Back in 1995 I enrolled in the first ever International Baccalaureate (IB for short) program at High Point Central High School in High Point, NC. Now, 16 years later, my life has come full circle because I get to “pay it forward” to approximately 150 IB students every year. While teaching has always been the ultimate career for me, teaching through technology is my passion.
Every student and teacher of the IB program follows a simple guideline that we call The IB Learner Profile. This profile is broken into 10 separate characteristics that we all (teachers included) strive for. After thinking back to my high school days and who impacted me the most, I came to the conclusion that being an inquirer was one of the most important characteristics for me to follow. And after recently traveling to Rice University for an educational conference encompassing technology, I found a new website (StudyBlue.com) to add to my repertoire.
With so many up-and-coming websites out there, I have to carefully choose what I’m going to invest my precious time in. First and foremost, I’m a family man who has to juggle my time between my wife and two kids. Afterwards, I am the teacher/mentor/facilitator/motivator; therefore, it’s all about “hitting the target” in my opinion. If I waste time on projects that have little to no meaning, I end up losing quality time at home and potentially losing students in the classroom. Subsequently, everything I do must have a purpose.
So why did I choose to integrate StudyBlue.com into my class? Three concrete reasons:
- It’s simple, easy, and FREE (all a must).
- It absolutely, without a doubt made sense.
- It supports my research with brain-science.
With little to no learning curve, I was able to jump right in and start my classes with little effort. I think I had all of my classes setup in less than 5 minutes and immediately designed a structure for how I wanted my students to be involved with the website. One particular attribute that must be mentioned is that the information is all online, accessible from any computer once you login. Therefore, it really didn’t matter if my students worked on their flashcards at home or at school (either in the media center or from the portable laptops), they were able to access their material.
Therefore, I’d like to see myself as an innovator who is curious, critical, and open-minded to trying new things. In this case, I was looking for a piece of technology to engage my students. I found it. I tried it. And most importantly, StudyBlue.com met and surpassed my expectations and needs as a fellow-teacher.
Yours, Daniel Rothrock
Disclosure: Daniel is a StudyBlue Teacher Advocate.