Updated: Jul 9, 2020
I had been teaching for five years before I accepted my position of Middle School Technology with previous experience in middle school and elementary. I always loved technology and computers but I never expected my teaching path to lead me here.
I became a Middle School Technology Teacher of over 250 students for 3 different schools. What was I thinking?
This meant that, in order to teach all of the students at the 3 schools, I taught and traveled between 2 of the 3 different schools per day for the majority of the week. My typical school year schedule would include Middle School Technology (grades 5-8) at 3 different schools, a Yearbook/Multimedia class, and a Study Skills course. In my 5th year, the school’s needs shifted and I am currently teaching Technology K-8 at two different schools. As a teacher who traveled from classroom to classroom with a cart, this required a lot of data tracking as each school had their own set of school policies, gradebooks, behavioral forms, technology, and of course, student dynamics.
Each of the 3 schools I taught at had vastly different technology. I had one-to-one student Chromebooks at my first school, Windows Vista to Linux to Mac OS at my second school, and at the third school, we had everything from Windows 7 laptops whose batteries never quite made it through my four classes on a Friday afternoon to early Windows 10 desktops whose updates never seemed to go well.
Other than picking up my newest hobby of name juggling, I knew I had to find a GO-TO for all of my attendance, grades, and behavioral tracking. My one-to-one school was able to loan me a 3-year old middle school student’s used Chromebook for my first two years.
This was when Google Classroom was in its infancy, starting its 2nd year and I embraced it whole-heartedly. As amazing as Google Classroom is, it has its limitations when discussing different domains. For example, I had 3 different school e-mail accounts and each needed to re-create a class with content that I wanted to use for each school. Every file I wanted to use needed to be shared or e-mailed since they were outside of the school’s domain. I had to find a GO-TO.