Kaitlin Parks is a LRC-II Teacher at Cougar Ridge Elementary School. I recently had the pleasure of learning a little bit about how she integrates technology into her classroom to support her students and her professional responsibilities. When I first arrived at the school there was an unexpected power outage due to the storm outside. Like all excellent teachers, Kaitlin demonstrated flexibility and a good sense of humor, allowing me to continue with the interview.
Education technology is often discussed in terms of the more advanced potential uses that it can offer such as organizing a class via OneNote, taking instant polls through Forms, or encouraging students to produce stylish presentations through Sway. In this IRL segment I wanted to highlight how technology is used by our students to help them with basic communication and how it can help to overcome learning impediments.
I asked Kaitlin what she wanted to share about the use of classroom technology from the perspective of a special education teacher. She replied that educational technology tools can be viewed from a different viewpoint, one that recognizes its universal application for the benefit of all learners. She stated that we can, “Look at technology in a different lens, seeing that it’s not just for certain types of students, that it is for all students.”
She also uses educational technology to stay organized with the massive amounts of paperwork she is responsible for. She joked that the management of paperwork was her unofficial second job. Because she is an LRC-II teacher collaboration with a team of other similar teachers can be challenging. To overcome this Kaitlin has relied on the use of OneNote.
We are all spread across the whole district. So OneNote has been helpful to be able to share projects and different things we are using within our curriculum. Instead of sending it to each other over email, it is really nicely organized in a OneNote binder. Then that following year, when you say, ‘Gosh, I really loved what that colleague at Apollo did but I have no idea what email that was in and that was a year ago,’ it’s nice to be able to pull that up in the OneNote account.”
Kaitlin is a great example of what smart, dedicated teaching mixed with the utilization of technology can make possible. Please take a moment to see a little bit of what Kaitlin does in her classroom, In Real Life.