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December 2017 - Jonathan Richards

Jonathan Richards


Ed Tech Star of the Month 

What Do You Teach?
Spanish 2 and Intro to Engineering


Where Do you Teach?
Robert E. Lee High School


How Long Have You Been Teaching?
12 years


How Does Educational Technology Play a Role in Your Classroom?
Technology is a big part of my classroom. I use my laptop and Promethean board on a daily basis to teach new information as well as review old information. While my students have their iPad's we complete all kinds of activities from simple bell work to complicated projects involving video editing and eBook creation. I also use Google Classroom as my main classroom management system. Google Classroom makes assigning, turning in, grading and communicating super easy plus it automatically saves all of your assignments in Google Drive.


How Do You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful?
I find that the use of Google Classroom combined with various apps and projects makes classroom management much easier. When the students recognize that there is an expectation of work with their iPad's there is less distracting behavior. The iPad's also help with research and creating presentations when there are not enough computer labs.


What Is Your Favorite Piece of Classroom Technology? Why?
Google Classroom is far and away my favorite technology piece this year and last year. I love that all assignments that get turned in are saved automatically and I can return to them whenever I want. I love the ease of use and added communication with students. I love the ability to add quick response questions like Exit ticket type questions in the Classroom itself and check for understanding. Another fun thing that can be done with Classroom that is good prep for college is creating a Discussion board type of dialogue for the students to read/reply/respond to an article or question and then have monitored discussions online. This is a safe environment to teach online discussion etiquette.


Students using technology

What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom? Why?
A new 3D printer for my classroom is the next thing on my wishlist. My engineering students will be learning how to create 3D objects on Inventor (an autocad program) and the ability to actually print their creations will be amazing!


What Do You Love Most About Teaching?
I love watching the "light bulb" turn on as we go through different concepts in class. Oftentimes the "light bulb" comes on through using different types of activities that address the same concept. Then you have the satisfaction of knowing that students truly learned the idea/concept when the next time something new is introduced you see them go and start using that technique on their own. That is a truly satisfying experience.


Nominated by:
Lori Roberts, Educational Technology Specialist - High Schools "Jonathan Richards is the epitome of an Ed Tech Star. His students are constantly applying and showcasing their subject knowledge through a variety of technology tasks. In addition, Mr. Richards helps his fellow staff members learn and integrate new tools through one-on-one assistance and through lunch & learns with the entire staff. Mr. Richards also was the driving force behind the Lee High School app for students to navigate their ways around the sometimes confusing hallways of Robert E Lee. Mr. Richards is also a three time Apple Teacher, earning badges for the iPad, Mac, and Coding."