Jordy Van Boven is a teacher in primary education and this year he started working in the 5th grade in the Municipal Primary School Sportomundo in Antwerp. Last school year he was a teacher at the Omnimundo School where he worked together with Olivier Dijkmans on a successful implementation of technology in the classroom.
At the start of this school year, he got the opportunity to write his own story. And here it is…
LOOK BEFORE YOU LEAP
The weeks before the start of the new school year were very stressful. Getting the classroom organized, wasn't that easy. I spent a lot of time deciding which design would be best, because I'm convinced that a good classroom setting is beneficial for the class management throughout the year.
I have chosen to focus again on making my students independent learners and promoting collaborative learning. I seek for a good and efficient use of technology that I can use to support my daily classroom practice.
Before I started, I discussed my plans for using technology with the school management. They have given me complete freedom to do what I personally think is important, as long as it is beneficial to my classroom practice. By using my previous classroom experiences I was able to gain enough confidence in order to get started for the new school year. This made the stress go away and it made sure that I was able to take a very smooth start.
GET STARTED WITH BABY STEPS
I explicitly chose to roll out technology gradually. The school has limited experience with the use of technology. I try to use the expertise that I gained in my previous class to make a difference in a consistent way. With this I mean that I want to implement new ways of working step by step. First off all, because it is a relatively new way of working for the school. And secondly, the children need to get the chance to get used to the new way of working.
"I always take the time to get fully acquainted with
a new technology before introducing a new one!"
Luckily I was able to hold on to tools that I knew from my previous practice, such as i3LEARNHUB. I've gotten pretty acquainted with it in the meantime. The software offers a great amount of features which are easy to use in my daily practice. The measuring instruments, for example, provide good support for math lessons.
As I use MS Onenote on a daily bases, the i3ANNOTATE is my best friend. This tool allows me to take screen shots and import them in my lesson in i3LEARNHUB. By doing this I can use all the fancy features from i3LEARNHUB on my lesson content. I always try to make a perfect combination of the available digital tools.
The next step I want to take is to implement physical learning by using the Activity Builder in i3LEARNHUB. Especially in my French classes!
INVEST IN SDG'S AND ACTIVE CITIZENSHIP
I try to stimulate the active citizenship in my class in 3 different ways:
- We've got an iPad in the classroom that is available to the children to read and watch media and news overviews. This allows them to follow what is happening in their world, since they do not always have the opportunity to that at home. The news facts and events are regularly discussed with the class group.
- The SDGs (sustainable development goals) are also very present in the classroom. We use them as a guide to work on a better and more active citizenship. We try to link all news facts to the SDG's and ask critical questions: to which goal does it relate to, what can we do to prevent this, what can we do as individuals?
In addition, many of our lessons are linked to the SDG's. I do this to make the children aware of the problems that are affecting us worldwide. Linking lessons to SDG's allows us to have very interesting and engaging discussions.
- We also try to stimulate global citizenship in the classroom by setting up various collaborative projects with other classes and schools.
We've got several “Skype partners” all over the world with whom we build projects, but we also have worldwide projects in which we participate as a class. This is again an enormous added value to create a rich learning environment for the children.
DON'T STAY ON YOUR ISLAND AND SHARE YOUR EXPERIENCES
The most valuable word of advice that I can share is to share your experiences when you're exploring new technologies or methods! Share them with your colleagues: what is successful, what are the challenges, what needs to be improved, but most important, what is the value for you as a teacher and for your students!
When new ideas are introduced in a school, teachers are often holding back. In that case, it certainly helps to share your successes with your colleagues so they would see the added value too. Curiosity will encourage them to look for a method that can help them in getting started.
Finally, I would like to advice that you need to seek a technology that reinforces and improves your teaching. Only use that tool that helps you to move forward and of which you also see the added value. That for example is the most important reason for using i3LEARNHUB. This online software offers me all the tools that I am looking for in an interactive whiteboard software. Moreover, there are many interesting and exclusive features that I would miss in any other software.
Written by: Caitlin Paterson on Tuesday, June 15, 2021