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McKinley Middle School
Albuquerque, New Mexico
My students have taught me quite a bit in the last six years. I always try to stay several steps ahead of them, but they often teach me shortcuts or techniques that are more efficient when it comes to using technology. They lead me to resources that I would not likely find if searching on my own. I encourage them to find mistakes in my lessons, and when they do, they feel very confident and capable. When they teach me new things, I am sure to let them know how awesome they are and that they have a lot to offer students and teachers alike.
Mountain Ridge Middle School
Colorado Springs, Colorado
Last year, I had a student in my class for a couple of months visiting from Peru who spoke no English, and I speak no Spanish. I had been taking pictures of the students for an art project and was having trouble locating the images because I had not renamed them. The student noticed my confusion and quickly pointed to the computer screen and instructed me on how to change the view from file name to icons. Believe it or not, this simple bit of info has changed my life, and I will be forever grateful to her.
Gate of Heaven School
South Boston, Massachusetts
Everything I've ever learned of significance about technology, I've learned from my students. They've taught me that technology is creative, exciting, challenging, and demanding, that it requires collaboration and problem solving, and that it produces magic.
What my students have taught me about technology has driven innovation in my district. When it comes to technology, they have been the teachers, and I the student. Together we have learned, and we've applied that learning to create powerful projects. We have embedded the importance of creativity into our thinking skills.
District curriculum instruction
Acalanes Union High School District
I've learned from my students that a digital native looks at problem solving in a different way than a digital immigrant. Some students have the ability to solve problems quickly and with little apparent effort. From their point of view, it's so easy that, of course, anyone could figure it out. What's the big deal?
To get a whole new perspective on problem solving, I suggest talking to a high school student.
Francis Tuttle Technology Center
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
They taught me that sexting (emailing salacious content) is a bad thing and it runs rampant in middle schools and high schools. They taught me that texting several students with insulting remarks about another student and then telling the group to pass it on can be disastrous for a student's self-image.
They also taught me that parents don't use controls to block specific content on their computers. And parents have no idea what their kids are putting up on Facebook or MySpace. It has been quite an education, and I'm still learning.
Maple Place Middle School
Oceanport, New Jersey
No matter how much you think you know about technology, you can always learn something new from students in the computer lab. They are not afraid to try new software and technology, and I may learn a new way to do something as a result. And that includes students at all grade levels, K-12. Students love to be the teacher in that situation.
New Castle Community Schools
New Castle, Indiana
My students have taught me a lot about technology, but one of the most important is that overuse of one-on-one educational software can be drowning, isolating, and frustrating for them.
They challenged me to continually seek for the perfect formula that takes advantage of the power of multimedia software but at the same time stimulates hands-on and collaborative learning, and develops their group and social skills.
Spanish teacher (K-5)
That they don't know as much about technology as we think they know. They are not experts by any means, and they still require much guidance. That's why it's so important to teach them how to use it properly, as a tool.
Swim coach and technology coordinator
Ensworth Middle School
Being in my first year as a middle school librarian, my students have patiently taught me little tricks on navigating through the Smart board, kept me updated on current cell phones, and mostly modeled how to embrace the joy of technology!
During Teen Tech Week, in March, I displayed an Old Tech museum, with LP albums, huge laser-disc remotes, and cable boxes. My students had a new understanding of how quickly technology changes. We now have great respect for each other and where we come from in regard to technology.
Study Middle School
An eighth-grade student taught me how to evaluate the efficiency of one of the oldest toys in the book -- the cup-and-string phone. Using cups of various materials (plastic, Styrofoam, and metal cans) and different types of "string" (including cotton, fishing line, and yarn), he set up the phones with a microphone receiving the sound and sending it to the laptop and Audacity software, which generates a quantifiable signal pattern.
Technology engineering teacher
Overlook Middle School
My students have taught me that technology can be an academic tool as well as an opportunity for recreation.
Hayward Unified School District
Three years ago, we moved into our new "technology-smart" middle school, which had undergone a complete renovation. Even though I jumped right in and started utilizing the technology that was available for delivery of our instruction, I must admit that if it had not been for a couple of my hands-on students, I would have had to go back to the traditional manner of presenting a lesson.
One student became my interactive-whiteboard mentor and stayed right by side until I mastered it confidently. Another student, Sharrod, showed me how to split my tablet screen so I can present items onto the screen and still have my attendance, my email, and my lesson plans running on my screen at my desk.
Our school's innovation learning specialist was so amazed that this could be done that Sharrod ended up giving her a mini-lesson on how to do it. Even today, I still have teachers who will walk into my classroom and ask, "Hey, how did you do that?" Thanks, Sharrod!
Social studies teacher
Carver Middle School
More than anything, they've taught me the need to stay current with technology. With it changing as fast it does today, sometimes they know tricks to using software that I hadn't figured out yet!
Classrooms for the Future coach
Montgomery Area School District
My students have taught me that I am frequently not the best teacher for the technologies I have asked them to use -- they are. I can facilitate and help problem solve, but when it comes down to the nuts and bolts of actually using the technologies, they are the ones who become the experts.
They are the ones who are full of all kinds of creative ideas for using it. I have learned from them that if I provide just a little introductory instruction into how something works and turn them loose, they will create some amazing work.
Riley Creek School
Gold Beach, Oregon
A few of our students taught our staff members (in a technology in-service at the start of this year) how to blog, how to podcast, and how to use Facebook. Our "senior" student leaders were tremendous teachers, and our teachers were active students in this wonderfully positive learning session. Both took their roles seriously, and many teachers began using the technology more quickly than if a colleague or expert had led the session.
Lodi High School
My students have taught me that technology engages them and challenges them in a way that I can't teach as well without. If I go to the trouble of putting work in an electronic format, they pay more attention to it -- at first.
Variety is important to them. Students see technology as just another tool in their lives. It's not an extra to them; it's a given, so vary how you use technology, and don't forget to involve them in it as an interactive tool.
Southeast Whitfield High School
As inept as I often feel around my students when it comes to technology, I've also learned that they often need guidance and instruction on presentation elements when it comes to PowerPoint presentations and podcasts. They have the tools and the know-how but often lack the finesse. This realization taught me that I'm not obsolete -- yet.
English Department chair
West Broward High School
Broward County, Florida
As a former teacher of technology classes in Texas, my students taught me that they become passionate about their learning when it becomes relevant and hands on. I taught five different technology classes and made each revolve around the SCANS skill set utilizing core subject areas intertwined. My classroom became their workplace and everyone was a contributing member of a company. Students participated in developing the rubric (after our trial run) and often required more than I would have had I created the rubric alone. Most projects revolved around research.
MRSH National Faculty
My students have taught me to not be afraid of the new technology. They have taught me that I can be technologically literate, even though I'm "old." My students have shown me the exciting and fun possibilities of incorporating technology into my lessons, into classroom activities, and into my assessments.
English language arts and reading teacher
Onalaska High School
Students reinforce the need to be accepting that we can not know as much as they expect us to know about technology. It is critical to emphasize that we all are students of technology and still exploring its potential to communicate and demonstrate our skills.
It is also critical that educators encourage and support students in their exploration of technology with the ultimate goal of extending students’ technology competence and literacy. Since each student has various needs and interests, and varied rates of assimilating and adopting new information, we need to be tolerant and supportive of their personal investigations of technology.
Doctoral student and adjunct lecturer
University of Cincinnati’s College of Education
My students have taught me to accept the evolution of the species! Technology seems to be second nature for them. I am amazed daily at the ease with which they navigate through the systems of technology, humbly and gratefully accepting my role as student as well as teacher. They have taught me to be more fluid and adventuresome in the vast world of computers, to better understand and investigate the myriad sources of the internet , and to trust that sometimes wisdom comes in small packages.
Music/gifted and talented teacher
I teach a blended learning class in the Moodle (LMS). I am trying to add a new feature to raise my learning curve. This year I began to see new features I didn’t how to use. For example, they attached documents that they thought were relevance to the topic and (smile) they felt comfortable doing so without asking for permission.
Within the forums, I have watched them coach each other with extremely good advice, reflect deeply on what they have learned, and risked this in front of others online. I have seen them upload their pictures into the system, submit articles of interest and teach each other though the collaborative Wiki. Some students live too far away to meet for group projects so they use discussion forums to work on their project development together. Overall, they have taught me that we can build relationships online and learn together.
Hybrid online instructor
Through Web sites, like Facebook and MySpace, students have shown that they have a desire to express themselves, so teachers need to incorporate a class website with blogs through their district to provide an updated communication forum. With iPods, I see their need to differentiate instruction by looking at music-based or tech-based delivery of instruction (Japan offers daily lesson downloads for iPods for all their students, wouldn’t that be great for our home-hospital, independent study, or sick students?) Lastly, the students use their technology discreetly because many campuses forbid the devices, so ultimately I have learned to distinguish the secret body language that goes with using those devices.
Language arts (grade 8)
Nicolet Middle School
Banning Unified School District
Students have taught me that it is OK if they know more technology than teachers and that we can use them as resources in our classrooms to enhance activities. More learning occurs when they are allowed to be "teachers." While they may know the nuts and bolts of technology, teachers are still critical as guides to the deeper understanding of the content.
They also have taught that teachers should not be afraid to use technology in the classroom. Even if things do not go perfectly, they appreciate that a teacher is trying new things.
West High School
My students tend to enjoy technology in small doses and soon become bored with it. They long for the social interaction and attention that face-to-face teaching brings into their daily life. Growing up in an age of technology they miss and want someone who will talk to /pay attention to them.
Westwood Middle School
Winter Haven, Florida
This is such a simple action but one of my students taught that by pressing F11, the menu bars at the top of the screen would disappear which is so much better for viewing videos from Brainpop.com and other similar sites.
Maryville Intermediate School
The students in my class have various disabilities including Down syndrome, TBI, autism and other multiple disabilities. They teach me about technology everyday. Those who struggle with writing are able to use the computer to communicate. By being able to communicate by computer they feel more independent which builds their self esteem. We also have a smart board in the class which challenges the potential of all the students. The very motivating interactive multimedia lessons bring hands on understanding of content being taught. The students heard that their was having a school film contest this coming June. They asked to be in it. We made a film with our typical and other special needs friends from our Best Buddies club and with the help of our friends in the film class. The kids had a ball. We even included teachers and administrators. We all had a great making the film (lots of singing and dancing). The film was about making people aware of going green and also about how no challenge is too much of a challenge for us. We learned all about the green screen. My students taught me how, by asking for help (a little help from their friends), they could be part of any technological project. They show me everyday how technology helps them cognitively, physically and socially.
Special education teacher
Oceanside High School
Oceanside, New York
My students taught me to love and respect technology. I learned that reading for information was important to my student's lifestyles and that they respected and were interested in lessons that strengthen their skills in that area. They taught me that they were avid problem-solvers that loved games that provided them the opportunity to use analytical and logic skills to compete and win. This increased the number of web-quest that I used in my social studies lessons and provided them the motivation they needed to learn as citizens in a global world. Technology is 21st century pedagogy and education.
Education program specialist
U.S. Dept. of Education
At age 59, I have learned that my lack of technical expertise shouldn't slow down my students' access to technology. A wiser approach is to open the doors to technology for my students and have them teach me the mechanics. My role is to mentor and challenge them to pursue the many different avenues of critical thinking and creativity while encouraging them to communicate and collaborate with others to better define the parameters and depth of a "problem" and explore possible solutions or outcomes.
Special education teacher
Scottsdale Unified Schools
As a fellow teacher once said; "give them the tools and let them have at it." This of course was in reference to technology and technology tools. I have found that instruction with time for exploration is a good thing. Students over the years have discovered tools, tricks and shortcuts using computers, software, cameras and camcorders because they have the chance to explore along with basic instruction. And they are eager to share their discoveries with other students. Students can teach each other.
Oregon School for the Deaf
My students have taught me that education is a tool that extends the creativity of the human mind. When they are given access to innovative technological tools, they never cease to surprise me with the new ways they find to express themselves and discover information. Technology, then, is the best way to bring out the dynamic nature the human mind and break the chains of the industrial model of public education.
Fontana Middle School
My students have taught me that it is OK to not know everything about every tool we use in the classroom! They are patient and enjoy helping me to use the tools which really makes our classroom a collaborative learning environment. I feel this is important because in the workplace, this will occur - people at different levels and ages all working together to help each other get the job done.
They have also taught me that differentiated instruction applies to technology. We have experts in our room in the use of various tools - this also helps to make a collaborative learning environment and allows everyone to be an expert with their peers during the class when a lesson is set up properly.
Technology education educator
William Tennent High School
My students have taught me that the only thing I have to fear is fear of the technology itself! They have provided me with an education about new technologies that continues to grow and evolve just as students and technology do!
Library information specialist
Hillsboro High School
My students have taught me that I have to stay one step ahead of them to ensure that I am teaching them the latest techniques to utilize with their own K-12 students, their job and life in general. I thought I had mastered the aspects of Web 1.0 and then Web 2.0 comes along. I thought I was entering the 21st century by instant messaging and then realized that I have to master things such as: Facebook, SKYPE, Twitter, Wiki, Blog, iGoogle, and so on. In this arena, I must be a "student" as well as "teacher"!
That you have to just 'jump in' and not be afraid of making mistakes. That if you 'play' with something enough, you will learn how to use it. They have taught me to taste all the new things that are being offered and then decide what to put on the classroom menu! They have made me realize that there is no standing still in this digital environment. - Keep moving and learning or get left behind.
Blessed Sacrament School
Staten Island, New York
I recently finished an elaborate project with my sixth grade math students using Google Sketchup. I was initially concerned that I was far from an expert in that program. The project is finished and I only know a little more than I did originally, but they taught me that I don’t need to know – I just need to be able to manage them knowing, and connect them with each other for peer help along the way. The project was great!
Head of middle school
Newtown Friends School
I am a GT resource teacher in a suburban elementary school in the Denver area. I use a lot of technology in my classroom, our latest addition is a SMARTboard with Senteo clickers. The biggest lesson students have taught me is to learn with them, learn from them, and not be afraid to try new things. They often teach me! Functioning as a learning community, we are able to support each other. I don't have to know everything before forging into new territory. It creates a synergy in the classroom.
Willow Creek Elementary
Never assume that they know anything. Once they are taught some of the basics -- some of them are off and running and will learn faster than you can imagine, but there are those that only want their simple tech -- and can not imagine "out of the box," and there are those who only think "out of the box" and take technology far beyond what you thought was even imaginable. The trust is tentative though -- because we have to be so careful of cheating and plagiarism and all the other new and creative forms to "get out of actually doing the assignment."
We as educators have to keep up -- or the kids will leave us behind in this technology world.
They have taught me not to be afraid to try something new. Just "play around with it" they tell me -- you will catch on! They also reminded me that with every new thing -- you must first crawl before you run. But many will run and skip walking altogether.
Lastly -- Technology is here and it is continually changing, adapting, improving, just like students are in today's society. They are learning that if you can imagine it or dream it -- then it is possible and will probably become a reality quicker then anyone thinks.
Library media teacher
North Ogden Jr. High
My students benefit from the joys of Google, Webster’s Virtual Dictionary, Smartboards, Itouchs, image searches, Skyping and endless educational games. Each day, we use technology in a new way. My students have discovered the power of images of immigrants arriving at Ellis Island. They have challenged each other in virtual games to practice spelling and basic facts. They have "pre-tested" themselves out of chapters in math by discovering interesting projects that involved building and using mathematical solutions to prove a point. They have virtually traveled the Oregon Trail and contested textbooks by finding stories of diverse emigrants who have traveled through the 1850’s. The most important life lessons though they’ve shared are the diverse ways they’ve learned to communicate through technology.
Technology has brought a new medium to the classroom. It enables those who may not have the chance to speak too often, a voice. It has given us the power as teachers to differentiate easily in our classrooms, but most of all, it has given our students the chance to connect with people and places outside of our "box". My students have taught me the many ways to surf, to discover, and to be "wowed" by the power of the technological tools we use daily. They have shared the power of problem solving and patience required to use technology, but most of all they’ve taught me how to virtually discover the world outside of our classroom.
Third grade teacher
West Hartford, Connecticut
I don’t hold a candle to my students when it comes to technology! They are truly brilliant and what I have learned is more than I ever dreamed possible.
My students are kind. They never make me feel inferior, even though I am. My students are patient and willing to help in any way possible. They have shown me that technology is far more than keyboarding; it’s the real world.
I have learned how to access and create websites, as they fly right through them for use in a project. I have learned how to successfully operate data projectors and know what to do when they aren’t working! I have learned that there is a split cable to hook up that now-familiar data projector without disconnecting the computer cable.
The list goes on and on, but the most important thing that they have taught me is that they are not just learners, they are teachers, too.
Lynne M. Krug
Sixth Grade Gifted Self-Contained teacher
Allen Elementary School
My students are digital natives that are not afraid to work with the web tools. They thrive on challenges to present what they know in new and creative ways. They collaborate and synthesize information. It amazes me how much they know and how excited they are about their learning. And I'm talking about third graders. I'm loving being the guide on the side and watching them create and be creative. Their enthusiasm is contagious and I'm loving it!
Third grade teacher
Beverly Elementary School
Beverly Hills, Michigan
"It's going to be all right, Mr. E!". . . meaning, that technology will not subjugate or obliterate the whole human race, as happens all too often in the Apocalyptic cinemas of the twentieth century. I guess if they are right.
Senior High English Teacher
Harriton High School
I work in a prison. I am the CAI-Lab (Computer Assisted Instruction) Administrator and Instructor. My students range from ages 19-55 (or older). Some come to my literacy classes totally clueless about computer technology, while others feel that they are the equivalent of Bill Gates. I have used computer assisted instruction (actually self directed teaching) for quite a few years, and I am always amazed at the clarity and excitement that this type of learning brings to my students. Once they understand that the technology is a means to an end (their receiving a GED certification) I see them blossom out from angry, reticent students to excited and self-motivated men.
There have been times when I had to explain what the function of the cursor was, and how to operate the mouse, and why they cannot get to the internet from there (security is high and we are connected within an intranet not a world wide internet) they settle into using the technology for its purpose...to educate themselves. My students (yes, they are offenders according to society) realize that education will raise them from their current status to the status of productive citizens - will help them become accepted by society when they are released.
They have taught me that educational needs do not end when school ends. Education is an on-going process. I am humbled by their dedication. I am moved by their need for knowledge, and I am excited and proud of their accomplishments. Every class that graduates has the face of success. I am there cheering them on, and representing a society that wanted to cast them off.
Educational Techology has given these students self esteem and skill to succeed - where education by itself, within their sphere of experience, fell short.
Sanchez State Jail
El Paso, Texas
After over 10 years as a principal I have learned many lessons, however one is particularly important: Listen! You can not solve all problems or make everyone happy, but you can always give support through listening.
Creativity, news, and knowledge can all be enhanced by using technology. In my classroom, eighth grade students research and create a power point, brochure, or essay on budgeting a car, baby, vacation, graduation party, or wedding. Seventh grade chooses one of the same projects, but have to research a career endeavor. Sixth grade are able to learn about natural and community resources available through a web quest program and using several websites. The students have to learn about sites that are reputable, finding appropriate information, citing their information correctly, using the programs (Microsoft publisher, power point, word.)