Model Tech Reflections

by 10:17 PM 2 comments
I recently got involved with our school’s Model Tech team; something of a technology think-tank, or just a nerdy discussion group (not a bad thing!). At the conclusion of our last meeting, our “fearless” leader (@dschoening) asked us reflect. Considering I have only been apart of the group for three meetings, I don’t know that I’ll have a lot to add - but I am a good B.S.-er.

Reflect on year in the classroom - In one word? Diverse. In more than one word? Oh boy. That being said, I had three classrooms with three different types of computers: iMacs for Journalism, and the one of the two series of Chromebooks that we currently have at TJ for each senior English class.  I am a nomad, which made classroom transitions, including bellwork, difficult (read: non-existent sometimes). But it made me focus more on my class website. Something I could have done better though was getting the students into a routine of pulling up the website sooner when they came in. This would (ideally) eliminate some of my worry about them not doing much for bellwork.

With each of my classrooms, I had different challenges. But in my world, the challenges came and were met. I think I did the best that I could with what I had (in the classroom).

Reflect on your teaching practice - I took on Yearbook this year. Add Eng 12, and getting a Broadcasting class, only two of my five classes were going to be “easy”.  Luckily, I am confident in what I am doing in Beginning Journalism (and now I just tweak my site/syllabus if needed); and Newspaper I am comfortable with. Do you know why I was asked to talk about my teaching practice? It’s practice! You never master it, you just continually learn. And I feel I have done a good job of continuously learning this year. I have taken pieces from PD this year, pieces from this group, and from other teachers in my daily routine, and I have been able to adapt and survi... I mean learn!

Reflect on your use of technology - In having multiple classrooms, I think I had one advantage is that I had the opportunity to use different types of technology (not just one manufacturer or program). After looking at the SAMR Model at our last meeting, I definitely think I did a lot of Enhancement over the course of this year. That’s not a bad thing, but sometimes I know I can do more when I’m given more time (which of course is what everyone has plenty of, right?).

Reflect on the concepts (problem finding, global connectedness, collaboration, curiosity and passion) we discussed here, and how they can be used in your classroom.
Um, we talked about that? I just remember this:

It was such a blur most of the time, but not in a bad way. In a way that I hope I get across to my kids. Our discussions covered a wide range of topics, but it doesn’t feel like we’re “learning”. And that’s when one of the things we discussed hit me: it’s not the tool that’s used, it’s how you use it. Technology is a tool, not a means to an end. If I am just replacing paper, I’m not doing anything productive. But, for me being relatively new to the conversation, I think these concepts are still ideas that I can form and make relevant in my classroom over time.

I do want to end with something I heard in my grad class on Wednesday night. I just like it. Nothing else. My Universityprofessor (Dr. William Austin) said, 

You’re the rock, the pond is the kid. And when you’re thrown in, the pond will ripple. You matter.”



I do a lot of things. The best thing I do is fathering (I think). I'm the ol' "Jack of all trades, Master of none." I teach aspiring journalists. I run. I play guitar(s). I also host a running podcast. Oh, and I dabble in drawing. And I dabble in authoring... children's books no less. I just dabble. Sometimes I ramble.


  1. You have been a great addition to the group, and I look forward to continuing our work together.

    One thing we should always remember is that everything we do to try and become better educators comes down to this - are we inspiring students to to be lifelong learners by stoking the flames of their passion and providing authentic learning opportunities?

    That's a big question, but one I certainly think we can take on together. We can all continue to learn together and rely upon each person's unique skills, ideas and talents.

    Thanks for your reflection, and leading the way with your blog.

  2. Glad you included something from your Master's program. I found I learned more about teaching from my Master's program than anything I did in my undergraduate "teacher preparation" program. That is a sad commentary in and of itself.
    Great to have you on board. Looking forward to getting to know you better as we continue the journey this summer and next year.