Review of "Technology 101 Skills for Teachers"
by Shelly Fryer
Shelly Fryer, who is a teacher at an A Plus School in Oklahoma, wrote an informational post about how teachers should implement technology. She believes that technology is “used best when students are making and creating” with their technology. Her school emphasizes art, which as one commenter pointed out, was different than most public school which are looking to arts as the first things to be cut when money is short.
The thing I really appreciated was that Mrs. Fryer pointed out the difference between having students get on an iPad to reinforce skills and having them use technology to “enhance and amplify” creativity and learning. She also clarified her purpose in writing this blog as “I am writing this post not because I have all the answers…but because I want to clarify my own thinking as well as get feedback from others.” As someone who has talked extensively about teaching and technology, she has the right, but refuses to brag. Instead she models how to seek out others’ opinions and constantly be improving.
Although each student in her class has an ipad, Mrs. Fryer maintains that teachers can modify use of technology to fit any classroom’s needs, whether that means using only one iphone or ipod, or everyone having their own personal ipad to use. She maintains that teachers must first be competent in the technology before they can have any hope of using it properly in the classroom. This is absolutely true. When a teacher enters a room at my university and has to spend the first fifteen minutes fiddling with the projector or the laptop, trying to get it to work, or even asking students for help, not only is the students’ valuable learning time being wasted but also they are getting distracted, disinterested, and losing respect for the teacher’s knowledge. She maintains, correctly in my opinion, that teachers must continually improve their “app literacy” by exploring and becoming familiar with the different apps available, because otherwise they will be limited in what they can use in the classroom or will be hesitant to use it.
This blog was informative and relatable, written specifically for teachers who are unsure about using technology the RIGHT way in a classroom. Mrs. Fryer managed to come across as knowledgeable as well as a lifelong learner herself. My favorite thing that I learned from the blog post was the “hamburger tool” otherwise known as the ellipses, or three dots, that often means “menu”!