A lot of emphasis is placed on professional development before a big technology initiative. That time to prepare is so important for teachers to feel ready. However, we are facing a possibly larger task: keeping the teachers interested in technology PD.
This year is a particularly stressful year because of a change in teacher evaluations on the state level and a district accreditation review. I think in some minds that has allowed technology to take a back seat. Our instructional technology team is trying very heard to keep technology PD in the spotlight and push our teachers to go beyond the substitution level with tech use. Some of the PD I have offered recently include...
Our district purchased the Mobile Learning webinars for our teachers so we wanted to make sure everyone was aware of this amazing resource.
Now that we are set up for Youtube in Education our teachers can approve videos for our students to view. This also opens the doors to tools we have not previously had access to like Edpuzzle and Educannon.
Teachers loved learning about this tool because it strips the ads off of Youtube so they can safely share the video to the class without worrying about an underwear ad popping up.
Our high school students needed practice using graphs and data so I shared resources like Daily Infographic, Human Face of Data app and infographic creation tools like Canva, Piktochart, Visual.ly, Easel.ly and Google Slides.
Creation App Practice
Our teachers are always looking for more choices for projects so I shared this session with my middle and elementary teachers. Thanks Kristen Gunter for sharing.
A few apps I've shared recently that were well received:
Flashcards NKO: our middle and high school love this app purchased by the district
I've also had sessions on Seesaw and Showbie for those that are still not using one or both of these tools. They are very popular district wide.
Last month our district hosted the Digital Innovation Institute. We invited administrators and teachers in to visit classrooms, hear about our technology journey, share our professional development and give teachers ideas for their classrooms. We had a good turn out and enjoyed sharing and learning with districts from all over the state.
Our second annual Tech the Halls bulletin board contest will be judged in the next few days and we'll deliver prizes this Friday. This was a lot of fun last year and I look forward to seeing the displays this year.
On a personal note, I've finished my first semester of classes for my Doctorate in Education in Curriculum and Instruction with the University of South Carolina. This is a three year plus dissertation program so I'll have lots of time ahead where I'll be juggling work, school and family. The struggle is real! :)