Hi Everyone!

I am excited to be starting my COETAIL Journey with Cohort 11! I am new to blogging, but excited to give it a go!

My name is Caitlin Howald and I am originally from Mississauga, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto). I started my international teaching journey 6 years ago in Bangkok, Thailand. I made the move to Europe after two years there, and am currently in my fourth year teaching at the International School of Düsseldorf in Germany. I am a Grade 5 teacher, and consider myself lucky to be working in a collaborative teaching model in a newly designed flexible space with 4 other teachers! Follow me on Twitter to find out more about my teaching journey.

I went from having no real access to tech in my classroom in Bangkok to 1:1 iPads in Düsseldorf, which was a huge shift! I now can’t imagine a classroom without them! With that said, I am always looking for ways to more effectively use technology and support students in this ever-changing digital world.

In the fall of 2017, our school brought Will Richardson in as a guest speaker. He is a provocative speaker and is not afraid to question the status quo in education. (For those of you not familiar with his stuff, I highly recommend taking a look!) One of the pieces of this talk that resonated most with me was his discussion of what it means to be “literate” in today’s world. It made me question if I was doing enough to support students with this.

At the IB Global Conference in Vienna this fall, I was happy to be able to listen to Will Richardson speak again, but realized I wasn’t any further along on my journey in helping students to build this 21st century literacy…

Enter Twitter. I have only in the last year or so, become a more active Twitter user. I kept stumbling across people talking about COETAIL (one of these being Tanya!). After looking into it, I decided that this journey was what I needed to move me forward towards my goals of becoming a more “literate” individual and teacher.