I just recently found out, today actually, that I would be re-entering the education technology world full-time as an elementary “computer teacher.” I know that’s not the most ed-tech savvy position name, but it is what it is for the time being. I have spent this past year teaching in an elementary life skills classroom where major behaviors and curriculum development has taken up most of my time. I feel very out of the loop with the newest technologies that are available and want to reconnect and reengage so that I can be the best “computer teacher” I can be.
I participated in the first DEN Institute held in Valley Forge and learned a lot and met a lot of great people while in attendance. I have been looking for the opportunity to participate in another institute like this with likeminded people since finally becoming healthy enough to begin working full-time again.
I will admit that I haven’t been the most active STAR out there. I do introduce teachers and other staff to Discovery Education when I can and I think my biggest this year was showing it to our occupational therapist who felt that the videos with exercises would be very good for many of the students she sees. I did also introduce one of our teachers to editable clips and how to edit them in Movie Maker. This was something she didn’t know that she could do, and she’s done it several times since, making more appropriate clips for use in her classroom.
My expertise at this point in time lies more in the fields of assitive technology and universal design for learning than regular education activities. I’ve had to do a lot of major adaptions for my students to use technology. I had one student with autism who had never been able to do much more than watch videos on the Internet, and figured out a way to allow him to make choices on the computer using a mouse buddy. It was VERY rewarding.