As a 1:1 district, technology is seamless and we are constantly striving to be on the cutting edge. We are always looking for the latest “cool tool” that will help our students gain 21st century skills. One particular tool that I am seeking, not necessarily found yet, is one that will help students master academic vocabulary. There are lots of gadgets and neat websites, but I’m not looking for the wow-factor. I’m looking for a gadget that will sharpen critical thinking skills, enable effective collaboration and above all, make them assimilate material much better than they’ve ever done before.
Thus far, Google docs seem to deliver most of what I need. It may not be jazzy or extremely cool, but it’s FREE, practical and easy to use. As an ESL teacher, I need to be careful not to focus so much on the “cool tools” that the content and language end up watered down. If I do it right, content and language will be absorbed more quickly.
So whether it’s a form for collecting student feedback or parent contact information, or a simple document to enable peer editing or a presentation that’s easily shared with their peers, Google has come through and done the job. For now, that’s cool enough for me.
Until next time, let’s keep aiming for the #BestYearEver.