Teaching with Technology

2010 National Teacher of the Year, Sarah Brown Wessling, offers ideas about ways to integrate technology into classroom teaching strategies

  • Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5, 6–8, 9–12

SCHOLASTIC:

During your years of teaching, what do you consider to be the biggest advances in technology for the classroom? And where do you see technology going in terms of tools for students — and teachers?

SARAH BROWN WESSLING:

Most certainly it’s been the role of the Internet. When I started teaching, finding information online was still kind of a novelty. Now, we simply expect to have immediate access to any necessary resource. More recently, the explosion of Web 2.0 tools has started to transform how we come to understand and use all of this information. I think that we’ll continue to see not only the presence of technology in the classroom, but also we’ll look at it to inform our instructional design.

I meet this potential with both excitement and trepidation. I’m excited at the possibility of using technology to enhance and support sound instructional design. I think we’ll see learning become even more personalized, the way Amazon mentions other books in which you might be interested, once you’ve purchased a single title. Yet, we must be vigilant that we don’t misunderstand that technology is a tool and cannot, nor should not, replace the artistry of teaching.

 

SCHOLASTIC:

If you could have only one piece of technology equipment in your classroom, what would it be?

SARAH BROWN WESSLING:

Saying my laptop seems too easy, so I would say my iPod. I use it to record personal responses to my students’ work and, according to my students, it’s the single most valuable way I teach and motivate them. Of course, I need my computer to manage, upload, and send all these files.

 

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