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November 2015 - KaLeah Hicks

KaLeah Hicks
What Do You Teach?
9-12 Commercial Photography, Yearbook, Journalism
Where Do you Teach?
Sterling High School
How Long Have You Been Teaching?
12 years

How Does Educational Technology Play a Role in Your Classroom?
Well, I teach commercial photography and yearbook in a computer lab, so it's a big part of what we do, but even without the computers, we use Google Classroom to assign and collect work, which is good because it works on the iPads, phones, and computers. I use Wevideo or iMovie to create instructional videos so students can see the steps before we begin a project. We use Trello in yearbook to organize our ideas and prioritize tasks. We use Tackk to replace posterboards when we do research. Really, teaching my students to become more proficient in using technology for their work - managing time and managing work flow - is the important thing for me. They know how to use technology for entertainment, but transferring those skills to academic work is what will be the advantage in college. Student using technology
How Do You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful?
I'm a paper loser and so are my students, so Google Classroom helps us not lose the papers. It's a simple as that. But also, using the Promethean to demonstrate or using the iPad keyboards to type a paper just makes things more manageable. I think if you find a way to make technology something useful for students, you get more buy in. I had to find a way for it to benefit both of us to make it work.

What Is Your Favorite Piece of Classroom Technology? Why?
I love Google Classroom, only because when it works (which is 98% of the time), it works well. I like the integration with Google Drive and that it makes a folder for the students that has all of the work for my class. Also, I can see when or if they were working and if I'm not at school, I can pull it up on my phone and get everyone back on task with an announcement.

What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom? Why?
SD cards for each of my Commercial Photography students and Wacom Tablets to make cleaner outlines and edits in Photoshop. What Do You Love Most About Teaching?
Student using technology
Teaching is fun. It's hard and sometimes thankless work, but no matter what subject I've taught, it's been fun. My students keep me young.

Nominated by:
Robyn Sewell, Educational Technology Specialist
"Kaleah Hicks has been using the Promethean in all of her classes, mostly to model steps, look at examples and play Kahoot. In Journalism her classes been working on student websites to host blogs. They are responding to news items as well as writing about topics of their interest. The student websites will also be a spot to put the interviews they will be working on. They just started, so it’s still coming along, but they really like it. The commercial photography students have been using their iPads to research examples of photography types. They also use iPads to view the pictures the students have taken for detail and to upload them to assignments in Google Classroom. They’ve been able to work more efficiently and independently."