Classroom Technology Blog

Teaching Generation Tech

Katie Hanifin is a teacher at Canastota High School in upstate New York, where she specializes in the integration of technology in the classroom. She has written for EdTech magazine on innovative classroom technology as well as Web 2.0, virtual worlds, video gaming, and the online learning experience. In this opinion blog, she discussed her experience teaching students with greater access to technology than ever. This blog is no longer being updated.

Education Opinion Who are you and why are you here?
A long time ago, just after being awarded a teaching position but before beginning it, I started to look at teenagers - I mean really look at them. And they positively freaked me out. They came in all varieties - sporty, artsy, skateboard-y, stinky, pretty, pimply, sweaty, giggly, haughty, nerdy, small, medium, and large. Regardless of their motley physical traits, they were interchangeably consistent in pubescence, awkwardness, and moodiness. How was I going to relate this audience? No, audience assumes they might actually listen to me; I remembered myself as a teenager and really started to regret my career decision.
Katie Hanifin, October 5, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion I'd like to teach the world...
I normally don't ask my readers to do anything for me. This is mostly because it's pretty much my mom and dad and the occasional passerby, forcing me to reconcile that I don't actually have readers. I'm not even convinced my parents are clicking in.
Katie Hanifin, October 2, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Tapping Possibility
If there was one idea that I would like to leave with my students it is to open themselves up to possibility. At the broadest level I would like to think that is the true point to education. You never know when what you know will come in handy. Knowledge is power, and is no longer the domain of the wealthy or even the wise. Fortunately for young people, the world and all its opportunity have never been more accessible.
Katie Hanifin, September 24, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion This isn't adios...
In Spain one rarely hears "Good-bye". They prefer to bid everyone a casual "See you later", even if you're in a big city full of strangers. It's one of my favorite things about their warm, welcoming culture.
Katie Hanifin, September 22, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Rubric, Rubric on the wall
Who's the FOUR-est of them all?
I entered this virtual world project a little late in the development process so I was left to look at a finished prototype and figure out where to fit left over pieces, so to speak. This metaphorical machine was beautiful, shiny, crafted with the attention only a true master can afford - but you couldn't really "ride" it. Imagine telling Paul Sr. that it's not ready for paint the day before the American Chopper debut.
Katie Hanifin, September 8, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion What I do
I love to ask people what they do for a living. They inevitably give me their job title, but that doesn’t really tell me what they do. I’ve been teaching for the last seven years, so I didn’t really need to explain a whole lot. (Although there is a lot more to it than “teaching”.)
Katie Hanifin, August 31, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion First Day
I wish someone could have captured a before and after photo of me today. So much like my first day of school decades ago, I left well-pressed and anxious and returned well-worn and exhausted.
Katie Hanifin, August 26, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Survivor
I’m going to spend a month on this project in Spain, so I have an apartment in Oviedo rather than staying at a hotel. There is no front desk to phone every time I need something, and because I’m in the ‘real’ Spain, there’s not a whole lot of English being spoken. Actually I’m lucky everything is in Spanish, because like so many other regions of this country, Asturias has its own language.
Katie Hanifin, August 24, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Flat and fast
I hope you have read Thomas Freidman’s “The World is Flat”. If not, I am tempted to assign it for homework. Otherwise it might be a little confusing how an American, a Brazilian, and a Spaniard are sitting in an office…
Katie Hanifin, August 19, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion What I did over summer vacation
Well, it’s that time of year again. That magical back-to-school time that feels more like a new year than January 1st. I’ve been absent from my blog for quite a while, but have much to share about what I did over summer vacation.
Katie Hanifin, August 17, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion A learning experience, revisited
As a little girl, spending time with my father was second to nothing – not even giant scoops of chocolate-laced ice cream or permission to stay up late with my three older sisters. This was the man who would take me to the park and teach me to play tennis, sing me my own special song while strumming his guitar, and captivate me with lengthy, animated stories using different voice-overs for each character.
Katie Hanifin, July 22, 2009
2 min read
Education Opinion www-dot-fun
You may have picked up on the fact that I have no life. I spend my summers thinking about teaching. But, to be fair, I spend my school year thinking about summer.
Katie Hanifin, July 17, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion It's the lesson plan, stupid.
A few months into my first year of teaching I had asked the assistant principal for help with a discipline problem. He scheduled a time to come into my classroom and when he arrived, I wrongfully assumed he was there to retrieve the student. He remained the entire period, watching me teach from the back of the classroom.
Katie Hanifin, July 15, 2009
1 min read
Education Opinion Take out the textbook, please.
Like so many first-year teachers, I was handed a textbook in order to begin teaching in September – at that was it. It was understood that seventh graders would learn chapters 1-6 and eighth graders 7-12. My ninth graders would move on to the next level textbook in the series.
Katie Hanifin, July 13, 2009
3 min read