Professional Learning Network

Using technology is a great way to collaborate with fellow educators around the world. My bachelors degree is in Sociology and I spent over 7 years working as a social worker in the child welfare system. When I decided to make a career change into education, I was concerned if I would have all the skills and tools to jump right into being a teacher. Technology has allowed me to observe teachers teaching in the classroom, find engaging activities for students, and get ideas on teaching lessons to match the standards.
In the classroom, I see some teachers using more technology than others. The teacher I’m currently observing is using the reading program Wonders. Wonders has an online component to go along with the units. There has been several occasions where videos will not load or they will stop halfway through watching the video. When teaching a room full of 6 and 7 year olds it can be very challenging to troubleshoot issues with technology in the middle of a lesson. I do, however see teachers using technology daily to get ideas on art projects, lessons, classroom management, and classroom organization.
The following are some sites that I have found helpful over the past year or sites that have been suggested to me by fellow teachers.

http://www.betterlesson.com

This website is great for getting ideas on lesson plans. The website is well organized and you are able to select lessons by grade level and by standard. In the lesson plans the teachers have video links to demonstrate how they have taught the lesson along with handouts and pictures. This website is also FREE!

http://www.pinterest.com

For me, this site is a lifesaver when it comes to class art projects. In Elementary School there are so many things that require you to get in touch with your crafty side. Also just simply finding ways to be more organized in the classroom. I can find myself getting lost sometimes in Pinterest going from one idea to the next. Pinterest is also a great way to connect to other teaching blogs.

The following are two teaching blogs that I have found useful:
http://www.onestopteachershop.com

http://www.teachingwithamountainview.com

These teaching blogs offer ideas on classroom management, organization, tips for new teachers, lesson plans, and center activity ideas. Getting ideas from teachers that are activity working in the classroom is very powerful. It is also helpful to follow the blogs and read comments from other teachers that have already tried something to see what worked well and what didn’t.

The final technology resource that I have found useful is Khan Academy:
http://www.khanacademy.org


Khan Academy’s best feature is all of the videos in teaching math lessons. You can use the videos on the site to incorporate into your lessons with students. You can also use Khan Academy as an educator to make sure you have a good understanding of the material you are teaching and all of the new and current strategies. Khan Academy is a free website and user friendly.
I think the more we collaborate and learn from others, the better teachers we will become.

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