Switching to a new school can be a big change for teachers, even if it is just on the other side of town. Moving to a new country to teach in a school thousands of miles away can provide educators with an entirely new perspective on their profession. Tammy Musiowsky has taught students in Canada and the United States — and now she’s in the middle of her first year in Singapore. I spoke to Tammy about her experience teaching overseas and how education technology plays a role in her classroom.
My teaching practice has become what I wanted it to be. While I strengthened my skills in certain areas and gained content knowledge while I taught in the U.S., I now have the freedom to let my students take the lead more often and let them guide where the learning goes. My pedagogical beliefs about how kids learn is the same, but now I have the autonomy to teach through an inquiry-based learning approach that I believe in.
We have a few ways we use technology at the school, and it differs by grade level. In grade two, we have a set of Chromebooks shared among our three classes. Each of our classes use Chromebooks at some point during each day. They use it to access email, create Google documents and presentations, and update their school portfolio on Google Sites. They also use them to watch videos and read. We are beginning to do some graphing on them as well.
We also have a set of iPads that we can sign out. So far this year we have used the app Explain Everything to record procedural writing. As a teaching tool, I have my laptop that I project from. We manage our class blog and class Twitter on the laptop.
Technology has opened up an avenue for me and my students to be even more creative. Students are comfortable with technology at a young age and they are willing to try things out if they have the opportunity. I want to provide those opportunities for them to explore, engage and create projects.
Be open. Let students explore. Don’t worry so much about a final product. I think the process of learning and creating something is the most important piece when using technology.
I hope that technology in education becomes even more of a daily occurrence. I hope teachers embrace the learning curve and understand that being uncomfortable is okay. Baby steps! We have to remember that it’s about the kids and that technology is a part of their lives growing up.
Follow Tammy on Twitter and share your own teaching stories below!
Monica Burns is an EdTech & Curriculum Consultant and Apple Distinguished Educator. Visit her site ClassTechTips.com for more ideas on how to become a tech-savvy teacher.
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