Teaching With Technology: Jenny David

Welcome to Teaching with Technology! This series of guest posts asks educators to share how they integrate technology in their classrooms. These posts are written by a very special group, CK-12 Foundation’s Champions.

Today’s guest post is by Jenny David. Jenny is a Special Education Teacher with the TCSOS Nexus Program in Jamestown, CA.

How do you currently integrate technology in your classroom (e.g., products used, devices, etc.)?
I am a special education teacher for students in 5th-8th grades who have EBD (Emotional Behavior Disorders). Many students are not at grade level. I utilize the CK-12 grade 6 math book for all students, with modifications based on individual levels. I also use Raz-Kids as a supplement to the SRA Corrective Reading Program.

What have been the advantages and disadvantages of using technology in the classroom?
My students seem less threatened by it than by being handed a big textbook. Also, today’s math books have a lot of information and graphics on each page, which many of my students find too distracting and overwhelming. The CK-12 math format is more focused without many distractions.

The disadvantage is, although I have been teaching for 24 years, my technology skills need to get caught up to today. I continue to take every workshop that is offered and try using all the latest in technology, but it takes time! Also I don’t have a budget to buy some of the items that could be helpful in the classroom, e.g., more up-to-date computers, iPads, and e-readers.

How have your students benefited from technology?
They are able to practice skills at individual levels and get immediate feedback.

If money were no object, what would you like to see happening in your classroom with respect to use of technology?
I would have more computers available, along with e-readers and iPads.

We hear the phrase “21st Century Skills” often with respect to technology and education. What are “21st Century Skills?”
Utilizing today’s technology to learn, communicate and create. In a way we are returning to the Renaissance of learning when people had broader knowledge of a variety of disciplines around a common theme of study, instead of intense specialization where people do not see interconnections.

Describe the “classroom of 2040.” What’s different? What’s the same?
Hopefully we do a better job of meeting individual needs so that all students can reach their full potential.