Thursday, December 17, 2015

Walking the Technology Tight Rope



I’ve loved technology and have been intrigued on how to best integrate it into the classroom.  While teaching 6th grade at Harrison Intermediate, I was lucky enough to be teaching on a team where there was almost one computer per student in the classroom.  I taught World Cultures which was not tested in 6th grade.  This gave me the freedom to be very adventurous in my lessons.  I was willing to try any activity that involved technology.  Some of the lessons were incredible, while other lessons bombed.  Regardless of what happened, the kids always seemed to enjoy coming to class because they were learning about both world cultures and technology.

This year at Whitt I have about one device for every two students.  This gives me a lot of freedom on how I can use technology in the classroom.  Although I have had a lot previously successful experiences using technology in my classroom in the past, I am not nearly as adventuresome as I was in the past.  Since I’m now teaching a STAAR tested subject, I am very careful and intentional on how I use technology in the classroom.  When I am preparing my lessons, I always think about what I feel is going to get me the best results.  A lot of the time this is a lesson without technology.  I am often hesitant about using too much technology.  I’m afraid if I change too much in the classroom, I may not get the same results that I got last year.

I am hoping that as I get more comfortable teaching math (this is my just my second year teaching 4th grade math), that I will be more willing to take risks again.  I want to find the proper balance in my classroom of using the right amount of technology while still getting great growth from my students.

Allen Wade


Wednesday, December 9, 2015

More Celebrations than Challenges! 

When I last posted, I was feeling frustration and stress because I didn't feel completely in control of the technology. As with any new implementation (technology or otherwise), I had some anxiety because of change. This happens whenever I try anything new in the classroom, so I don't know why it surprised me. Stress from change is nothing new to me! That doesn't mean the new strategies aren't valuable; it just means that I need to realize that the stress is normal and that it will dissipate as I become more proficient at what I’m learning to do.

All that being said, I know that there are some things I’ve done in the classroom that have lessened my stress and made the iPads even more valuable to my students!

One of the biggest things I’ve done (that caused some anxiety in me that I don’t understand at all now) is invite students to bring their own devices. That’s right. First graders bringing their own devices. I thought it was crazy and didn’t think I would have any takers. I have four students who bring iPads every day. I have two others who bring them 3-4 days per week. This allows us to work 2:1 on most iPad projects. This is COMPLETELY DOABLE for every task we’ve attempted. Sometimes I have so many iPads in my room that students don’t have a partner if they don’t want to have a partner!

Students work together on a personal device to create a KidPicCollage.




What I’ve learned about BYOD:
·        Ask parents to preload devices with the apps you plan to use.
·        If parents don’t mind, ask them to show/teach their students how to download apps. Some parents prefer to do it themselves with 1st graders, but I imagine that more upper grades parents will allow their students to download.
·        Remind students to take them home each day. Amazingly, the students who forget to take their water bottles and lunchboxes home rarely forget to take their iPads home! J
·        It’s really easy and makes a huge difference in the classroom!!

I also began using an app that COMPLETELY changed how I viewed student products on iPads, both literally and figuratively. I set up a classroom on Seesaw, which is “a student-driven digital portfolio that empowers students to independently document what they are learning at school.” What this really means is that students can upload their work so that you can access it from your computer, your phone or your iPad! If you want, you can provide parent access so that their parents see what they are doing in class! You can provide feedback via comments, as can other students (if you set it up that way). There are settings that allow you to approve all work/comments so that nothing is viewable that you don’t allow. Students can also take pictures of the work they do in their learning journals to share with their parents (instead of waiting until the end of the school year).
You can share links with specific people like this:

 or this:

This is the view from my phone:
This is the view from my phone. Sadie can see my comment.

This is another student's product. I was able to easily download it from Seesaw.


I really encourage you to invite your students to bring their devices to school. I’ll be happy to help type up an email to parents if you are interested! I also encourage you to start using Seesaw in your classroom. I can help you. Jacque Prater can help you. My team is jumping on board with it now, so I’m sure they can help you, too!


Facilitator, not Teacher


 

     Taking a backseat in the classroom didn’t come easy for me at first. As teachers, we like to have control over every aspect of all activities in our classroom. What I’ve learned over the past few months is that students are ready to take charge when it comes to iPad use in my classroom. So, what that said, I started looking for apps that would be appropriate for specific learning objectives. As I stumbled on to apps, I would learn the basics…just enough to explain how to use the app to my classes and how to use it with a specific learning objective in mind. From that point forward, my students became the teachers. They taught me, each other, and themselves.

     One example of this is using an app called Popplet Lite. This version is free and has some simple, but creative components that allow students to complete assignments while adding their own twist to their work. We have used Popplet Lite several times. Each time students have been able to dig deeper and add more components to their assignments.

     Several weeks ago, students were learning about cause and effect. We read a short story; there were questions targeted at assessing student understanding. Instead of using a paper and pencil, I asked students to build a Popplet and find as many cause and effect examples in the story as they could. I stepped back and watched them work. They found examples, learned how to type in their square, and how to add color to their squares.


     Next, students read the book “Boom.” Because we had used Popplet before, I asked them to create a Popplet showing examples of cause and effect found in this book about volcanoes.



     They learned how to add lines connecting ideas. Students did a gallery walk to look at the different examples from the one book. Compliments were being made, ideas were exchanged, and again, I was the facilitator. They were the teachers. As a teacher, I didn’t get caught up on spelling and punctuation. I wanted them to “show me” what they knew. The more they work with the app, the better writers they will become.

     Last week, students used Popplet Lite to create a timeline about Wylie, specifically noting how it has changed over the years.  Students started by researching the History of Wylie on the Wylie website. Via the web, I found an example of a timeline created using Popplet and shared it with my students to refer to as they worked. I challenged them to take what they had learned about Wylie and create a timeline using Popplet Lite, including at least five relevant facts. I mentioned that they could add pictures, if they wanted to. Within minutes, they discovered how to get a picture from the website and into their Popplet timeline. By they time they were finished, most students had found more than five facts, and the pictures they added were perfect!


     I can honestly say my students have learned and taught me how to use Popplet Lite. This is an easy-to-use app that has allowed me to take the role of facilitator in my classroom. I found that it's not so scary to reverse roles in my classroom!


Saturday, November 7, 2015

Meaningful Technology

I love technology. Technology opens the door to so many possibilities: keeping up with friends that have moved away, make new friends, learn through Professional Learning Networks, and share experiences. There are so many wonderful things that can be accomplished with the use of technology. 

With that said I believe technology can't replace the personal experience of learning in the classroom and building relationships face-to-face, however, I believe technology can provide ways to enhance our students learning experience in a way that is relevant to their world. One question I ask while planning to use technology in my classroom is, "Will this activity/app/website assist my student in developing a deeper understanding of what we are learning?"  There have been times when I have answered myself with no, I'm just trying to get technology in - and that activity was not used.  I guess that means it's not WHAT we use for education that makes a difference but HOW we use it. 

In our first unit my kiddos learned how to build a number with a decimal using an app called Number Pieces and Number Line. These apps are amazing, and can eliminate the clang of the noisy plastic number pieces I like to build numbers with. 

 Note: Mrs. Wiest photo bombed :) 


Next my app crazed kids put all of their number creations in Pic Collage so that they could type in the three forms of a number (standard, expanded, and written).  


Lastly, the tech savvy kiddos smashed it all together into Educreations and recorded an explanation of the number they created. Below is one example of a student's finished recording. 

Sample

If you want to try any of these apps and have questions just see me and I would love to help. 

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

You want me to what??

Hey y’all,
At the beginning of the year I was terrifiedTERRIFIED I tell you. I was thinking:

Would the kids be able to handle this?

We are only getting 5 Ipads, these kids are going to fight over these things like crazy!!!

Can they stay on task?

Am I going to have to waste my intervention/guided reading time trying to get an app to work?

I have had some great experiences so far! Don’t get me wrong, there are times where it has seemed overwhelming. However, when I saw that my one year old could navigate through his favorite apps I started realizing that this could be do-able. The kids are great at sharing the Ipads. They love helping each other out if someone can’t figure out how to work an app. Also, when they discover a feature on an app that we didn’t know, they are excited to share with the whole class.



My team has been amazing at incorporating different apps into our lessons! One of the ones we tried last week in math was the Geoboard app.  We introduced 2D shapes and their attributes and then we placed our students into groups. As a group they worked together to figure out how to use this new app. They loved it!! We had to play around with it to figure out how to make the shapes with the different rubber bands but the kids caught on so quickly. We are now using this app as a rotation in our math stations. I really think it has been one of their favorites!







Keep on, Wolves! :)

Jill Brown

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Bitsboard



The more I use the app, the more options I find! 


Boards:Boards are available for many subjects and grades. The picture below shows a few examples. Anytime you see the cloud, those boards are free.



Games: In addition to the variety of boards available, you can choose from up to 29 “game” choices.  Each game can also be customized within each board, giving you additional level options.  Games can be played with pictures only, pictures and words or words only.  Other options include session length, word highlighting and audio hints.



Create Your Own: If you don’t see the board you need, just create one.  I took pictures of color cards and uploaded them.  Now my student has multiple games to play with the cards rather than just pointing to them on the table.  There is even an option to record sound on each picture. 


As students choose correct answers, the game adds additional choices.
The options in settings allows you to show as few as one and as many as 10 pictures or words.


Sharing: In order to use your created apps on another device you need to share them.  This allows others to see the boards and import them. This process is very simple and found in the contents section (3 dots in the top right corner of the screen).



Data: If you are looking for data, the scorecard is saved and can be viewed under the account tab if you purchase the app for $19.99.  My current work around is to screenshot the scorecard before closing it.  Please let us know if you think of another option. 


Each game has it's own scorecard.

Or you can click the "all time" tab and see multiple results.




A Few Ways We are Using Bitsboard
  • We use the sight word games during our morning arrival to keep students engaged.  They are practicing their sight words while playing games.
  • Students are utilizing money, time to the hour, colors, shapes, vocabulary, and emotions games so far.
  • The flexibility and individualization ability allows me to set games for student IEP practice and generalization.



Additional information:  http://bitsboard.com/ 




Sunday, October 18, 2015

Celebrations and Challenges

I was very excited about adding iPads to the classroom at the beginning of the year and have experienced some real successes, but it hasn’t been without some frustration, too. I want to write about a little bit of both in case others are experiencing some of the same frustrations. I don’t want anyone to feel like it is just them who is struggling with the transition.
First, the celebrations:
  • ·        We use iPads every morning during Morning Work (when I pull students for Math interventions). As students finish their review, they are able to choose an iPad or a traditional math game. They are eager to come in the room and complete their work so that they can be one of the students who is able to use the math apps on the iPad.
  • ·        We have completed several PicCollage activities: an American symbols scavenger hunt during the first week of school (great idea, Debbie!), a noun sort (thanks to Jacque Prater who helped us figure out how to put a three-column background onto the app!) and a cardinal directions scavenger hunt (thanks to Sharla and Debbie!).
  • ·        Students love to use Scribblify for Working with Words in literacy stations. They are creating word families and word practice on the iPad and love to practice their spelling.
  • ·        GetEpic! is an awesome reading app that we use in literacy stations. You will need to sign in and set up your class, but it’s really easy. It took me less than five minutes to type all of their names (and this can be done on the computer at www.getepic.com). Students then access the app on the ipad and find their name and icon. The first time they login, they will take an interest inventory and are asked how old they are. I supervised this with my first graders and had them sit at the table in small groups while they completed the login. I think older students could easily complete this on their own.

o   Now the fun part- when students login, they are able to choose from recommended books. They can choose to listen to a book or to read a book. One of my sweet girls figured out yesterday that there is a dropdown box that allows you to sort by “listen only” or by interest areas.
o   Many students brought earbuds, but I also have students who don’t have them, so I have taught them to turn the volume down and to find a quiet spot. This was a bit of a struggle at the beginning of the year, but it seems to be working now.
  • ·        I learned about Seesaw this summer, but didn’t do anything with it until this week until Dewawn reminded me of it. It looks like it is going to be a great resource. I have it on my phone and my teacher iPad right now, but plan to download it onto student iPads once I become more comfortable with it. For now, I’m able to snap pictures of student work for RtI instead of saving it to make copies. This way, I can return it to the students right away to take home on Thursdays instead of creating another pile on my desk!

o   Ideally, I will let my students snap photos of work that they do, especially the work that stays in their Math/Science notebooks or Reading/Word Study notebooks. Their parents will be able to use the Seesaw app to logon and see their child’s work throughout the year.
  • ·        I’ve also opened up my classroom to student technology. I was a little nervous about this, but a few brave parents took the plunge and send iPads with their students. Some send them every day. A few only send them when requested, but when I add student iPads to my classroom iPads (which include three from ESL), then I have enough for two students to one iPad which really seems to help with the sharing issue that we often face in first grade! J

So, I’ve definitely seen quite a few successes within this transition, but I’ve faced (am facing) some challenges, too.
  • ·        I currently have one working Lightning charger in my room, which makes it quite a juggling act to keep the iPads charged. It was a struggle to begin with when only two chargers fit into the surge protector at a time, but I wish I had those two now! We discovered this problem one morning last week when we walked in and neither of the iPads that had been plugged in overnight had any charge at all. I switched some chargers around and found one that worked, so this is going to continue to be a challenge it appears.
  • ·        I have used Lexia on classroom computers for several years and love this program for intervention. I was excited to find that there is a Lexia app for the iPad. I didn’t expect it to take close to thirty minutes to download and to take up so much space on the iPads. Also, it often requires a teacher email address in order for students to login even though I’ve already set up my account on each iPad. It seems to “lose” it on a regular basis, so students have to interrupt small groups for me to login for them again. It also has problems connecting to the server several times per week, taking up to 10 minutes. Some people have suggested not letting the app ever close so it doesn’t lose my login, but when we run out of chargers, this can’t be avoided.
  • ·        When students bring their own iPads, they don’t usually know the password for the app store, so if parents haven’t downloaded the apps we need, then we can’t use their iPad for the lesson that day, which really disappoints them. Or, I’ve spent time teaching students how to download apps when their parent sent me the password.
  • ·        Tracie found an awesome app called Popplet that we were so excited to use in math. I downloaded it on Friday before the lesson on Monday and practiced with it several times over the weekend so that I would be familiar with it. It worked great during all of my trials.

o   Then, the lesson happened. The app couldn’t access the photos the students were taking because I hadn’t used those iPads to practice and didn’t realize they would ask for permission to access photos. Many students pressed no because they weren’t really familiar with what it was asking.
o   I accessed the settings on each of those iPads while the students waited and changed the permissions, but it still wouldn’t let them take pictures from the app. They had to take pictures from the camera, then access the camera roll. It was a work around, but this took up a lot of class time and I felt like we didn’t achieve the math learning we needed that day. This was really discouraging because I was so excited about the use of this app.
  • ·        PicCollage was the app we used for two lessons at the beginning of the year and we really loved it. I stayed after school one day to download this app onto my classroom iPads and looked forward to using it all year. Then we learned that we needed to delete it and install PicCollage for Kids. I know it doesn’t sound like a lot, but it was just another item on the ever-growing to do list. I wish my students were ready to download apps for me, but when I’ve tried, I’ve spent time clarifying and helping them out which takes away from instruction with other students.
  • ·        My longest lasting concern has been about student work. How do I know what students are doing on the iPad when I’m not standing over them? We had some challenges in stations, but those seem to have slowed down and students often “police” their friends when they aren’t using the iPads appropriately. I also haven’t figured out a good way to assess their work or save it. I tried to use Dropbox for this, but for some reason, the accounts won’t stay logged in and they won’t automatically upload the pictures like it does with my personal Dropbox. I’ve downloaded Google Drive on my teacher iPad, but don’t know how to get the photos from student iPads onto my teacher iPad. Surely I’ll figure this out by the end of the year, right? J


In sum, I’m still really excited about using iPads in the classroom, but there have definitely been some challenges.  I was hesitant to share them, but when I read only positives on the blog before I wrote mine, I felt a little disheartened, like maybe I was the only person experiencing challenges. I know, though, that this isn’t true, so wanted to share both sides of my experiences. If you have any suggestions that would help, I would love to hear them! 

Friday, October 9, 2015

Labels, Apples, and Skitch, Oh My!

Hey there Whitt friends! I hope you’re hanging in there with conferences! I can’t believe it’s already mid-October - this year is going by so quickly already! This week, I wanted to share with y'all a little app I found called Skitch.

Skitch is an app that lets you mark up and label pictures, and it has so many implications across grade levels that I’ll share a little later.

We used Skitch about two weeks ago. We were just beginning to stretch out words using our linking chart and we were discussing our 5 senses in science using apples. To introduce the app, I pulled a small group of kids during centers, and we took a selfie. We then went through all of the “ins and outs” of Skitch together—drawing arrows and adding words (the app can do other things like draw, pixelate images, etc). These friends then had the kuleana of teaching the app to a friend during our whole group lesson later that day.

That afternoon, we did a lesson on apple parts.  I gave my small group friends the app (pre-loaded with the picture I wanted them to label) and a friend to “teach” the app to. They were responsible for adding the labels to their iPad picture. With the other half of kiddos, we spread out the labels and each got our apple.  We discussed each part individually, its function, and then labeled it on our chart. We were able to explore the apple with all our senses, use our knowledge of letter sounds, and correctly identify each part. During this discussion, my “iPadders” were responsible for stretching out the word and labeling the part on their corresponding picture. This was a great segue into being “brave spellers” and taking risks in writing.


The next day, I put the app into our center rotation, pre-loaded with a picture of yours truly.  My friends were responsible for labeling me using Skitch during our ELA center time. I, unfortunately, did not get a picture of their finished products. Not a single one.  #thestruggleisreal 
But goodness—they were so very excited to show me their work that week. There was a lot of “Mrs. R! I labeled your pants!” and “I labeled her hair—Look! I spelled hair!” #proudteachermoment

Y'all. There are SO MANY applications! You could use this app when you’re talking about adjectives to brainstorm words about certain kiddos (talk about a confidence booster too!), or label the parts of animals/plants in science. You could also pre-load the app with a picture of a character and list character traits. Load it with a picture of a number and have your kiddos compose and decompose it. Place value? That too! The possibilities are truly endless.

Hang in there friends! There’s only 30 days till Thanksgiving Break! #allthecarbs 

Getting the hang of this iPad thing, 
Kristin

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Kahoot it!



If you've never used Kahoot, you should give it a try! Simply go to https://getkahoot.com, create a login, and get started. You can either create your own Kahoot quiz or search through the THOUSANDS of Kahoot quizzes other educators have already created. Why reinvent the wheel? 


However, if you don't find anything you like, Kahoot makes it simple for anyone to create a quiz. It walks you through each step to create different types of questions including multiple choice, discussions, or surveys. Click here to watch a short 3 minute video that explains how to play a game of Kahoot. 

Recently, I used Kahoot to create a mini assessment over Similes and Metaphors. I typed up 10 sentences that each included either a simile or a metaphor, and students had to identify the differences. Once you've created a quiz, you'll have to launch the quiz, and then you'll be given a PIN for students to access the quiz with their devices. 

All students have to do is go to a web browser such as Safari and type in kahoot.it, type in the PIN, and they're all set! It's so fun watching the kids get excited about a quiz! The faster the students are at identifying the right answer, the more points they receive. The top 5 students will be displayed on the screen after each question. 

Feel free to come see me if you need help setting up your first Kahoot quiz!

Dewawn

Monday, September 28, 2015

Using Haiku Deck in Writing

Hey Y'all!
Well I'm a week late, but that's the story of my life!  I have to admit I was a little bit leery about integrating so much technology into my daily classroom life.  That might surprise you when you learn that I was part of the Speed 21 initiative last year.  I have already had iPads for a year, but I never felt like I got enough training on how to utilize them effectively. However, I consider myself a fairly innovative and adaptable teacher, so I guess it is time to dive in!


At the beginning of the year, I came up with three main criteria for using the iPads in my class:
1. It could not just be busy work (basically a digital worksheet).
2. It could not waste valuable learning time.
3. It had to be purposeful and meaningful.

After dabbling with a few apps and websites with my kids, I was impressed by how well they were able to navigate the iPads.  It is second nature to them because most of them have been using a tablet of some sort since they were itty bitty.

This week, we tried some writing using the Haiku Deck app as our publishing tool.  We've been working on some lessons out of the Empowering Writers book dealing with elaborative detail.  The students were ready for some independent practice, so I put them with a partner and an iPad (I have 12 thanks to Speed 21).  I quickly modeled how to search for a stock photo in the app.  We used "child" as our search word.  The stock photos in Haiku Deck are beautiful and there are LOTS to choose from.  I love that the kids don't have to do an Internet search for pictures which can get a little dicey.

Each group picked a photo that they thought was interesting, set it as the background of their slide and used bullets to write highly descriptive sentences about the child in their photo.  Some even had time to jazz up their slides with emojis!





After all of the groups had completed their slides, we set the iPads up around the room and had a gallery walk.  I challenged the students to remember one sentence from another group's writing that stood out to them and that they thought was exemplary.  To wrap up, we shared our favorite sentences with the class and bragged on each other's writing.



I asked the kids to give me some feedback on the Haiku Deck app and they loved it.  They were coming up with many new and different ways they could use it in the future.  I think Haiku Deck will become a regular in my classroom!


Emily

Monday, September 21, 2015

Learning Something New Everyday!

Hello fellow technology users!  To begin with…I am the person who had never touched an ipad! Yep,  I didn’t have a clue on how to take a screen shot or a picture.  Needless to say, I have been learning a lot these days.  Every time I show my kiddos something new they turn around and show me something new.  Yes, you heard that right!  It’s been quite interesting.  I am amazed at what these kiddos know! 

I’m sure many of you have already been using the app Math Pieces.  It is a great tool that allows you to use base ten blocks to create models.  I had my students create a model using the base ten blocks.  Then they traded ipads and wrote the number in standard form, expanded form, and word form on the ipad. 


 Another app that I have used in class is the Show Me app.  Show Me can be used in many ways.  We have been learning about fairy tales in second grade.  In the writing station I had my students use the typing tool to create their own fairy tales.  The typing was slow but they loved it!  They were able to save their work and come back to it. 

I'm looking forward to reading what others are doing!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pic Collage with First Graders

When I first found out our campus was going to receive iPads for the classroom, I was excited and terrified at the same time.  I was not a technology person and had no clue about iPads. Seriously, upgraded to a iphone in early 2014 from the old slider phones.

So I made the choice to embrace the technology world and dove right in the first week of school with my first graders using the iPads.  I divided the class into five groups and we went on an American symbol scavenger hunt around campus.  The students each took a turn taking a picture of the symbol that they had found. We came back to class and shared the pictures with each group of the items they found.  This was a great activity because they all got a chance to use the iPad.  I was thrilled that we all actually did a great job with this activity. 

Since they did a great job using the camera feature, I introduced the pic collage app to them the third week of school.   We used this app as a noun sorting activity.   First thing I did, was to take a picture of a paper with three columns labeled person, place and thing (Thanks to Jacque Prater) and saved it as a background on pic collage.  I then gave instructions to take pictures of nouns around the room with their groups.  I also went around and took pictures and offered help as needed.  After some time, the class sat down back at their tables.  I showed them the iPad on the projector modeling how to move the pictures from the camera roll to the pic collage background.  They were doing this along with me and taking turns getting their pictures off the camera roll to the pic collage background.  The next step was showing them how to move/sort the pictures into the correct column on the chart.   All I can say is WOW!   It was a long learning process but we all did it together and it turned out great!!!

So after three weeks of school, I'm no longer terrified of technology in the classroom.  It is an amazing educational tool for students and teachers.   


















Tuesday, September 8, 2015

QR codes

Educational technology is one of my passions! I am so excited and nervous to step outside the comfort zone of my classroom to share some of the ideas I have used.

QR codes are one of the first things that opened my eyes to technology in the classroom. They’re cool, mysterious and very user friendly. Perfect for students and teachers!

First of all, don’t recreate the wheel. You can search for QR code lesson ideas on Pinterest, Teachers Pay Teachers and blogs. There is something for every subject, experience level and grade level.

I use the I-nigma app to scan QR codes. It is a free download on your iPad.

 This is a QR code center I have up in my room right now for the alphabet. The kids caught on so fast and remained engaged! I love it and so do they!


 Occasionally, I will need something specific. You can create your own QR codes. I have created QR code scavenger hunts for word wall practice, science reteach and more! Class Tools is my favorite website to use for this.


Another quick and easy way to use QR codes is to create a personal code. I update my personal QR code each year and encourage parents to scan it on their smart phone so they can instantly access and save my important information. I got the idea from this Pinterest post.

This is my favorite free QR code generator.

I hope this is something you can run with and not feel overwhelmed. If you have any questions or have more ideas on this topic I would love to hear from you!!



Wednesday, August 19, 2015

A place to pause..and reflect.,,

There can no longer be an “opt out” clause when dealing with technology in our schools. We need to prepare our kids to live in this world now and in the future. Change may feel hard, but it is part of learning.  We expect it from our kids, we need to expect it from ourselves.

I’ve yet to hear anyone who has stuck with blogging suggest it’s been anything less than essential to their growth and improvement. If you look at the promise of Professional Learning Communities that our schools have invested thousands, more likely millions to achieve, blogs accomplish much of the same things. The basic idea of the PLC is to have teachers share practice/data and work in teams to make improvements. A good blog does this and more.

What does mean to us as a Wolf? It means providing with our staff with opportunities to share from their experiences in the classroom. It means providing support as you take this chance to put yourself out there and are transparent. Your expertise, your missteps, your experiences ALL have value and we can ALL learn from you






Utilizing this blog, we are going to reflect in safe space together. Each week a different staff member will be asked to reflect on something happening in their classroom that deals with our technology initiative, whether that be directly or indirectly. It doesn't have to be long, or fancy. It just has to be written and heart felt. Failure is welcome here.


The schedule can be found here. Your "post" is to be shared at any point in your window, comment on your team’s posts as you are able. (You'll feel the importance of comments on YOUR week!:))