Each year Scott McLeod challenges us to challenge our administrators to move forward with technology for the learning processes of our schools. Last year I wrote my first letter to our administrator: #leadershipday11 2+2+2 You can read more here.
One question asked: What ways recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology usage by students and teachers.
Last year I used the format:
2 To thank
2 To Get Better
2 To Go Further
2 To Thank: Our Administrator and Our Parent Education Committee (PEC)
Again this year I need to thank our administrator for continuous collaboration with our Parent Education Committee, whose focus includes increased technology. They recognized the need for teachers to learn and apply technology in this digital age that allows all of us to “live learning.” We are steadfast in our commitment to guide our students in digital citizenship and digital safety. With the PEC and our administrator, we now have an iPad for each teacher and training in using them. We have some new computers for students. We have the encouragement to engage students to learn with technology. Our students practice digital citizenship daily. Thank you!
2 To Get Better: Technology Director (me) and Professional Development
We’ve recognized the need and purchased technology for staff and students. Now we need to get better at evaluating and facilitating effective technology use by teachers so that our students are engaged and learning in ways that reflect their world now and in the future.
I teach middle school language arts full time and I’m the Technology Director. That doesn’t mean I know every thing; it means that I collaborate with the IT department to ensure that the classroom instruction and learning needs can be met with the help of IT working with us. That’s made all the difference.
However, I need to find more time to work with the IT and to plan professional development for staff in ways that meets their needs and time frames so each staff member can learn the tools relevant to their teaching and assessing. My administrator is supportive and we will work together to make this work. We have the tools through Google Apps for Education to collaborate, create, and share (staff and students).
Our professional development has focused on accessing student data and apply that information to plan for student learning.
To get better at facilitating effective use of technology, we could share our focus areas in online tools: sharing documents of lessons; using forms for documenting student learning to monitor and adjust more easily; create a Professional Learning Community site for resources particular to our needs. We can learn to blog to share what we do effectively in the classroom with the community, including students in those blogs. Our staff can develop their own positive digital footprints along with their students.
Yes, these are the same “get better” issues from last year, but we are better: our school participated in more walk-throughs than any other in our cohort! And we’ve learned from that data. The tools we have (Google Apps, Edmodo, VoiceThread, Glogster, iMovie, Skype, blogs) will help us create projects for more critical thinking skills for our students, which is what are data suggests. Links for problem-based learning and professional communities:
We need to facilitate finding time for staff development so teachers can learn, cooperate, collaborate with technology to learn technology applications for instruction will help us become effective with technology.
2 To Go Further: BYOT and Technology Productivity
Our administration is continuing to find ways to bring our school model into 21st teaching and learning. We know we need both computers and iOS devices. We have discussed and will update our policies to include Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) policies. We will use our technology productively with our Google Apps for staff and students. Here are ways to help us recognize, evaluate, and facilitate effective technology use by staff and students.
The kids are almost here:
They already “live learning.” Are we ready?
Our administration supports our technology initiatives. We have to thank administration for their efforts. We want to get better and to go further.
What is your 2+2+2 reflection?
2 to Thank
2 to Get Better
2 to Go Further?
Geeky Gramma ~~
Retired Middle School Language Arts Teacher ~~
Writer and Thinker