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The Great Wall

Having 13 devices in my room has been a dream come true. No longer can I complain about not having the tools to move my students' learning into the 21st century. No longer can I complain about not having time in the computer lab (an outdated use of a room anyway). No longer can I sit and wait until change happens. No longer can I make excuses.

The responsibility is on me to use the tools, all the tools, in my classroom to make learning happen, meaningful, and wait for it, enjoyable. The 4C's (communication, collaboration, critical thinking, and creativity), that are so widely talked about, are also my responsibility to incorporate into my classroom.

What I am starting to realize more than ever, is that the devices I have are just additional tools in my classroom. They are not the be all end all. These tools definitely bring a lot more potential into the classroom, but it is still the pedagogical skills and relationships that are built that make a successful classroom. The 4C's, something I once thought could only occur with devices, can occur without devices just as easily. However I hesitated in years past to really give them a fair shot in my classroom because I thought I had to have the technology to make them happen. Do the devices help? Absolutely but the devices aren't a necessity. And that's what I'm seeing in this journey more and more, that with no excuses or complaints left to make, it is still up to the teacher to incorporate new ideas and skills that are needed for the students. It's still up to the teacher to take risks for the betterment of their students.

The more this year goes along and the more experience I get with running a blended learning classroom, the more I understand the importance of incorporating technology but also how a teacher's roots in the profession are just as important, if not more important. Technology or no technology, a teacher can't wait to make positive changes. Each excuse and complaint is like brick, and if one isn't careful, a great brick wall will quickly be created that prohibits one from seeing over to the other side. And right on the other side of that great wall, are the answers and ideas one was looking for all along.

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