A focus of mine over the last few years has been to expand device availability for students at my school. My (not-so-) secret dream is for the whole school to be 1:1. Last year, we got our first class together and it was wonderful to see the engagement, development, and excitement in the students. I really wanted to start the year out with another class having the chance to have computers on their desks all day (while maintaining our first class, too). While I couldn't get it together for day 1, we were still able to make it happen early in September.
It is exciting to see the shift in both the students and the teacher in terms of learning and instruction. The 'go to' resource trends toward the computer and toward Google Apps for Education (which I love!). I am most proud of my teachers when they make that change in HOW they teach...because that is a huge change for them. It's amazing to see how flexible they become once they see the difference that dedicated devices make in the students.
In the past few days, I have started working with my teachers on starting up their Google Classrooms. They are very excited to have such an easy-to use, seamless resource available to them. I think it's going to make the biggest difference in the 1:1 classrooms. So much of their work is done in Google Apps and Google Classroom is going to make such a difference in keeping things organized and make it easier for teachers to make that transition to online learning. I can't wait to see the amazing innovative learning that comes out of our classes!
What impact have Google Education tools had at your school?
Wow! This year has gotten off to a very busy start. I have very much enjoyed helping my staff get started with their school year- it's amazing to see the excitement on their faces in anticipation of guiding their students to amazing learning opportunities.
One of my favorite parts of my job is what I call Technology Planning- it designated time devoted to one staff member (or team) that is entirely teacher-driven. I train them on new technology that they are interested it, but it is tailored to their individual needs. We discuss how they can integrate technology into their lessons or discover innovative ways for them to change how they do things.
It is such a luxury to have that time for one-on-one training and support time. I feel like it gives teachers the time and the safe environment to ask the questions they need to ask and to work through parts that are more challenging to them. We typically create a goal that we can work toward achieving and use that as our guide each time we meet. Some truly amazing results have come out of Technology Planning and I have been tickled to see the increased number of teachers that are approaching me to schedule tech planning. I have more than twice the number of teachers working weekly with me this year when compared to last year. It's especially important to me this year, since one of MY goals is build relationships with my staff.
We all know that teachers don't have a great deal of time during the day, so to have my staff taking time from their busy days to devote to technology shows me that technology integration is important to them, which I appreciate.
What are you excited about this year?
I love Twitter (see previous post for reasons why). As I was developing my Personal Learning Network this year, I discovered that there are other SBTS (Technology Coaches) in FCPS (my division) that share my affinity for Twitter. After many discussions, we decided to host/moderate/get going on some Twitter discussions that are tailored for the region that we live & work in.
Our group couldn't agree on exactly what the focus should be (our division vs our region), so we decided to do both:
The Twitter chats take place on Wednesdays from 8-9 pm and we love to see new faces- so feel free to lurk or actively participate. Please let me know if you have questions about it...I'd love to help you get involved.
How have you expanded your PLN this year?
I'm a Technology Coach and IT Support for a school. I'm passionate about 1:1 classrooms technology in instruction.