In my current classroom we don’t have one-to-one iPads. There is only one computer available to students in the classroom. Despite the VPN, there are still websites that take their time to download. We don’t use Gonoodle to exercise. We don’t use SeeSaw or any other portfolio or documenting app. Parents are notified about their children through written documentation, no WeChat, WhatsApp or Facebook. I’m teaching old school and I love it.
No doubt students need exposure to technology and so do teachers. Google classroom, Edmodo and all the rest have been great for teachers and students alike. I love watching videos of creative teachers who make videos and dance routines for students. I’m all for prezi. Seriously, I’m inspired by it all.
Yet, I love the way I’m teaching now. Our exercise breaks are fueled by exercises we know, no video recording, but what we think of using our minds. We read books by going to the library and choosing them, rather than raz-kids and readinga-z. Students have a physical portfolio where they are beginning to store their projects and work. I haven’t made any rap videos or dance routines to entice my students into learning or participating. From our morning check-ins and afternoon circle time, it looks, feels and sounds like my students are loving the fourth grade.
I’d love iPads, Animoto, Class Dojo, Educreation and everything else but life isn’t more stressful without them. Lesson planning isn’t harder. Don’t get me wrong all of those apps and tools, plus the plethora that I don’t know about, would be great. They may just make life ‘easier’ for me. But the reality is that my students aren’t suffering from the lack of those tools. They are still learning, growing and creating. I think they’ll be okay without this year, and so will I.