Thanks Tech.it.U

The week of July 11 through the 15, I was fortunate enough to be surrounded by teachers from all over York and Adams county as we were attending Tech.it.U. We had a list of amazing Keynote Guests each morning to start the day. Alan November, Chris Moersch, Will Richardson, James Gates and Lance Rougeux had the audience thinking about what we have done in the past and how we needed to make a changes within our classrooms. The overall theme being that students coming through our schools are growing up in a digital age and we are loosing them with stand up lectures, worksheets and standard book reports. This is how my idea of installing a Technology Boot Camp came about.

Through this week of keynotes and breakout sessions, I was able to come up with a plan for the the first week of school. This week will be an intense one as the students will be working on many different tools. Tools such as Diigo, Voicethread, Glogster, Google, Google Sites and Docs and Livebinders. These tools would normally be introduced as I came up with a reason for using them within my classroom walls. But boot camp is going to introduce the tool and allow the students to explore reasons why we might be use a particular tool.

My hope is by introducing them early and often I won’t have to do much instruction later on in the school year. Thus allowing more time to grow, collaborate and be well on the way to becoming a lifelong learner.

This blog will serve as a place to share the plan, provide updates and student interviews all in hopes that other teachers will expand and collaborate on this idea. Did I mention that I was going to really do something I don’t know I am comfortable doing? I will be providing some of these early lessons of Boot Camp so you can come into my classroom.

A big thank you goes out to Alan November for reaching out and letting us know that students need to graduate with Diigo accounts. This way they can take their favorite websites with them to college. Chris Moersch for getting me to turn up the H.E.A.T on the many lessons I will be implementing. Will Richardson had me thinking about making sure the students actually reach out to strangers. Many of you who might be reading this blog are those strangers we mentioned. Jim Gates for providing the encouragement to put this blog together so others would see the idea. And Lance Rougeux who has always provided me with ideas for the past four years. This time around he wanted us to hit the Benjamin Button Button to look at the past and change.

This is the beginning of what will be many posts. Look back the last week of July as I will have a link/post “The Plan.”

Until next time, keep smiling,

Sergeant Wittmer

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