Friday, June 2, 2017

A Digital Road Well Traveled

As I begin to enjoy another summer and reflect on another school year ( my 26th year in the classroom ) I think of my students and the last group that I would be looping with. I've had this group for two years in my 2nd -3rd grade bilingual class and the digital learning continues to amaze me. I've had two other groups before this one but this group has harnessed the power of what it means to learn in a "digital learning environment". 

They have surpassed my expectations by being fearless in their learning. I found myself designing lessons deeper and more purposeful than with any other group. These bilingual students challenged me to be innovative and have high expectations about the projects they were to create. Each year the learning seems to be more streamlined with their knowledge of all things digital. The things they created on their iPads and chrome books was simply amazing. When I asked them to organize their google drive for the end of the year so that they could be ready for 4th, it was so rewarding to see that their confidence and ability to perform certain tasks was easy. Not only did they organize their drive but some were helping others not as savvy as other classmates. Is this not the culture we aspire as educators to create in our classrooms, a culture that drives instruction, empowers learning and cultivates an environment of trust and innovative thinking? It is all in the pedagogy and how these tools foster a level of engagement that is both relevant and purposeful. The impact of having these devices for two years has been a huge transformation in teaching and learning. It will change the culture in your classroom and students will benefit greatly. 

The impact has been so big that next year will be a breeze and they will need to be challenged in a different way. So what more can they learn? What impact will they have on other students in their grade level who have not had this kind of experience? My hope is that they will lead others with more courage and a thirst for innovation! Being confident and purposeful with their knowledge can help make a road well traveled. I pray that their road next year will be traveled with new friends who will have the same opportunities as they have had these past two years, that they continue to be fearless and create their own digital footprint. Its not just about the device but how this tool helps them to be confident in their learning and be proud of all they have accomplished these past two years. It is their story and I am confident that their digital roads will be well traveled from this point on. Next year, I begin my 28th year with a new group of 2nd graders. I wonder what kind of digital roads will be created? I have experts that I can call upon two hallways down.