Saturday, July 1, 2017

Digital Conversion...slow and steady

Imagine that you find out that you are going to be getting 1;1 laptops in your classroom for the next school year!  What is your reaction?  My guess is that most of us would be excited at the opportunity to explore using new tools for digital learning. Or you feel your palms start to sweat, your head throbs and the room starts to spin as you think "What now?"

In an attempt to ease the minds of our teachers before the full digital conversion starts next school year, we held a half day digital conversion inservice. We spent our first hour of the day giving the teachers the "meat and potatoes" of next year's conversion.  We explained the Schoology Resource file that is housing all of our materials.

We also made classroom resources for teachers and I even added some custom color schemes because I know that we teachers love our classroom themes.  The posters were designed in primary designs as well so that even our littlest learners can take responsibility for their own learning!
I have included some examples below.

Our second hour was a "scavenger hunt" through the classrooms of our pilot 1:1 teachers.  The teachers labeled examples of different ISTE standards demonstrated in their student work.  There were also scenarios posted in each room that gave real-life examples of ISTE standards in action. Below is an example of one of the scenarios and the ISTE standards that were addressed.

The third hour was devoted to collaboration between teachers to create/plan some kind of system or product that would help them or benefit their team in the new school year.  Many teams worked on management systems for their devices and programs.  One kindergarten team designed a virtual field trip activity that addressed American locations that correlated to a story that is in our Wonders reading program.  They even designed a "tour book" with questions about the Golden Gate Bridge, Mount Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, etc. 

Our teachers are doing great things with the ISTE standards in their classrooms and I hope to continue highlighting them as the school year goes on.
Wednesday, May 17, 2017

LOOKEE!!!!   Thanks Liz!!!!  What will you inspire me to do next?????
Sunday, May 14, 2017

Digital Conversion...a new frontier

As the 2016-2017 school year comes to an end, my school district is reflecting on the 1:1 technology pilot program that has been underway in grades 2-5.  We have learned so much on this journey including the ever popular lesson learned -- pace yourself. There are SO MANY fun, fantastic, convenient apps and programs out there and available to teachers and students. Which one to use?

This is an exciting question when you have teachers that have volunteered to pilot a 1:1 initiative, have laptops available to all of the students in their classrooms, are told "go with it" and are thrilled to do so.  What happens when you tell all of the other teachers that they will also have this opportunity?
For some, they will be as excited and the itinitial group.  And for is a terrifying new frontier. 

In my position as K-5 Instructional Specialist, it is my job to help ease this transition.  There have been facutly meetings discussing the upcoming changes, a full afternoon of sharing between the "veterans" of digital conversion and the brave new entrants. In order to give our colleagues a starting point I created a "Top Tech" handout.  We polled the current teachers and asked what their "go-to" web sites and apps are. See belowfor the results!