"With increased student motivation and diving deep into the digital tools, students are learning more than ever before."
 
John Nadler
Eighth Grade ELA
North Syracuse Junior High
North Syracuse Central School District

Congratulations to our October 2016 Featured Teacher John Nadler. John works for North Syracuse Central School at North Syracuse Junior High School. He has taught eighth grade English at the junior high for 19 years. He also is the senior advisor for the school's award-winning tech crew, 4D Productions.

What are some of the innovative ways that John integrates technology into his curriculum?

Over the years, John has used several technological tools to supplement his curriculum. He has used his class web page, Twitter, Remind, Edmodo, and everything in-between. Currently, John has been a pioneer for using Google Apps for Education in his district. Students don't just get exposed to the applications -- they learn the ins and outs of them to enhance their own efficiency and work output. In January, he piloted the use of Chromebooks with his five ELA classes, and this year his students have the pleasure of being a 1:1 classroom. Using Google Classroom as a hub, students will consistently be able to track their progress and revise work easily. Several of his classes participated in writing highly detailed original novels over a three-week period. Working together, and using GAFE, students churned out novels that were interesting, action packed, and better than any previous year's work. Some novels were over 100 pages long! In his "Great American Mail Race,"John has been able to connect with schools across the country, some as far away as Alaska and Hawaii. Using Google Hangouts,  classes sitting 5,000 miles away interacted live with each other in a very cool setting.

How have students benefited from John's technology integration initiatives?

John has seen tremendous growth in his classroom with the implementation of GAFE and Chromebooks. Students are now completing work faster and truly working together on activities that are group oriented. They enjoy revising their work in the continual pursuit of a more developed project, essay, or assignment. John can stay on top of his classes, by simply looking at a screen in Classroom to see if anyone is falling behind. Before the Chromebooks arrived, it could take a few days to realize a student was falling behind. Now, it takes seconds. The students also enjoy the digital tools such as Gmail, Calendar, Drive, Docs, Sheets, and Slides because they help them stay organized and keep producing their best work! John reports that when he piloted the Chromebooks in January, he saw averages trending upward quickly and work completion hit 100 percent in all five of his classes! Another benefit John noticed was with paperwork and absent students. Gone are the days of absent students falling behind. With lessons posted daily and all the class documents saved in Drive, students have 24-hour access to anything they require. Finally, John noted how much the students started helping each other. Students posted (and answered) questions about several assignments, gave gentle hints to one another, suggested possible edits, and encouraged others to revise good assignments to make them great. With increased student motivation and diving deep into the digital tools, students are learning more than ever before in John's classroom.

Is This You?
Are you the type of teacher who thinks about technology integration and new ways to enhance instruction, engage students, and make learning fun?  Know someone who fits the profile?  Recommend a "Featured Teacher" so we can recognize and celebrate great work in the area of instructional technology!

 
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