Mrs. Khan’s Technology Integrated Classroom, Lessons Learned from ED554!

logos for tech

I made it through graduate school this week.  I now have a well deserved M.Ed. from Marymount University!!

I must say coming back to University as a mum with three kids was not easy.  My husband and my dad badgered me so much that I came back because I was sick of listening to them telling me that I should go back to school.  I was very nervous, my Kindergartener had just started school, and I was just going back to school.   On top being a wife, and a mum, I had to go through Professor Knight’s ED554 Technology class the last semester of grad school.  I was panicking when he was going through the curriculum. I had to  learn how to blog, make digital movies, make flip lessons, and learn all the technology .com’s.  All this and look after three kids, I didn’t have the time to sit at my computer and learn.  I struggled through the class and the last three weeks of class, I had the aha moment and I ended up absolutely loving the class towards the end, because I told myself , “ok, I’m not getting this the first or second time but I will get it.  When the kids went to sleep, I sat on the computer and practiced.  Today, I am teaching my daughter to make powerpoints and make powtoon presentation of book reports.  Tomorrow we will learn how to blog. We are both learning together.  I thought my presentations were not great, however believe it or not, I was really proud of myself.  I did it myself!!

Again, What’s my point? What was great was my professor’s feedback and encouragement.  He would tell me “this is great”, or he would never get fed up with the 20 emails I sent him daily the last week of classes. I am serious I emailed him at least 20 times when I was learning powtoon and prezi. He looked at my very first powtoon presentation and said, “It’s great!.” As a result of his responsiveness, I am still practicing how to flip lessons and make powtoon presentations.  My class has ended, my coursework is in, but I still have the desire to learn and be tech savvy. Isn’t that the kind of educator that we all want to be?

Ed554 has taught me a very important lesson.  It’s the process and the journey of learning that counts.  As an educator, we need to understand that we have to teach our kids that the process matters.  Let’s teach our kids,”It’s ok to fail, through failure we learn.”

I strongly believe the teacher is the “make or break” of the kid!!

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Reshma Saujani’s – Girls Who Code

reshma Saujani

“Things don’t come easily to me, I never get things the first or second time…”.  Reshma Saujani, a Yale graduate talks about how things don’t come easily to her the first or second time, but she perseveres through her failures and continues towards the journey of her promise to train 1 million girls to code by 2020.

girls who code

I loved this video!! I asked my daughter to sit with me when I started  listening to what reshma had to say, my daughter and I watched this three times. All I wanted was that  my daughter hear that “failure is ok, and we have to embrace failure.”

This was an amazing video to watch.   Reshma Saujani is the Founder of “Girls Who Code” daughter of Indian refugees who came to the U.S. She is a lawyer, has ran for office, and is an inspiration for all women no matter what age. The mission of Girls Who Code is to train 1,000,000 girls by 2020 to code.  There will be 1.4 million jobs in 20 years that will be open in the Science Technology Engineering and Math (STEM).  Girls Who Code will run extensive summer camps for girls, form clubs in high schools, and found online programs to train girls. The online programs will be an important resource because there are less than 1500 teachers who can teach Computer Science in the U.S.A. today.

One of the things which resonated with me was when Reshma said, “Things don’t come easily to me.  She graduated from Yale and is a lawyer, and she talks about her father being a great motivator.  My father was a Pakistani immigrant who moved to Scotland from Pakistan.  All he wanted was that all his 5 kids go to University especially his 3 girls.  He insisted on me choosing to go into the math and sciences when I was trying to figure out what I would study at University. He talked me out of studying French and History, and I ended up getting into the math program at Glasgow University.  To this day I will never forget his faith in me. I was not the brightest in the class , but he taught me never to give up. I sat in robotics and software engineering classes and persevered through class, In my class there were really bright boys but thinking back they never intimidated me.  The whole point of me telling you this is , we don’t have to just focus on the brightest girl in the class to encourage them in STEM.  It is not an aptitude “thing”. We don’t have to choose only the brightest girl in the class.  We need to encourage resilience and faith in our girls. If we believe in our “average girls” like me, I believe we will get more girls in STEM.

I am even more determined than ever to get into the classroom this fall, and inspire the girls to love the math and science disciplines. We need to look to inspire every single girl who walks into our classrooms.  If they don’t get the math concept the first, second, third, or fourth time, we need to go back to the drawing board and figure out how to change instuction and help them learn the way they learn best.  My dream is that no girl that I teach will say, “I hate math, or I don’t understand math.”This year I chose to go to a school that I feel I can make a difference to , the kids are first generation Americans, and they will have a teacher who believes in them.  I know in this post I talked about keeping an eye out on the girls and encouraging the girls into the STEM field, however at the end of the day let’s not forget about the boys.   As a teacher, let’s never forget, our words can have a huge impact!!

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Twitter Post – Flying Texts

Toni Jones@ DrJonesFCCPS – Jul 17
Texting in 1990.

This was a funny tweet!! Picture, Paper airplane notes flying in the classroom in the 1990’s!! Pre-cell phones, the teachers had to deal with notes being passed around the classroom, and we are complaining about texting:) I feel kids will always find a way to communicate. Teachers must understand kids need to talk. I am speaking from experience; I was always the chatty kid who loved learning!! Think how we could reduce redundant endless chatter and make the chatter relevant to the learning. One more reason to bring technology into the classroom so kids and teachers can collaborate by blogging and engaging in other collaborative techno ventures:)

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Twitter Post- Malala

The First Lady @ FLOTUS – July 14
Thank you Malala for inspiring girls around the world to be # stronger than adversity and pursue their education-
I loved the tweet by Michelle Obama.
I was so proud to see Malala sitting with the President and his family. What a long journey it has been for her! I can only pray girls in Afghanistan/Pakistan follow in her brave footsteps. This post was also very emotional for me, because I am first generation Scottish with Pakistani origins. I’ve been in that region of the world twice in my life, however a trip there was never really enjoyable when I opened my eyes and saw how the working class lived. In that region of the world, education for some classes of people are not encouraged at all, and girls are at a huge disadvantage in terms of trying to get an education. Let’s pray Malala will inspire other girls to pursue their education and overcome adversity.

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Twitter Post

I was really interested in the tweet by Toni Jones @ Dr. JonesFCCPS
Classrooms can skype and making connections!!!
What wonderful opportunities are out there for the kids. We as teachers just need to make it happen!

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I love Powtoons!!!


Please enjoy my very first presentaion created with powtoons. I made some slides about kidblog; A little how-to about the website. On reflection, I should have put some narration or voice over, however I ma still learning. Overall, powtoons was fun!! I know the kids will love it. the only thing is… I need to keep practicing:)

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Let our Kids Bring Their Cell Phones- Please!!!

tech in class
Isn’t that what we strive for as educators, happy and engaged kids?
Nowadays, some districts have a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) to school policy.  The school district that I work for has a BYOD policy, and I love the fact that my own three children and my kids in the classroom will have the option to bring their own devices to school.  

There is a plethora of great reasons that kids should bring their own laptops, ipads, tablets, smartphones, etc to school.

1. They have endless resources at their fingertips.

2. They can conduct their own research and they become self-reliant and independent.

3. Teachers do not have to worry about a lack of school laptops.

4. Kids are not wasting their time as there becomes more opportunities for enrichment and intervention.

5.  Writing workshop becomes fun for kids who loathe writing workshop.

I strongly believe in empowering our children for life after school.  Let’s think about this, school is a practice run for real life, however I see we (the adults) are enabling our children.  I understand, I really do, that cell phones are distracting at times, and we feel we have to take the phone away from the kids when they abuse privileges.  Let’s stop for a minute and rethink this issue! Do we need to take the cell phone away, or do we need to teach the kids how to use them? What are we going to do when they are 18 and ready to join the workforce, or go to college? Their bosses will be sending them home if they are unable to deal with distractions. They will fail their college courses if they have never been exposed to distractions. 

I have realized through making mistakes as a parent that taking the phone away does not solve things.  I have had to explicitly sit down with a rather hard headed sophomore and teach him all the things he could be doing with his phone. As educators and parents, we need to take time out of our busy lives and give the kids our undivided time, and be very specific about phone use during school time.  As a parent, I have made sure my own 3 kids are ready for the next school year with office 365 installed on their smartphones and their laptops.  I am confident that they will soar to new heights academically.  My kids beg me now to take them to the library so they can write a digital book review in power point and movie maker.  This change in attitude happened because I changed the way I was teaching them.  Learning has now become relevant to them, and engaging, and fun.  

As  educators and parents, we have to change our mindset. As an educator, I will be encouraging the kids to bring their own devices to school, but I will be very diligent about encouraging  the correct use of technology at school!! At home, gone are the days when I locked all the devices so the kids could concentrate on academics.  I’m ready for a CHANGE:)



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