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Wednesday, February 16, 2011

How do you give up control?

In this new age of 1 to 1 computing the problem isn't the students--it's the teacher! I know I'm a control freak and letting go of control of my classroom is scary! I've been slowly doing it for years as the computer has taken over my business curriculum--however it's hard.

For those of you that are new to this process I can give you these words of advice:
  • Learn to use Twitter--I love Tweet Deck to learn new innovative ideas for my classroom--I set aside 10 minutes everyday to Twitter--and I rarely tweet--I just read them.
  • Start off small and slowly create projects to engage students in the computer projects for your subject area--there is a WEB 2.0 Tool that will inspire you. Check them out at
  • Know what you want before you assigned a project--having a rubric is very helpful to you and your students--these will constantly change as the projects progress over the years. Sometimes I had too high of expectations and sometimes too low. Live and learn! Great site that helps is
  • If you wait until you have all the programs or Web 2.0 sites mastered they are old--jump in and the kids will learn along with you or you from them.
  • Tons of ideas out there--there is a wiki for everything--Google it!
  • Let students make suggestions for projects--they have great ideas.
  • I truly believe it is no longer about "How much" I cover but "How" I cover it.
  • Developing a student social network site is critical to the 21st Century Classroom--it is how today's students communicate. Edmodo-- is free and Ning is cheap!
  • TEACHER LEARNING--is more important than ever before--it can't only be about our content--it's about our--Pedagogy!
  • Student Responsibility is critical and an important piece--it will only hurt them later in life if we don't set deadlines and expect them met! Employers will reap the benefits later!
  • TIME is still precious and teacher's will need time and support to make the changes necessary for a Student Centered Classroom. Differentiated Instruction site
  • Find someone who is doing it and visit them--follow them through a day of teaching. A good mentor is critical.
  • Don't give up--it will be worth it in the end!
The author has been a classroom teacher for 30 years and is currently the Iowa Business Education Teacher of the year.