I teach English at a career and technical center in Ohio and this upcoming school year will be a daunting one; our school is implementing an iPad Pilot Program and I will be one of six teachers who were chosen to participate. I have no idea what made me want to add this to my list of responsibilities – sometimes I really think I can do more than I can, but it was such an exciting opportunity, I decided to throw my hat in the ring and turn in a proposal to see if I really could get the iPads. Besides, it was a win-win situation, right? I would challenge myself and grow as a teacher and my kids and I could learn together and become a class of 21st century learners (to throw around the latest educational “buzz phrase”). And bonus-I would no longer have to fight the other 100 teachers in our building for computer lab time if I had my own iPads! Just kidding, but truly the thought of added autonomy in my classroom was attractive and helped in my decision to turn in a proposal.
So, I checked my email at the end of June after having turned in my proposal (with much trepidation since I suffer from the typical English teacher’s annoying trait-writing a page when a sentence would suffice. Did I write too much? Would the assessors laugh at me and use my proposal for practicing shooting baskets right into the trash can? Paper does make a fantastic fire-starter, too! So many other options they had besides picking my proposal as one they would actually use!). Funny thing, though…as I was opening my email, I suddenly got the feeling that I was going to get an email saying my proposal was chosen. Then I read the words “Congratulations…You have been chosen to participate in the iPad Pilot Program”. Congratulations? I suddenly felt sick to my stomach and wanted to throw myself on the floor and crawl into the fetal position. “I changed my mind…I don’t wanna…!” Can I really do this? This is whole new territory and scary territory at that.
So after going through all the bad things that could happen(kid decides to ‘borrow’ an iPad while my back is turned, kid drops iPad on floor, kid hacks through the filter system and downloads inappropriate app thus causing the end of my teaching career, etc., etc.) I actually became very excited about the prospect of learning and teaching with the iPad. I really began browsing apps and expanding my knowledge about what the iPad can and cannot do. I truly cannot wait to try this! I am anticipating mistakes as well as fantastic teachable moments that will make me want to jump on my desk and yell, “Take that, Mr. Keating!”. I plan on using this blog to document these experiences so I can reflect and others can learn since that’s what makes us all better teachers-collaboration and sharing…
So here’s to my new adventure in iPadding!