Being in a classroom where there is no set curriculum I have the luxury of being able to do just about anything that I want to with my students. Having my class in a computer lab makes it very easy to use online tech tools with my students too. I am the obviously the exception, not the rule.
The strange thing is I still have goals and objectives for my students and they don't always mesh up with what is going on in the ed tech universe. There have been a lot of tech tools being adopted by my Twitter friends that I have little desire to incorporate into my classroom. A lot of the tools simply don't do anything that furthers my students understanding of concepts I think are important.
Occasionally something does come up that I find very intriguing and see a lot of great learning opportunities coming from it. That doesn't mean I will immediately jump into it with both feet though. Here are a few reasons why:
- My students are usually doing projects that require at least a week to do, most take much longer. I (usually) can't stop to throw something new at them.
- My goal for my class is for students to bridge the divide between using digital tools and their regular content areas. If we are working on a project for science, the "new thing" may not fit into the content area goals.
- I need time to really think about using new tools/ideas in my classroom to make sure that the time they use is a real benefit to my students now and in the future. I have them for a semester one hour a day.