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May 2016 - Allison Higdon

Allison Higdon
What Do You Teach?
9th grade Biology
Where Do you Teach?
Lee High School
How Long Have You Been Teaching?
5 years

How Does Educational Technology Play a Role in Your Classroom?
I use educational technology in my classroom every single day. Having iPads, a Promethean board, laptops, computers, Apple TV, and other technology has completely changed the way I teach my class.

Student using technologyHow Do You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful?
Technology is a huge help in the education world. Our students don't learn the same way as we did in school. Their brains are wired differently. They are used to having information given to them in a matter of seconds. Siri is their new study buddy, they don't have to look up vocabulary words in the back of the book anymore. Students just type the word and instantly have definitions, videos, diagrams, pictures, and so much more, right at their fingertips. If I didn't adjust my teaching style to the way their minds work, it would be so much more difficult for both of us. I created a website where I post all my lecture notes, presentations, labs, and worksheets, plus additional work and video examples. I've even used the website to translate and differentiate for English Language Learners. Students who go through work quickly can move at their own pace, and students who need a little extra help taking notes or understanding material, can move at their own pace also. It makes demonstrations and explanations super easy, because all I have to do is click a video link or show a diagram. I never have to take large stacks of work home anymore, most of the grading is done automatically using iPads. I get more work completed, and more participation in class when I use technology.
What Is Your Favorite Piece of Classroom Technology? Why?
Hands down my favorite piece of technology is the iPad. Each student has one, and it was a bit overwhelming at the beginning. I wasn't sure how to monitor and keep students from using their iPads inappropriately. However, I have really strict rules, and I enforce them every day. Instead of telling students they can't use the iPads in class, I created lessons and projects specifically for iPad use. I found that when I give them a task they enjoy, they won't abuse the iPad privilege, and will stay on task. The students know about some cool stuff I've never heard of. I get some really neat videos, and projects turned in.
What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom? Why?
I'd wish for a Mac computer instead of a PC, sometimes the iPads don't talk to the PC very well. A Mac would allow me to create a better iTunes U course, and make life a little easier when planning iPad activities and projects.
What Do You Love Most About Teaching?
Education is the most important tool anyone can have in this world, I love that teaching allows me to contribute something to our society in that way.
Student using technology

Nominated by:
Lori Roberts, Educational Technology Specialist - Lee Feeder
"Allison Higdon's classroom is a fantastic example of technology integration in action daily. Ms. Higdon utilizes her Promethean board and iPad on a daily basis with students. In addition, Ms. Higdon has created a content driven classroom website to allow her students to access information anytime, anywhere. Ms. Higdon's students are engaged in creating exciting projects including stop motion animations depicting the stages of mitosis"