Educational technology tips for teachers, librarians and schools.

Inspiring Q&A With Technology Teacher Vicki Davis

Inspiring Q&A With Technology Teacher Vicki Davis

By Jessica Sanders

Vicki Davis wrote and programmed her first game when she was eight years old. These days, there are few people who understand how technology enhances classroom learning better than her, now a technology teacher and IT Director at Westwood School in Camilla, Georgia.

You may know her as Cool Cat Teacher—the name of her award-winning classroom technology blog. Let her story, and what she’s learned, inspire you to find a space for technology in your classroom.

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Q: What is your first memory of using technology in the classroom?

A: I can’t say I have one memory but I do clearly recall the first time my students wrote collaboratively. They were using a tool called Writely, which was bought by Google and turned into Google docs. As they all edited at the same time a collective ahhhh arose. We all realized that something significant had happened. So many options opened with that one moment.​

“Sometimes I integrate nature or other things that are not technology. Every class needs balance, even technology classes.​”

Q: When did technology in the classroom first become a passion for you? Why?

A: My dad bought a TRS-80 when I was 8 years old. He charted commodities prices and I had to do that work for him. But after he did his work, he let me learn to program in Basic and write and play adventure games. The ability to tinker and create using technology became a lifelong passion for me that has never left. Creating and using technology unlocks something in my students and I, and in many ways it’s addictive.​

Q: What was the first way you integrated tech in your classroom? 

A: I teach technology courses so we’ve used it from day one. But one thing I want to say is that sometimes I integrate nature or other things that are not technology. Every class needs balance, even technology classes.​

Q: What is your favorite tech app or tech-based teaching tool?

A: I love anything collaborative. Wikispaces, Google Docs, Diigo, Evernote and Haiku Learning are all awesome. I’m using the #inflip method of teaching now so the creation of videos in my classroom is big as I teach. But really, I couldn’t name just one. In the end, it’s still about relating to my students on a personal level and none of us can let technology obscure the humans behind the learning.​

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Q: What would you say to teachers who are unsure about bringing technology into their classroom?

A: I wrote a whole chapter on this in Reinventing Writing. Innovate like a turtle. Plod ahead a little every single day. Level up learning a daily. That is the secret!

“Innovate like a turtle. Plod ahead a little every single day. Level up learning a daily. That is the secret!”

Q: What is your favorite educational quote?  

A: I have so many:​

  • “Innovate or depreciate.”
  • “Level up a little every day.”
  • “Be the change you wish to see the in the world.​”

Follow Vicki on Twitter and Facebook to see how she uses technology in the classroom.

Are you a technology teacher? Do you want to tell us about your experience with technology in the classroom? Email and share your story with us!

Learn more about your fundraising Read-A-Thon at Learn2Earn.

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