• Samantha Fecich

Dear Future Teacher,

Hi ! I am so glad that you are back for another post. Today I have joining us Dr. Maude Yacapsin a professor at Messiah College. Maude and I met during a conference for future teachers last year where we learned about best practices for future teachers. She is an amazing colleague sharing all that she is doing in and out of the class on Twitter. She is sharing a beautiful letter written just for you - future teacher! Enjoy!



Dear Future Teacher,


You chose this profession for a reason. You value learning, you value helping others, you value students. You see your purpose in life and it is to help your students grow academically and socially, and do good things for this world! Technology has opened windows for you to tap into the unique characteristics of the students you teach as well as the people you encounter every day. Be the advocate, the example, the curator, and the digital citizen. Know that your hard work will present itself in those daily “ah-ha” moments (yep, that’s an old school saying), and five years from now when you see a former student at a café and they tell you, “I have a job.” You played a part in their life for one year, maybe more, maybe less, but they are a better person having encountered you-be kind, always.

Your Friend and Fellow,

Maude


Phew! That was deep! Future Teachers: This is your call! Everyday, how you use tech to teach students will shape their world. Not how as in “I am really good at Remind 101” but how their learning is impacted by your investment in them-your teaching style, personality, daily interactions, and relationships with your students and their families matter. There is no substitute for genuine enthusiasm and a love for learning. Your students see this from day one so set the stage early!

Believe in your students

From preschool to high school, your students are curious and want to learn. You will encounter one or two who might test this tenet-guide them as best you can to use this curiosity for the good.


I use many tools and like to introduce new technologies to all my students. Since I teach a wide variety of courses, I get to use tech in so many good ways! I use ed tech in face-to-face courses with undergrads and graduate students and, also use ed tech in online courses with, again, undergrads and graduate students. If ever asked if I had a favorite platform, I probably could never pick just one! But, I do have some go-to's that help me be a better teacher because my students are engaged in learning!


Here is my list:
  • Twitter-I use Twitter for class announcements, updates and reminders. I also use Twitter to curate those ed technologies that may benefit other teachers and students; as in “Hey, I found this app for you...”

  • Instagram-Instead of posting lengthy, personal introductions in paragraph form, I invite my students to follow me on Instagram and ask questions about or find commonalities among the pictures I have posted.

  • Presentio.us-The Presentio.us application is a wonderful resource if looking to record presentations and mini-lessons for your students. This is my go-to because the developers of Presentio.us are responsive. Your presentation is not only recorded, Presentio.us provides a transcript of your recording and it is easy to update slides and recordings to use them again-maybe with next year’s class!

  • Flippity-Talk about “1000 things to do with a spreadsheet”! Data in a spreadsheet can be transformed into educational games, choice boards, name-pickers, you name it. Try that out soon @ flippity.net.

  • Any LMS is great-as long as the LMS is not used as a filing cabinet! Use the features or at least try 1 or 2 new ones in a marking period.

  • Collaborations-whether using a Google doc or SharePoint in Microsoft, Collaborations are something no teacher should teach without!

Content apps-I encourage my students to find and carefully evaluate apps in order to personalize learning for their students. Many of my students report that they have had great success with
  • Class Dojo

  • Edmodo

  • Remind

  • The Elements

  • Evernote

  • BrainPop

  • PiktoChart

  • Desmos

  • Peppy Pals

  • Khan

  • Socratic

  • Zip Grade

  • Stitcher

  • SoundCloud

  • Trello

  • DuoLingo

  • G-Suite (Jamboard, Sheets, Earth, etc...).

My charge to you would be...take an oldie but goodie like Twitter and use in in a new way-you won’t believe what you will come up with!


You know as well as I do, there are so, so many to pick from! Take care in doing so because you have a big responsibility-be a catalyst for your students; guide them to make good choices on their own and become independent, lifelong learners.

As with anything, ed tech is only as good as the user. It is only good when used for the right purpose. Remember, you are a good teacher and understand your students can become overwhelmed or at times, underwhelmed; it’s up to you to find that balance. Ed tech is the perfect medium to help.


Act. For your students:
  • Advocate for School funding for ed tech-some schools cannot afford the technologies others can. Look to ISTE for ways you can become a tech advocate.

  • Join a Professional ed tech organization like PAECT (Pennsylvania Association for Education Communications and Technology). It is FREE PD for you!

  • Ignite/Spark/Start a group conversation at your school about ed tech

  • Ask a fellow teacher to learn with you! Invite a colleague into your class and show them how ed tech is working for your students

  • Download a free ed tech app today and see how it will work for you and your students

  • Volunteer, Serve at a non-profit to see how they use tech to advocate for their cause

Read. More about the topic at:

Never be Afraid to Advocate

About Maude

Maude Yacapsin specializes in Online Teaching, Classroom Leadership & Inclusion at Messiah College. As an active member of IT and leadership organizations, Maude presents at national conferences each year.


Her degree is from the University of Nebraska in Educational Leadership & Online Teaching/Student Personnel Services. She is a PASSHE alum x 3, ed-tech enthusiast, ed-tech curator, dog-rescuer, course developer for the Illinois Online Network’s Quality Assurance Initiative, and a sometimes-runner. Favorite role: Mom. Follow Maude on Twitter and Instagram @myacapsin

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