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Using Tech Outside of the Classroom

Like many of you I'm sure, I wear several hats at my school. One of these is that I (along with my awesome colleague) coach our mock trial team. This is one of my favorite hats because it gives me a chance to really get to know my students outside of the classroom. It is also why I haven't blogged in awhile as we are in the final parts of the season.

Just like we need our students to be able to read books that are not assigned for school, exercise when they are not in gym class, and do math outside of the building, we need them to understand how to effectively use technology to make their lives easier. This skill, like all the others, is not a stand alone. Technology is most effective when it helps us be more efficient and do things we didn't used to be able to do.

Example - Mock Trial 
As a mock trial coach, before going 1:1, we would print out the 80 page case packet for each student. They would keep a folder of the questions and other things they were working on. At the end of the season, they would make sure they had a clean, typed copy to bring with them to competition. If they were absent, no one had their material and we just did our best.

Fast forward to this season. Each of my students has an iPad that they bring with them to class. I have a group within my learning management system that allows me to post information to my students as well as communicate with them and their parents. When the case was posted, I posted it and each student downloaded it into Notability. They were able to read through and add annotations.

We have a team Google Drive folder where everyone has a document for their questions. They can provide suggestions and edits to each other and we, the coaches, can monitor their progress. If someone is absent, we can still see all their questions and continue making progress.

Public speaking is a critical aspect of competition. Students use FlipGrid to record themselves delivering their statements and presentations. They rewatch themselves to find out what they actually sound like and how they carry themselves while speaking. It is such a powerful tool.

Example - Study Abroad
I also help to run our study abroad programs. We were able to model for students how to use the Google Suite. We used Forms to collect information from potential travelers at the interest meeting. We used Sheets to keep track of enrollment on the trip. Slides was used to announce where we would be traveling and Docs was used several times to create info sheets for families. During our last trip, I also ran a blog using Blogger and the students helped with content, images, and videos. It was exciting for them to be able to use effectively using technology.

Example - Sports
While I do not coach sports at my school, I am familiar with how they use technology. Hudl is an incredible app that teams can use to view and catalogue reel. Athletes and teams can watch this reel to prepare for upcoming games and practices. Athletes can also use this app to put together highlight reels that they wish to share with college recruiters. It shows the students that even on the field or the court, innovations in technology are allowing them to do things in new and easier ways.

If you are involved in any extra curricular activities, I urge you to see if there is a way you can model or include technology effectively for a purpose. Does it allow you to do something new and better? Can it help your students improve? Challenge yourself to include technology in your work with students after the bell rings. Good luck!


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