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March 2017 - Brian Walenta

Brian Walenta
What Do You Teach?
11th Grade US History
Where Do you Teach?
Robert E Lee High School
How Long Have You Been Teaching?
30+ years

How Does Educational Technology Play a Role in Your Classroom?
As a person who started with - chalk (yes chalk) - I have always been amazed with new technology. I use technology through the iPad (Kahoot, on-line textbooks, iMovie, creating poster, surveys, Apple TV, Socrative, etc). I try to keep up with my students but like learning from them about new things. I also use technology within my Interactive Notebooks - QR Codes for review, or preview of units. I am working on QR Codes for each unit of history for both hearing and deaf students. Students use their iPads to take notes and access the on-line textbook or my outside readings. We have also used iMovie to create a walking tour of Robert E. Lee High School - their stories and put into Google Drive and QR Codes - this way students, teachers, visitors can pull up stories of Lee while they look around the school.

students use technology    students use technology

How Do You Find Technology in the Classroom Helpful?
It is a two edge sword -- it is very helpful for students taking notes and submitting project; however, it can also pull them away form the lesson if not monitored. Having students do research while in class and access data bases to answer questions is great. I can ask my dual credit class to find Peer Reviewed Articles and we can pull them up using the Apple TV. To be honest -- technology scares me because I am of an older generation and we didn't deal with this; however, it is also exciting to learning and have fun.
What Is Your Favorite Piece of Classroom Technology? Why?
I like the iPads -- they give me the ability to do so much in and out of class. I can communicate with my students from home, upload grades, create projects for students, show those projects using the Apple TV, etv.
What Is On Your Technology Wish List For Your Classroom? Why?
Wish list?? Wow -- I received a grant for Dongles and those have helped so much - having the student connect to the board and show their products or presentations is so fun and easy. As far as a wish list -- I just keep learning new things to try with what I have.
What Do You Love Most About Teaching?
The students -- where else can a person get up each morning - come to a place and do something that can change lives? I enjoy that each day is different and you never know how you have reached out to a child. Sometime they will tell you - but most of the time it is in the future that all comes together. To be honest -- teaching keeps me young (as young as a 56 year can be).

Nominated by:
Lori Roberts, Educational Technology Specialist - High Schools
"Brian Walenta challenges his students using the iPad in innovative and engaging ways. Mr. Walenta also integrates the Promethean board and Apple TV into his teaching. One of his most innovative projects had his AP US History students creating presentations, movies, and more using their iPads. The topic? The rich and unique history of Robert E. Lee High School. These videos are now being used as a Walking Tour via QR codes posted around the building."