I’ve been a fan of educational technology for some time now. In fact, that was the initial focus of this blog. So naturally when I heard there was a book to be released from Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc on the topic, I was pretty excited.
Okay, so, I was really excited.
The latest book from DBC, Inc is written by Stacey Roshan (@buddyxo on Twitter). Tech with Heart is all about using technology, not just as a cool tool but in order to give you more time really getting to know your students, as well as the voice it gives our quieter students.
I knew immediately that I would connect with the book because of the topic, but it wasn’t until I dug in that I realized how much I connect with the author, too! Stacey is precious! She is a perfectionist. She shares so much of herself in her story; many things she admittedly shares for the first time. She reluctantly shares that she struggles with anxiety, which really hit home for me.
I love that she writes, “…by sharing our experiences we can help others who may be struggling with similar circumstances.” I agree with Stacey! This is the primary reason that I feel the need to share my struggles and failures with others. Although I am a perfectionist and I don’t like pulling back the curtain, so to speak, and sharing all the failures that went into an awesome lesson, I choose to share because I realize it frees others to step out of their own comfort zone and try new things.
I have struggled with anxiety for as long as I can remember. When I was a child, I remember constantly feeling nervous and on edge. I was uneasy about almost everything. It wasn’t until my twenties that I ever sought treatment for my anxiety, and I am so thankful that I did. I am still fairly “jumpy”; loud sudden noises spook me and I hate surprises. Through my chats with my doctor, I found that this is all interrelated.
Our students are more anxious today than ever before. And for good reason! Can you imagine nearly everyone around you having a camera that could potentially record every embarrassing moment you’ve ever experienced? That’s what our students deal with daily. The idea of “privacy” is diminishing quickly. Everything is posted on social media; well, everything may be a stretch… it’s really just the best things posted. So many people put the best version of their lives on social media, which makes it impossible for others to “keep up with the Joneses”. I, along with three other teachers, took nearly 40 students on an overnight trip to Washington, DC a few weeks ago. We put their phones on chargers in our rooms at night to ensure that they get a full night of sleep. Y’all… the whole night those phones were going off in our room. Notifications, messages, alerts, etc. Only a few were set to “Do Not Disturb” throughout the night. They see no escape from this constant need to be present and active online. This feeds into anxiety because they have no down time. No time to just be still, quiet, and thoughtful.
Stacey shares “an anxious classroom is not where learning – or growth – thrives.” She continues on to share that flipping instruction helped her create an environment with less anxiety, more student attention, and higher student achievement. Throughout the book she shares what it means to “flip” instruction, how she did it, and what she learned through the process. She shares stories about how it impacted student learning and students’ attitudes toward school. She holds nothing back and has written the book and shared resources that allow readers to create their own flipped classroom quickly.
Tech with Heart is summed up pretty succinctly by this quote from Stacey:
It’s not so much about the tools as it is about the why. Technology has allowed me to get to know my students as individuals, deepen the relationships I can build, hear from each and every student in my classroom, and be the most efficient teacher I can be.
Finally, I have to say, this book singlehandedly destroys the common myth that technology cannot be used in a math class. In fact, without the technology, this math class would not have been such a success for so many students. With that in mind, I would highly recommend this book to any teacher, but more importantly, I’d suggest that every math teacher own a copy of this book! It will shift mindsets and show example after example of what technology can do for a math class!
As for implementation, I plan to use edpuzzle next year to help me flip parts of my media classes. I only get to meet with students during one 57 minute class period per month, and I want to get the most out of my time with them. Stacey has convinced me to give flipping instruction a try.
Be sure to connect with others on Twitter using the hashtag #TechWithHeart and connect with Stacey at @buddyxo. You can find Stacey’s website here. Dave Burgess wrote a blog about it here. Below is a sneak peek into Stacey’s book from the author herself, and as always, you can find the first few chapters on the Dave Burgess Consulting, Inc website. Just click here and scroll to the bottom. I believe you will enjoy it and you will adore Stacey, just as I do.