Over the past several years, Edsel Ford teacher Cheri Katzman has been working to revolutionize learning in her French classes by integrating technology into nearly everything she and her students do.
Students in Madame Katzman’s classes use Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education (GAFE) on a regular basis. Google Drive is her mode of preference for distributing, collecting, and organizing materials. Additionally, she incorporates the full suite of GAFE — from having students submit written answers via Google Docs and create presentations on Google Slides, to collecting exit ticket formative assessment data by having students complete Google Forms.
But Katzman’s classes have gone beyond GAFE as well. This year, students have had several opportunities to record their conversations in French and submit them through Classroom. Students utilize the Chromebooks and the Google Chrome App called Screencastify to do this. This allows each student to have the opportunity to take part in a conversation knowing that there is an audience to which he/she is accountable. Screencasts in Mme. Katzman’s room are used at various points as a highly reliable method formative assessment.
With the increased engagement and highly efficient systems of delivering content, assessing, and giving feedback, Katzman has noticed one key effect of these high levels of technology integration in her classroom: the pace. “Learning happens at a much faster rate — they’re almost ready for the test after one lesson,” she noted in our discussion after a recent lesson in which I had the privilege of participating.
In addition to maximizing the efficiency of class time, Madame Katzman’s use of technology goes beyond simply replacing old technologies with new ones; her integration results in emergent opportunities for learning that students could not have access to without technology. This is one of the many goals of the blended learning movement: to transform learning with the ways students use technology in our classrooms.
For more information on levels of technology integration, check out the SAMR model here.