Practice English Speaking&Listening with: We Must Take a Strategic Approach to Technology Integration

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As we all know, last spring educators, students, and families were unexpectedly

thrust into a situation where all learning had to take place online. I've

long held the position that we should be seamlessly integrating technology into

our curriculums to help build relevant 21st century skills with our students,

but even for me, this was extreme. With only a week or two notice, there was

simply no way that educators around the world were going to be able to

successfully start using all of these new technology platforms to teach

students and that's not to say that we didn't try. I've seen so many educators

dedicate themselves to learning new skills and figuring out ways to continue

to reach students using technology tools. Last spring it was understandable that

using technology to teach students was pretty uneven and only moderately

successful and in lots of places, completely unsuccessful. But now as we

face the almost certain reality that the majority of our students are going to be

learning online, yet again, I fear that schools have not done enough to prepare

teachers to leverage technology to continue to provide students with a

high-quality education. Starting the year off online and potentially looking at an

entire school year of doing distance learning is a significantly different

situation than suddenly having to switch to online learning toward the end of the

year and the consequences of getting this wrong are real. Students face

learning loss and significant disengagement from school that could

continue to impact them well into their futures. This time we have to get it

right, which means we need to come up with a strategic plan for how we are

going to be using technology to teach our students. To me this strategic plan

means that we are essentially looking at our curriculums and figuring out how we

can digitize it and we also shouldn't just be using technology to replicate

our current instructional practices. We should take advantage of the fact that

we have such powerful tools at our disposal to learn new ways to reach our

students and build upon our practices, so that we can take those practices back to

our classrooms to create more innovative spaces. As teachers

there's a lot in this situation that's out of control. We know that a massive

barrier to students being able to access learning at all during this time is just

basic access to a device and the internet, but notwithstanding those

challenges, there is still a lot that's within our control. We can learn how to

leverage technology to make our lessons more interactive and engaging and we can

learn how to use it to foster creativity in our students, to teach them 21st

century skills, and to personalize learning for them so that they're

receiving instruction that's at their just right level. And we can also learn

new tech infused instructional techniques that might even better help

us reach our students. In the end, if teachers learn how to use technology

tools in order to meet educational goals, as well as teach students how to build

skills using technology, that will be a good thing for public education. So this

time, let's go in with a plan and make sure we are leveraging technology to

provide our students with the high quality education they deserve. If this

is your first time visiting my channel, my name is Sam Kary and I'm the founder

of The New EdTech Classroom, a website and YouTube channel dedicated to helping

teachers learn how to integrate technology into their curriculums. I've

been a classroom teacher and instructional coach for the last decade

and I'm still in the classroom today. I decided to start The New EdTech

Classroom because I always felt frustrated by the fact that it seemed

like teachers always had to go out of their way to learn new instructional

practices. Most teacher PD just didn't really do it for me and I always had

this feeling that if somebody could just show me how to do it, I could definitely

be a much better teacher. It literally took me years of observing other

teachers, reading books, attending conferences, and trial and error in my

own classroom to figure all this stuff out. With a few exceptions, when it came

to education technology in particular, the majority of the content out there

was really just about how to use a program, but not about how to use that

program with students. I still found myself spending hours figuring out how

to bridge the gap between a new program I had been introduced to and how I would

actually use it in my classroom. Sure, having students respond

to each other via video or make podcast projects seem like cool ideas, but how

does it actually fit into my curriculum? How do those programs help me achieve

educational goals? And how do I actually deal with a roomful of students all

sitting in front of a computer recording themselves? I wanted to address those

practical concerns, while also showing teachers how technology could open up

new and exciting possibilities in education. The truth is that before

school closures, my channel was something that very few people paid attention to.

Then around mid-March, I put out a few videos about how to strategically

approach remote teaching and that pretty much changed everything. Today we're a

rapidly growing audience of over 50,000 educators around the world and I've led

webinars in the U.S. and abroad for hundreds of teachers to show them different

techniques for how to use technology in strategic ways. I'm well aware that the

success of this channel has absolutely nothing to do with me and it has

everything to do with the fact that teachers needed to find resources in

order to adapt to this emergency distance learning situation that they

all found themselves in. I am truly humble and appreciative that so many

teachers around the world have found the content that I've been putting up

helpful as we face this unprecedented situation. Now, I know so many educators

are again feeling a sense of anxiety and concern about all the uncertainty that

we're facing in this upcoming school year. I'm not here to tell you about a

magical app or a quick fix that's suddenly going to make your teaching

with technology more effective, but I am here to tell you that with the right

strategic plan in place, you can continue to provide students with a high quality

education using technology and even improve upon your instructional

practices. These are all practices that you will be able to transfer back to a

brick-and-mortar school. In all challenges, there are also opportunities

to become stronger and I urge everyone to use this challenge as an opportunity

to also improve upon our instructional practices. I know that's what I'll be

doing. I'm going to continue providing free resources through my YouTube

channel and my blog to support teachers with strategically

integrating technology and I'm also excited to formally announce that

shortly I'll be launching my first online course, The 21st century Classroom.

The course is designed to be a comprehensive look at how to

strategically integrate technology in order to achieve meaningful outcomes

with students. Not only will you learn how to create a classroom that could be

implemented in person or online, you'll also learn how to leverage technology to

personalize instruction, foster creativity, and provide students with

authentic learning experiences. Since this is my first online course and I

want to make sure that I do it right, I am only going to be accepting a limited

number of students for this cohort. If all of this sounds like something you

might be interested in, you can click on the link below to get your name on the

early-bird waitlist. Stay tuned for the next video because I'm going to be

showing some specific strategies you can use in order to strategically integrate

technology. That being said, I hope you're compelled to meet this historic moment

in education with an innovative mindset. If you have any questions, please feel

free to ask in the comments below or send me an email at

newedtechclassroom@gmail.com. I can't wait to share what I have for you in the next

video and in the meantime, I hope you have a great week!

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