Thursday, December 13, 2012

Epic Fail Part #1

As educators, we all have those moments in life where we plan really good lessons. We work hard to ensure that they are technology rich and aligned with the curriculum. If you teach in Louisiana, then you know that our state is undergoing a curriculum shift from GLEs to Common Core Standards. You know that the assessments are changing, the method of teaching is changing, and even the way the students should learn is changing. We are all working to accommodate this shift in education. That means more professional development, more outside research, and frankly more time trying to get used to what's changing.

Many teachers don't like change and most of us aren't surprised to hear that. The world that our children live in is changing on a daily basis. The amount of technology available is unreal compared to when I was a child. Our students aren't afraid of technology. They are comfortable with it, even if we aren't! I recently took an online class called Teaching Digital Natives. It was VERY helpful in recommending ways for us to become "comfortable" with the shift in the way we should be teaching. Teachers that are willing to venture out there and use technology despite the pitfalls are a rare find. Which brings me to Epic Fail Part #1!

Picture this scenario for me..... The HUGE Compass evaluation is approaching.... I've spent countless hours working on the perfect lesson, stressing for weeks getting ready for it. I decided to venture out there and try using some of the new technology tools my classroom has been granted. I planned to begin the lesson on Monday so that my students would transition smoothly to the second day, which was my evaluation day. I planned it that way on purpose. I worked all weekend on this lesson. I even fell asleep at the computer preparing for this lesson. I made sure to get to school early on the day of my pre-observation conference. I knew that I needed to do a few last minute things to be ready. I opened up the the Macbook to sync my iPads to it. I only had 5 simple apps that I needed to download to the iPads. I let them sync for 2 hours and thought everything was going as planned...and I was on top of the world! I pulled out the iPads for my first class, ready to introduce this EPIC lesson I'd spent HOURS AND HOURS working on. Then, all of a sudden, I hear the students say..... "Ms. H, I can't find the app you said to use."  The dreadful words no teacher ever wants to hear from a student, as it certainly indicates that the iPads didn't sync at all..... My heart skipped a beat and I wondered if maybe they just made a mistake and couldn't find it. I took the iPad to look for the apps myself. I frantically began looking on the iPad, searching for the apps that were needed. No luck!  At that point my heart was in the pit of my stomach.... blood pressure was rising, and panic began to set in. I cursed myself for using technology. I knew better, but I wanted to be innovative and original.

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We interrupt this program to bring you a special bulletin...We wanted to inform you that the book Teaching Digital Natives which was referenced earlier in this post, can be found on  You can also check out Marc Prensky's website to find several articles that should be good reading material for those interested in learning how to have a true partnering classroom.

Click on the book for more information

Tune in next time when we find out what happens to the poor distressed teacher in the next installment entitled Epic Fail Part 2!

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