Saturday, August 16, 2014

This Week @ Elkmont High & Beyond: August 11-15, 2014

DPI Modules:

This week 3rd and 4th grade students began using MacBooks to explore how to be good Digital Citizens and how to stay safe online. Students are completing five learning modules through Common Sense Media's Digital Passport programMrs. Laura Dougherty's 3rd grade students were the first to get their hands on the MacBooks and did an AWESOME job!

I learned quite a bit from that first lesson and adjusted the lesson accordingly. Next, Mrs. Atina English, Mrs. Tina McMunn and Mrs. Anita Bates classes got started on their learning modules.

During our first visit students learned how to make safe passwords, how hard it is to multitask while using a cell phone to talk or text, and the importance of staying safe while online as well as online privacy.

Tech Comfort Survey:

Tackling a new position this year offers great new learning opportunities.  To get a better feel for the educational community in which I am now working and as the Instructional Technology Facilitator, I followed the advice gleamed from the Flipped and websites and sent out a Tech Comfort Survey.  While the results in the slideshow below may look dismal to some, to me they let me know where the "need to work on" areas are as well as who my "experts down the hall" are. 

My next step will be to work with my administrative team to create blocks of time during the school day each month for small groups of teachers to meet in a workshop setting. This workshop time is vital as it allows for collaboration between teachers and professional coaching from the Instructional Technology Facilitator.

Other open ended questions asked on the survey that will also help navigate the professional learning needs of my new school community included:

  • What technology (app, website, etc) not mentioned above do you have a high degree of confidence in using in a school/classroom setting?
  • What technologies have you heard about through PDs, other educators, or friends that you would like to learn more about?
  • If you could only learn three (3) technologies this school year, which three (3) do you feel are critical to helping you in the classroom?

Perhaps my favorite and arguably the most important open ended question came last in the survey:

I'm looking forward to an amazing year of developing meaningful learning connections with my new school community.  

Presentations & Connections:

This past Tuesday I had the wonderful opportunity to present to the Lauderdale County School Librarians.  The invite to speak with this amazing group of librarians came from District Technology Teacher, Carol Pace, who I met at the Alabama Educational Technology Conference (AETC) this past summer.

I feel as if the presentation was an epic fail, however, because I, despite having experienced a few previous bumps in the road, have still not secured a HotSpot in case the venue in which I am presenting does not have adequate Internet service.  

The lack of adequate Internet (speed in this case) prevented use of several valuable audio and video components of the presentation.  The worst aspect of my over site, however, was that the attendees were unable to actively participate in a presentation that was designed for audience participation. 

I hope that despite this, the attendees gleamed something from the session and didn't feel as if their time was wasted.  

Here is a link to the presentation and if you have adequate Internet service be sure to click on the many links embedded in the pictures to get the full effect: 

Friends shouldn't let friends listen to Voxer and drive.   

I feel very fortunate to have friends who are in this "starting a brand new job boat" with me this year.  We have our own little, private Voxer group where we can vent, encourage, support and make each other laugh as we journey down our new found paths.  

With that said, friends shouldn't let friends listen to Voxer and drive.  Jennifer, you know what you did.  I almost peed my pants and drove off the road I was laughing so hard! 

Despite the almost peeing in my pants incident I am so very grateful that I stepped outside of my comfort zone, began connecting and building professional relationships on Twitter and have developed true friendships with professional educators across this country.  If you do ONE thing this year make it TWITTER!  It will transform your life.

#iCONNECT Tech Tips Newsletter-August 11-15, 2014

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