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When you first got an AOL account, you probably thought you were sitting at the pinnacle of technological achievements. Your computer could dial a local phone number, and you could “log on,” to receive messages instantly. Incredible! But technology has progressed since 1994, and today, the rate of advance can be dizzying. But that doesn’t mean you have to be an IT wizard- quite the opposite. Technology doesn’t solve anything on its own. It just means that you need to be willing to add tools, take tools away, and change processes if and when they don’t work.
And your view of yourself will have to change as well. A Flipped Classroom needs a flipped teacher, and that means you have to be comfortable not being in front of the class all the time. It also means you may need to be comfortable in front of a webcam, recording lessons for your students. If you’re camera shy like us, that’s not always the easiest thing in the world. Work with your strengths- maybe you just need to record your voice, or maybe there’s another solution: a husband or a wife, or a friend could volunteer to narrate your video lectures. Just as the Flipped approach teaches us: there are many solutions to a single problem.
As part of Getting Organized, you should have a list or a mind map of the tools you are planning to use in the classroom. Remember to evaluate and adjust your usage of those tools in light of your experiences with them. If you were very excited about a particular tool, but didn’t use it much, think about why. Do you need to include it in a different phase of preparation? Do you need to discard it from your list of resources? Maybe it isn’t as shiny and great as you thought it would be- or maybe you just aren’t comfortable enough with it to use it effectively… yet.
We do this for a living, but believe us. keeping up with apps and new edtech services is not an easy job. Lists of how iPads and other Tablets will be used in schools in the future seem often to magically assume that the addition of a piece of technology is going to improve your ability to educate. But without preparation and careful planning, these tools will be less than a help to you. Your job, whether you like it or not, has changed to incorporate technology research, on top of keeping up with your own area of teaching.