Thursday, August 8, 2013

Full Steam Ahead... it's a new school year

Here in our little heel of the boot that is known as Southwest Louisiana, preparation for a new school year has begun. There are forms to copy, bulletin boards to update, and new lesson plans to conquer. Let us not forget about technology that we have promised ourselves that we WILL use this year. 

I will definitely be using my Dropbox more this year. I realized this summer that I have WAY too many jump drives. I have one for all my ELA stuff. I have one for my personal things. I have for band booster items. Then I have these few jump drives that 
a little of this or a little of that. So many duplicate files that I have a hard time determine whether I can delete the file because it is on another drive. 

Then there's the issue of dragging my workstation laptop back and forth from school to home. The constant plugging and unplugging from my active board gets tiresome. 

So I am weening myself from the little bag of jump drives and relying on 'the cloud.' I started using my Dropbox more toward the end of last year and began to trust that my files will be on my desktop at school when I arrived the next day. And then the sharing of files with others was the icing on the cake. 

There are many cloud based "holding tanks" out there. Google Docs and Sugar Sync have the same abilities and are equally great. All in all I will be carrying less home night after night and my shoulder thanks me for it. 

THREE iPADS!!!!! Over the course of the last few months, my iPad collection has increased. I only need to get my hands a two or three more and I'll be one happy girl. Three iPads will surely make my plans a little easier. 

There were times when having the one could cause issues, especially in a station. Four kids, one device...someone will be left out. We had to come up with some strict procedures to get equal hands on time for all. But we did it and we appreciated what we did have. 

Besides wrapping my mind around our newly adopted curriculum, one of my biggest goals is to implement a B.Y.O.D. day into my lessons. I'll go back to what I said earlier. My eyes are open to some great things that techie kids can do with a device in their hands. Just about every kid has some type of tablet or iPod. Why not put them to good use. I'm slightly anxious about the logistics of it all. There's storage for the devices when not in use. There's the proper use policies to teach and maintain. Our district is really embracing and aiding the idea with a few of us who are willing to try it out. 

I know I can only do so much and not be overwhelmed. You can only eat that elephant one bite at a time. So I am committed to one day a week for now. And maybe even just one of the four classes as well. It should be interesting, but I am up for the challenge. 

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