The internet at your fingertips.
Virtual Field Trips.
Google Classroom. Google anything, really….Drive….Slides….Docs…Calendar. What did we do before Google?
Those are all great, but not what I was thinking.
During graduate school, we had to write two-three page lesson plans, which were a total waste. Three pages per lesson, at five subjects a day, 180 days… that’s like 2,700 written pages a year. Who has time for that?! But in 2007, I used the Internet to look up lesson plans. A few were online and were a great place to start. Here is my take on how technology shaped how educators beg, borrow, and steal.
Next came Pinterest. Educators quickly saw the value of Pinterest and I started following EVERYONE. Not only were teachers posting lesson plans, there were pictures…oodles and oodles of pictures. You could see classroom decor, see lessons in action, copy organizational tips, teacher hacks, and find sales for supplies. This totally beat the large stack of overly-copied and mimeographed worksheets I was handed (and completely grateful for) during my first year by a veteran teacher. (Full disclosure, some of those were really great and I still use them.)
Then came Teachers Pay Teachers. I jumped on the TPT bandwagon. Now there were more worksheets than I could ever imagine! I could search for things before creating them myself because $2 was a small price to pay for not having to recreate the wheel. Heck, I even threw some of my Smartboard Notebook lessons on there and some worksheets my mom (graphic designer genius) created for me my first year, and made a few bucks on the side. Some sellers are now millionaires. While I still search for the occasional printable, even TpT has branched out to more digital and editable resources. (See my previous post about top TpT digital resources.) They’ve also gotten a little more expensive. Gone are the $2 days, as things are $10, $15, even $50 for full units these days.
Next came Facebook. Let’s admit it, I’ve been on Facebook since the beginning when it was only for college kids (circa 2003). I was already on it, so I started followed a few other teachers, schools, and educational resources. This was also a great place to see some teacher humor (helllllo Ryan Gosling memes and Gerry Brooks videos), but also to get access to other blogs and articles pertinent to education. Here are a few pages that are worth the follow:
Making the PYP Happen
We Are Teachers
Finally, there is Instagram and Twitter. Following other teachers on Instagram (and following who they’re following) has been instrumental. I can go down an educational Instagram rabbit hole and not surface for hours. My iPhone camera roll used to be filled with pictures of my kids. Now, it’s all screenshots of classroom things I want to save and view later. Literally.
People also swear by Twitter. Following top-ranked educators, inspirational speakers, and even colleagues can be a great place for inspiration. Not only can it be a great place to get ideas, it’s also a great place to help our students. I haven’t been able to get into Twitter as much (I waste enough time on FB and Instagram, plus I do have that other full-time job, mommy-hood, that constantly interrupts my educational stalking/researching) but if you have any tips or suggestions of people to follow on Twitter, please leave a comment and I will check it out.