Because of generous donations, I evolved from perceived "rogue" status to "provocateur”, leveraging my community-funded set of one-to-one laptops towards transforming my teaching. Technology integration moved me from "classroom director" to a" learning facilitator". Students now communicate, collaborate, critically think and create at unpredicted and unprecedented levels. Platforms like Google Classroom, create a paperless classroom, where my students access and respond to a multitude of assignments with varying degrees of engagement formats, including interactive classroom tools, primary source documents and audio and visual instructional videos. Inside Google Classroom, I can provide audio feedback on student writing, and rubrics to guide students to meet or exceed mastery. Applications like Minecraft Edu provide immersion engineering projects that promote the engineering design process, where students shape, plan, design, and build with the goal of solving such difficult problems as urbanization.
Also, the explosion of formative assessment tools now allow me the ability to accelerate or intervene as needed. This body of real-time data motivates students to self-monitor, and encourages them to understand the difference between “not knowing and not knowing "Yet" Many provide collaborative problem solving and gamified feedback loops, all which inspire students to continue to challenge themselves and “reach beyond their grasp”.
Ironically, my success exposed an alarming reality: a school district's inability to provide the resources to ensure teacher capacity building. My one-on-one computers represent a double-edged sword: dynamic and electric student engagement and learning, countered by the tremendous personal sacrifice of time I needed to dedicate to attend workshops or webinars to ensure the most efficient technology integration. All these programs have learning curves and most importantly, take time. My learning journey also revealed, unless a teacher has access to one-to-ones, he/she can't implement any of the transformative engagement and productivity tools offered by the most basic Google suite of products: Google Dos, Forms, Sheets, Slide, Sites and Draw. Also, lack of computers cheats teachers from implementing Google authorized, dizzying array of constantly evolving applications, extensions, and add-ons, designed to increase both student and teacher productivity and workflow.
I am emboldened by my generous donations, all which created one technology-rich classroom. Currently, the typical district can not provide the resources, the level of sophisticated training, nor the time teachers need meet 21st Century digital learning goals. Knowing how my computers increased student production and saved me time, I started the Cite Foundation to provide the same technology and training to transform their lives.