs, don’t like digital flashcards, etc.  As great as I think these technologies are, I still have to keep in mind that sometimes these may not be so great for all my students.

Overall though, it has been fun trying to come up with new and innovative ways to incorporate more technology into my classroom.  It has been really nice teaching in a district that seems to be ahead of the curve for many of these technologies and has a lot of support for the teaching staff.  With this class, I hope to learn more about the hardware aspects of Technology Education.  I would say that this would probably be my weakest area, because I have the least experience with it.  I really am looking forward to learning more about this throughout the program here at St. Francis and to round out my learning.

16 thoughts on “Introduction”

  1. We do a lot of algebra in Physics and Physical Science, and I put a lot of emphasis on the “process” of problems solving. I wish I could get away from the amount of paper that we use, but I haven’t found a way for students to really show work and math solely using the technology.

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    1. Hi Adam,

      I too like Edpuzzle and Peardeck. Have you used the Peardeck add-on on google slides? That is my goal for next year. So interactive! Edpuzzle is a great way to review a lesson or even get students excited about a lesson or unit! I also agree, that having everything on a laptop, chromebook, etc. isn’t always the best fit for students. We have had issues with students cheating on google form tests, so paper and pencil is definitely the way to go sometimes.

      Lisa

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  2. Hi Adam,
    I think you are spot on about some students not liking technology. Some students would rather put pen to paper. I think that is ok. It is like all of the other choices we give students. A long time ago we learned about multiple intelligences, it would not surprise me if they revisited that and added another type of intelligence. Technology intelligence there are plenty of students who are just gifted, they “get it” they can figure stuff out using technology in a snap. Other students however just do not get it, but they may be gifted in other ways.

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  3. Adam,

    It is great that you have such a well-rounded background and experience with technology resources. Being open-minded to the needs and strengths of your students is a positive sign that hopefully is reciprocated with a strong work ethic from your students . Teaching in the same building for your entire career, a school in which you attended, certainly helps you understand the climate going into your career. I look forward to learning with you in this course!

    -Dan

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  4. Adam- Good to get to know you a little better. Finding the right balance is always the battle. I believe we’re at the beginning of this transition to move everything to technology (quizzes, tests, notes, etc.). That’s why there is pushback from some students. However, I do like that you are integrating interactive presentations to build more confidence in the students who don’t like those “online tests’. Maybe small samples of success can begin building more positive experiences online!

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  5. Adam,
    I totally agree with the issues you see with 1-1 technology, I struggle with many of the same at my school! This is our first year with 1-1 so I am wondering if next year will be a different story. I also really like some of the resources you mentioned such as Kahoot and Quizlet. My students really tend to enjoy and engage in both of these.

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  6. Love your blog! I can tell you are comfortable with playing around with technology just from the look of it. I like to use EdPuzzle in my classes to make sure students understand certain skills they will be using in labs before they are allowed to go into the kitchens. I like Kahoot as well but we are not able to get much service in our school and we are not a 1:1 school so it makes it very hard to use that tool. Look forward to hearing about all the ways you use technology in your classes.

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  7. Hi, Adam,
    I totally see your point if there is too much tech. Sometimes technology is perfect for the learning activity, while other times it isn’t. I think even 1-1 schools should still allow and encourage hands-on as well as online activities. As an English educator I see the benefits of students typing as well as writing. I have students highlight and annotate on paper as well as online. Teaching them different ways, allows them to pick what works best for them. I’m excited to learn the different ways you incorporate technology into your classroom.

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  8. Hi Adam,

    I agree with you that finding a balance between technology use and paper/pen use is an important part of helping our students. Most of my students hate taking online tests and making digital flashcards. It is refreshing, however, knowing that this digital age generation can still hold a pencil!

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  9. Nice to meet you Adam! You bring up an interesting point… I think we assume that all students love technology and have a natural comfort level for it; however, that’s not always the case.

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  10. Hi Adam!

    Happy Summer! I too work at the (middle) school in which I attended growing up. I think it’s nice to feel a connection like this with the community in which you were raised. Have you found any challenges with working in a school you were already so familiar with?

    Have a good one,

    Tara

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  11. Hi, Adam!

    Nice to have you aboard. Sometimes it is about making sure the digital tools are available and leaving the choice up to the learner. Have you tried Google Keep yet? It is one of my all time faves!

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  12. Hi Adam! I agree with and experience the challenges you face in using technology in the classroom. Do you have any strategies to work through it? Do you plan in ways that give kids more choice?

    Do you do anything outside of the classroom? Coaching, club sponsor, etc..? Also, do you know Adam Decaire? I went to school with him at UIUC.

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  13. Adam, it seems that you are loving the 1:1 classroom, which is exciting. All of the tools that you mentioned, Kahoot, Quizlet, Edpuzzle, etc. are great formative tools for the tool box. It is an exciting time to be a teacher.

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  14. Hi Adam,
    It is evident you enjoy teaching with technology. We have greatly reduced the amount of paper we use in our district through the use of technology including our 1:1 program. As great as technology is it is great that you recognize it is not the best tool for everything or everyone in all circumstances. I hope you learn some useful things in this course.
    Karen

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  15. Hi Adam,

    Great to see that you use so much tech in your class! I also use PearDeck and EdPuzzle frequently and agree that they really help keep the kids engaged. I like how you acknowledged that sometimes tech isn’t always the best for all kids. I’m a special education teacher (also at the high school I graduated at-Stagg!) and sometimes it can be difficult to meet the needs of my students and also use a ton of technology without a lot of pre-teaching. I’m excited to learn some new things in this course though.

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