Sunday, July 12, 2009

I'm Sold!

So, I have to admit. I never thought I would twitter. My technology facilitator, Julie (Julie Sugarplum or @mrslachance, depending on your world) told me that I just had to join and see it's power. I was quite skeptical, but joined anyway. I couldn't comprehend how everyone else's answer to "What are you doing?" in 140 characters or less could change my life. But, I logged on and still, didn't understand it. Julie's answer? I was following the wrong people. So, I finally found a core to follow and have been absolutely amazed by it's power.

Every night, I sit down and review the day's tweets (unless I've been following them all day) and my diigo account has grown exponentially (yep, math passion there!) since I started tweeting. I have 109 bookmarks in there already. I open up a link, bookmark it and move on. (Man, that makes me think - I really need to go organize those!) I also saw it's power during NECC09. I wasn't at NECC09, but I really felt like I was from everyone's tweets. People were tweeting from all their speakers and sessions and I feel like I got all the links they got and I was 8 hours away. I saw the conversations between people, I saw the dinner plans and I saw the fun. It was amazing to see the connection between these people 8 hours away from me. I felt like I was at NECC09. It was unreal.

This summer has been a different one for me. I'm more attached to my computer. I'm more attached to the web, twitter, facebook and other web 2.0 tools than I've ever been. I've created wikis for clubs and classes for when we return in August. I am searching iPOD apps to use in my classroom when we return. I started my grad school classes after all and have been overwhelmed by technology, instruction and all the work behind it.

I have to step back though for just a second and thank Julie for all of this. While I am overwhelmed by all of it, Julie has shown me my new passion. Math and swimming have always been my passions and now I have a new one on my list: technology. It is inspiring to see her introduce new technology and continually find new technology to help us teachers in our classrooms. I know there is a constant battle with "old" teachers and technology integration, but she doesn't let that get her down. She never stops researching. Her twitter page is evidence of that. I am so glad that she came to Northwest and I'm so glad that she has helped show me technology's power.

Now, the problem: while, I am so excited for all that I have found and all that I want to implement into my classroom but at the same time it scares me. How can I balance all this technology and still make sure my students get all they need to pass the EOC? I don't teach to the test. I never have and never will. But, I also don't teach whatever I want. I have to teach all that Algebra II so my students will do well on the EOC and move on. How can I get through the crammed material (10 chapters in 90 days) and still integrate all this awesome technology? I truly believe this technology will re-engage and re-focus them and hopefully instill the math passion that I have, but will I have time?

It's a never-ending battle and I hope I'm ready to take it on.

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