Chit Chat: Having an Open Mind

Chit Chat: Having an Open Mind

Recently, at work I was in a situation that made me realize how great being open minded is. Even how important it is to have an open mind. A great opportunity came to me and the other high school math teachers at my school. One that we had to do no work to get and yet we received some great technology to use in our classrooms. We did not understand how this was going to be any different than before for us, but I was excited about this, as was another one of the math teachers. To get to keep this technology, we were required to attend some training so that we can effectively use it in our classes. As previously stated, myself and one of the other teachers was open to this. One teacher absolutely refused to go to the training, so she lost the technology and it was given to another teacher (a science teacher who was iffy on how she would use this). The fourth teacher said he would go but he didn't think he would use the technology.

So what technology am I talking about? Our school received a grant that provided us with classroom sets of Texas Instruments TI-Nspire CX Graphing Calculators. So four of us at my school received classroom sets of the TI-Nspires. This was 30 calculators each! Not only did we get 30 calculators each, we also got the navigator for our computer, wifi attachments for the calculators so that they can speak to our computer and vice versa, and charging stations for the calculators. Plus we are getting training on this new piece of technology for our school.

I know what you are thinking. Training on how to use a calculator? We have already had 2 days of training and we will get more training in the upcoming months. The 2 days of training we have had has opened my eyes to how amazing this piece of technology is. Did you know that using our equipment I can send information to all of my students via their calculator and that they can submit answers from their calculator to my computer? Did you know that the screens are in color? That the graphing options are so much better? That I can send images to my students and have them figure out things? That I can see all of the calculator screens from my computer and that I can even enlarge one screen so that everyone can see what one person is doing? That I can send assignments/tests/quizzes to my students on their calculator and they can answer, submit, and it is instantly graded?

Well, enough about how awesome these calculators are. Needless, to say we all walked away from the two days of training thinking how great these would be for our class. It would be so easy to see that every student is on task, to poll students quickly, and to gather evidence of a student's understanding. I'm thrilled about these calculators and can't wait to get the software installed on my computer. The other math teachers are equally as thrilled. They can't wait to get started either. And the science teacher is amazed at the possibilities. The school has said they would order her some of the science equipment that you can hook up to the calculators.

Even though some of us were unsure about how this would work out for our class, we all left inspired. Some of us had a more open mind than others, but we were all willing to give it a try. And we were rewarded with great information that showed us how lucky we were to get this grant. As for the teacher who absolutely refused the training, once we get them set up and going and she hears students talking about them, I bet she will regret missing out. Sometimes, you have to be willing to try something new, to take a chance, to receive something great. Don't you think?

via: The Every Girl

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