Wednesday, 23 June 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Below is an e-mail I am sending to my entire faculty to explain my new position as the Instructional Technology Specialist next fall. I have also included a link to the survey I am sending to gather information about technology use in the school. I am hoping to clarify any confusion with my role next year and to gauge the comfort levels of my colleagues. Please leave your feedback, comments, and suggestions about this post. Also, if you are currently an ITS or have worked as a Tech Coach, please share your experience.
NOTE: Please feel free to access the survey, but do not submit any responses. Thank you!
Dear Faculty and Staff,
Next year you will have an Instructional Technology Specialist in the building. Wait…we have a what-now? You heard it right. Next fall I will become – not physically transform – the Instructional Technology Specialist for the entire school. So, what does that look like? What can I do for you? What is my role at Boys’ Latin? Marcinek is a Specialist? These are all valid questions and I am writing this memo - sorry for lack of TPS cover page - to answer your queries about this position and explain what my position entails.
In short, Help me, Help you
I am not the technology czar. I am your technology integration friend, your resident nerd. It is my goal to help you integrate technology with the content you are already teaching and not force you to try anything you don't feel comfortable trying. I will develop a technology integration plan for each teacher and each department. We will work together to develop new ways to use technology to present rich content to our students. By no means am I asking you to change your way of teaching, simply rethink lessons and assessments.
For those that exclusively teach freshmen, this does not exclude you from the fun. In fact, I could still manage this position without any technology in the classroom. As I said before, it will be one of my goals to take rich content and put a new spin on the way you present and assess it. Also, we have access to two COWs (Computers On Wheels) that we can integrate into your classes for various projects and assignments. No smartboard? No problem.
Starting in August, I will meet with each department team and each individual teacher. We will work together to develop a technology (or 21st century skills and assessments) plan. Each plan will have three year long goals that focus on technology and 21st century skills and assessment integration. I will help maintain those year long goals and assist both inside and outside of your classroom.
If you have any questions about my new position or would like to brainstorm some ideas for next year please don't hesitate to ask. In the next few days I will be following up with a quick survey to gain a clearer understanding of your needs and wants for technology. I will also be sending out a regular EdTech newsletter that focuses on new educational platforms, websites, links, blogs, student work, etc. I will be revising my website to focus on my new position,this page will have a calendar in which you can sign up throughout the course of a week to schedule time for me to work on a project with you and your class or to schedule time outside of class to design a project or unit plan. I am here to support your teaching in any way possible.
Again, if you have any questions concerning my new position or how I can support your classroom, please ask. Let's start the conversation and see what we can build for next year.
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Last night edchat convened for another riveting discussion as it does every Tuesday at 12pm and 7pm EST. The topic last evening was, If we were to create a best practices PD program, what are the elements that we should see? The conversation was rich and chalk full of progressive ideas. One of my early suggestions was to take the Edcamp model and mimicking the same style in faculty PD sessions. PDs should be a conversation and allow everyone to lead and present ideas for best practices.
As the conversation progressed, I wanted to hear specifically what everyone was thinking for a PD session and what PD sessions others have already incorporated. I proposed that we extend the edchat topic to a Google Doc. I set up the document and within minutes my inbox was overflowing with requests and the Doc was filling up with excellent ideas for PD sessions. I want to share what the list we generated and I will list it at the end of this post. If you would like to be a part of this ongoing collaborative, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
This is the true essence of edchat. Edchat allows us to rapidly generate ideas in an organized and focused manner. However, the true merit of edchat is what follows. Last week I left edchat writing a blog post on Reinventing Assessment in the 21st Century. And tonight we created a Google Doc that generated a useful list of professional development ideas that any administrator, teacher, or tech coach can use at any time next year.
Edchat is a collaborative community that generates stimulating, thought provoking discussion on a weekly basis. We should not limit edchat to 1 hour. Edchat should continue on and generate ideas and provoke thought within our classrooms and our schools.
Below is the list that was generated from our Google Doc. 1. My first PD will cover The brilliance of Google forms and the ability for teachers to track data and maintain a digital record of student work. I will use my wikispace as an example http://blenglish.wikispaces.com/ by @andycinek
2. Using Twitter to develop a Personal Learning network @davidwees
3. How to manage a 1 to 1 program in your classroom @davidwees
4. Teaching paperless @davidwees
8. Clickers and Formative Assessment in classrooms of all sizes @21stcenturychem 9. How to create online learning content with Moodle @Mr_Lister 10. Integrating technology in the classroom - examples for non-tech savvy educators @Mr_Lister
11. Student-centered learning in the science classroom @21stcenturychem
12. Responsible use of online resources in the secondary classroom @21stcenturychem
13. Beyond Powerpoint... 'nuff said @21stcenturychem
14. Bypassing MS Office: Using Google Docs to facilitate a paperless classroom. @21stcenturychem 15. Using Google Docs to collaborate with other teachers for lesson planning and committee work. @RjWassink 16. Using google docs for faculty collaboration JUST LIKE THIS! :) @andycinek 17. using ustream (or equivilent) for live streaming exciting classroom / school events @RjWassink
18. Creating an Authentic Based Classroom through the use of PBL @daylynn
19. Using http://www.jingproject.com/ to help teachers provide better feedback on student work (verbal comments & screencast) @michelleleandra
20. Service Learning Online? Blogs as a way to connect classrooms globally (and locally) @21stcenturychem 21. Using students to help teach teachers how to use tech tools in their classrooms @missbartel
@jkokladas is doing this in her district next fall for more info 22. Developing reliability and validity in differentiated assessment @DrTimony
23. Creating Personal Learning Networks @actionhero
24. Be Social With Your Bookmarks @actionhero
25. RSS: The Killer App @actionhero
26. Media literacy--critical reading and deconstructing of ads for our kids. Information, not prohibition! @DrTimony
27. Using student & teacher blogs as a means of achieving transparency in classroom instruction @arosey
28. Best ways to collaborate @cybraryman1