This is probably going to be a shorter post, but one that I can't help but write. It is a really, really cool time to be teaching what I'm teaching where I'm teaching. Why? There are plenty of reasons for this: solid colleagues; understanding, supportive and flexible bosses; great support from curricular and technology people; and for the most part, sweet parent support and kids willing to learn.
Beyond all those reasons, there is a new one this year: because of our district's 'Bring Your Own Device' push for students, more and more of my students are taking advantage and using their own devices in school. The set-up is fantastic: students and parents must attend an informational/training meeting and get the device registered. Expectations are clear, from Admin on down. Our building is wireless, enabling students to access online course material, collaborate with other students, and utilize our district's strong Google Apps presence.
So far this year, students in my Language Arts classes with their own devices have shared rough drafts with me in real time, before they have even left my room; submitted assignments ahead of schedule - because they could, and also completed and submitted work from the online portion of my class. Why is this great? It's supported top-down, students are very engaged, work efficiency is increased, and collaboration goes up. What's not to like?! I can't wait to see how this continues to develop throughout the year!