Ms. G is currently a grade 6 elementary teacher at a school in downtown Vancouver. This is only her second year of teaching where before she worked in marketing. The interview was conducted face to face in her classroom at 8:30 a.m. on Monday May 29, 2017.
Three summary keywords that echoed throughout my interview were: engagement, assessment and barrier. Ms. G uses technology in her math class everyday. She uses her Smartboard to, “… watch videos, complete interactive activities that promote student engagement, and for teacher demonstration.” If she wants to capture student’s attention in math, she’ll either use Khan Academy to demonstrate a concept or find a mini video clip on Youtube. She appreciates how convenient it is to have a Smartboard in class and feels that she’s pretty fortunate since not all teachers have one. She uses an online copy of her student’s workbook so that the entire class can do math examples from the book on the Smartboard. Ms. G stated that by doing so it will help, “…students assess their own understanding.” One area of incorporating technology into the classroom that she would like to learn more on is assessment.
Ms. G mentioned in the interview that she would like, “…to use other programs that would help with formative and summative assessment like quick little quizzes or tests where students can log-in and track their progress throughout the unit. I would like to set-up the quizzes so that they correlate with what we just learned in class rather than random questions from the textbook.” I mentioned if she has considered creating her own online quizzes and her response was that, “I don’t have the time in my busy schedule.” Again, this sentiment is the same view as other teachers such as in Video Cases 5 & 6 in our previous lesson.
The third keyword that stuck out in my interview with Ms. G is barrier. As she states, “Resources are a huge barrier to teachers and students in the public school system since you cannot guarantee that technology is available when you need it.” At her school, they have 2 iPad carts which is shared amongst 18+ divisions. You have to book far in advance if you want to use them in your class. Also, her union advocates against the BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model which is another barrier in the way of incorporating technology into the class. Since her schoolboard won’t provide more funding for other technological devices in class, she still allows her students to BYOD but with certain restrictions.
In conclusion, Ms. G uses technology wherever she can in her math class but would like to learn how to assess her students while using it. If given the chance, she, “…would be eager to take any training offered by my school board as students are very engaged with technology and learning how it can be embedded across all subjects would be very beneficial.”