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November 2013 - Diana Truesdale

Diana Truesdale

What Do You Teach?
Grades 2-5, Librarian (Research, Technology)

Where Do you Teach?
Highlands Elementary

How Long Have You Been Teaching?
11 years

How Does Educational Technology Play a Role in Your Classroom?
When I do technology lessons in the library, I integrate the classroom curriculum into the technology lesson. I take what the students would do in the classroom and put a "technology spin" on it. I always collaborate with the teachers to be sure this integration is meaningful and relevant. I have done a wide variety of lessons across all curriculum and over a variety of TEKS. The lessons I have taught in the past are varied in nature. They include Office tools such as Publisher and Power Point, Web 2.0 tools such as Vokis and Read, Write, Think, and lessons incorporating Edmodo among many others.

Student using technologyThis year I am teaching the students how to research in collaboration with their Language Arts teachers and tying in technology accordingly. They will learn how to use the databases the district provides, how to organize their notes and findings (e.g. online graphic organizers), and how to pull their information together into a final project (Word, power point, etc).

How Do You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful?
One of the greatest benefits of technology is that it keeps students engaged. Whenever they interact with the laptops or the ActivExpressions (“clickers”), immediately the students are actively involved and stay so throughout the entire lesson. Rarely do students get off track or lose focus when technology is involved.

Another HUGE benefit of technology is that it adds another dimension of learning for students. Students learn differently. Technology and its varied components reach and teach students in diverse ways. It allows them to grasp topics and ideas in ways they may not have been able to by other means.

What Is Your Favorite Piece of Classroom Technology? Why?
My favorite piece of technology by far is the Promethean board and its components. I love how the students and I can interact with any lesson by moving objects and text, write over the desktop, and the list goes on and on and on. When I first started using the board, I used premade flipcharts. Now, I make and customize my own to fit the needs of the lesson I am teaching and the students. I use it for every technology lesson that I teach. I don’t know what I would do without it!

What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom? Why?
I would love to have a set of iPads to begin that initiative on the campus. It is a new realm that is being explored on other campuses, and I think it would be a great addition to Highlands Elementary. There are so many avenues that could be taken with them and a whole new path of technology that could be explored with these devices. 

Student using technology What Do You Love Most About Teaching?
When I am teaching, I feel “at home”. I love watching students’ faces light up when they learn something new or apply new learning to prior knowledge. The best part is when I am teaching a lesson and students ask questions that further the lesson. They wonder more about a topic. They are inquisitive. It has sparked their interest enough to want to understand it more and to find out more about it.

As a librarian, I love when students develop a love for reading. They get excited about a new book that is on the shelf or when a book that has been checked out is back. It is neat to hear them ask for a particular series, author, genre, or title.

When students ask these questions in a lesson or in the library, I know they are making connections to real life, establishing a real purpose for what they are learning, and I am helping to create lifelong learners and readers. There’s nothing quite like it!   

Nominated by:
Georgina Bighorse, Campus Technology Specialist at Highlands Elementary
"Diana is always using the technology given to her and purchasing extras for her Ed Tech classes. The students seem to enjoy being able to participate in their lessons."