The Daily Tech Adventures!

The Daily Tech Adventures!

When I sit back and think about my day in the life relating to technology, I begin to feel overwhelmed and somewhat embarrassed about how much I use technology in my personal and professional lives.  My days usually start and end the same way – in bed immediately reaching for my phone.  There really isn’t a good reason to do so, I am not doing anything productive, just a habit that I have developed.  I interact with most of the social media apps, and find myself aimlessly scrolling through videos, tweets and posts to start and end my day. 

In my personal life, I tend to gravitate towards Twitter, TSN and The Score as apps that I interact with the most on a daily basis.  These apps provide me with immediate access to news, sport scores, and any major sporting news.  I find myself on these apps more depending on what is happening in the sporting world.  During specific times like NHL/MLB/NBA playoffs or trade deadlines throughout the various professional sporting leagues, I find myself engaging with technology on a more frequent schedule, in fear of missing out on the latest breaking news and scores.  Since becoming a father in December 2021, there are new apps and technology that my wife and I use in our everyday lives – apps from building shared grocery lists to tracking our son’s sleep and feeding schedules to bluetooth connected bassinets and baby swings to help make our lives “easier”.  The funny thing is, we did not use these fancy pieces of technological baby equipment to their fullest potential, leaving us thinking, did we really need them? Did we need to spend the extra money on them?  If I were to go back 6 months when we were shopping for these, I would tell myself that they are not worth the extra money.

Throughout the school day, I am constantly engaging and using technology.  We are being pushed towards eliminating how much paper we use in our classrooms and that has sent us towards more tech being integrated into our classrooms.  I am all for this push, however, when you are in a school of 900+ students, devices are hard to come by for all of your students.  This can make the battle with tech somewhat challenging.  Most of our computer carts are stocked with 20 Chromebooks, which is 9 or 10 short to supply a computer for each of my students individually.  This poor ratio leads to some students trying to do their work on their phones, Ipads, laptops and other devices they sometimes bring from home, or utilizing small group work to ensure that students have access to a computer in some capacity.   With this push to go paperless also required us to utilize a Learning Management System (LMS).  My teaching partner and I have set up a Google Classroom for approximately 60 students between our classrooms.  Again, not having a 1:1 student to computer ratio makes using this LMS to the fullest throughout our day.  

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We were also introduced to the new EDSBY system this year.  This is just another system that we have been required to learn how to use primarily on our own.  EBSBY seems to be effective as it has everything we need in one place, whereas previously, there were multiple programs being used for attendance, gradebook and communicating with parents.  As with any new system, there have been hiccups and kinks as we figure out how to use this system to its fullest potential.  I really appreciate how EBSBY houses the multiple facets we as teachers may need to use throughout the day under one roof.

I find that social media/technology has the capability to enable a whole new learning environment.  These apps allow its users potential access to experts by simply a follow, message, retweet, etc through the various apps!  I have used Twitter specifically to facilitate a significant amount of learning primarily since the onset of the pandemic.  I have used it to better my teaching practice, but also to improve my coaching capabilities.  I am an avid football coach and have been for many years and twitter allows me to access many different resources from individuals all over the planet.  This platform is a great space to connect and learn with others of the same interest areas!  This whole concept can be utilized in the classroom as well.  A colleague of mine at Harbour Landing School, frequently reaches out to experts in various fields via Twitter to set up classroom meetings and talks through Zoom! Many of these interactions are geared specifically to individual student projects!

Thanks for reading!

Cheers, 

Bret

7 thoughts on “The Daily Tech Adventures!

  1. I don’t have any kids, but I can’t imagine how useful technology has probably been with so many new questions to Google!
    Edsby has definitely been a new experience, with its pros and cons, but I enjoy having everything in one place.

  2. Bret,
    You and I are going through similar situations. The amount of technology available for new parents to feel “comfortable” is quite extensive. However, it does make thinks a lot easier. I gravitate towards The Score app, much like yourself. There is not a sports app that holds a candle to it.

  3. Hi Brett! As you said, it is great to see you in another class! I hope your newest addition is doing well.

    I can definitely see the issue you mentioned in regards to only having one computer cart for a full class of students. I have many other teacher friends who deal with this same situation (or even worse- have just 10 laptops per each classroom!). Luckily, my school had taken staff opinions on this into consideration. There was complaints about this before I arrived at this school and they ended up decided to offer 1 cart and 1 mini cart (a full class set) split amongst 2-3 teachers instead of each class having computers all the time in their room, or not having enough for 1-1 ratio. I find it isn’t too hard to sign the cart out when I need it. I definitely would be using technology in the classroom waaaay less frequently if students weren’t all able to have their own computer. Our school also doesn’t allow students to use personal devices during the school day, so phones and ipads from home aren’t even an option!

  4. When you take the time to truly reflect on our use we certainly recognize the good and bad of technology in our lives. There are some days when I’m embarrassed by being the dinosaur but some days feel okay with my choices of trying to not always do just because the cool kids are.

  5. I really appreciate what you said about social media offering a whole other realm of learning possibilities for students. I, too, follow Jason Howse on Twitter (he’s a great follow!) and I saw when he first went to Twitter to try to petition some food brand companies to give an oral presentation to his students! I also saw that recently Trina Crawford (don’t know her personally, but also a great Twitter follower!) had tweeted at Bradlyn Oakes (Regina CTV meteorologist) and that, just lately, Bradlyn came to her class to give an oral presentation to her students about the weather! How cool is that!? It makes me want to think more out-of-the-box in terms of bringing in expert knowledge into the classroom! And that, really, the sky is the limit!! Maybe I should try tweeting at Elon Musk or Jeff Bezos!?! Haha.

  6. Very interesting post Bret. I found myself relating to a lot of what you are saying regarding technology in our lives. I agree that when one takes the time to sit back and reflect on how often we use it in our own lives, it can be rather embarrassing. As you said, we use all these devices to make our lives “easier”, but does it really accomplish that task? I find myself questioning this in the classroom each time I introduce a new tool to enhance student learning. Of course, I hope this new tool will do just that, but let’s be honest, sometimes it can be more problematic than enhancing. I was glad to hear your comments on Edsby as my division is moving forward with that in the fall and it sounds like it acts as a great hub for communication. Looking forward to engaging with your future posts!

  7. Great post Bret! I had forgotten how reliant I am on using tech to set up, find, and share practice drills for coaching. Using tech in this capacity has really started to offer my players a better experience. I also use my phone to video players and correct skills, it’s been amazing that way.

    As for going paperless, what a great idea and it seems like an easy thing for admin to say when trying to save money, however the barriers created in the classroom for teachers are real. Another example of the system needing to invest time and resources into working directly with each school and teacher to make sure the technology is implemented in a manner which does not impact student learning. I feel your pain when I consider the amount of times I’ve tried to help a student on their device after just managing to learn how to do something on mine; definitely not as simple as some people may think.

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