Wednesday, August 17, 2016

The STEAM dream with a dose of Instructional Technology

I'm at a place in the elementary school where I am seeing technology integrated more and more seamlessly every day. In the last few years it's gone from me sometimes pushing (sweetly) to get technology in the classrooms to ensure our students have exposure to technology as a learning tool to just seeing it happen where teachers find it aids their lessons. There are days I look back on and realize I was allowing technology to lead the curriculum instead of me focusing on pedagogy first- I'll blame it on being passionate about knowing it had worth. I think now it is fair to say we use technology as an instructional resource daily in the elementary school.

Over the years as we have progressed in the elementary school of incorporating technology in many different ways I have intentionally left off technology for technology sake. In this decision various gaming opportunities that have true educational benefit, coding opportunities, and robotics were put to the side as I focused on intentionally using technology for instructional purposes.

This year that has somewhat changed as we have received more funding through a generous donation from Conversant Group to grow our STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, mathematics) curriculum. We have begun to dream bigger. I am a firm believer in integration. I love when students can make connections to their world through the lessons they are learning in the classroom. This is happening and yet we are seeing tech for tech sake. We are now able to give our students more experiences in computer science in many ways. As I look around the classrooms I wonder which of the students might one day look back on these elementary experiences and realize that's when they knew they wanted to go into the world of computing.

I've worked so hard for us not to look like we were leading with technology that I find my self hesitant or nervous as we move forward in the direction we are going but in my heart of hearts I know this is a great step for our students. I continue to stand amazed at the way our STEAM endeavors have often seamlessly fit into our curriculum!

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