There are many exciting things happening in our schools. There are new endeavors underway in many of our classrooms. I’d like to share about that first. Here’s a quick list of some of the great things that are underway:
- A teacher is using Skype to help a student who’s out of school due to surgery stay connected with the class.
- A teacher is using Skype to connect with an author.
- A teacher is using Google Video Chat to connect with a teacher in Texas every Wednesday. They share books with one another’s classes, resources (a live webcam of an eaglet hatching!), and are working on a poetry project together.
- A number of teachers are using a new app called Scribblepress with their students. The students are creating fabulous illustrated stories that are then added on to all of our iPads in the K-2 building. All students can read one another’s stories.
- The iPads are being used for digital storytelling, podcasting, and other valuable creations. We’re moving away from using them as a substitute for other devices and are utilizing the power of this tool. That’s moving forward!
- A teacher is exploring an app called Educreations for students to use as an exit card in math and to describe their mathematical thinking.
- A few teachers are exploring the Flipped Classroom concept and are finding ways to make it work with their students.
- One of our teachers writes regularly on a classroom blog and a professional blog. She was contacted by an educator in Virginia who discovered her blogs. This educator wrote a grant to come visit our schools in Vermont. She’ll be here this week seeing examples of technology integration in literacy. At least 5 other teachers in addition to the host teacher will be sharing with our guest.
- More teachers are using blogs with their students. Student voices are being heard.
The second thing I’d like to share is the continued work of our PLP team. I’ve written about the work we’re doing in previous posts. We’re all working to build our PLNs and are doing our best to gather stories of how being connected impacts student learning. If you’d like to share any story, please do so on this post. More stories are emerging, not only from others globally that read posts like mine. They’re also emerging from our own experiences.
The 7 of us on the PLP team from our district are reflecting on a Google site together and supporting one another through this experience. We have all grown – especially on Twitter, connected, shared resources, retweeted, participated in Twitter chats and gathered ideas we can use today or save for tomorrow. We’re thinking about our next steps and how we transfer our energy and enthusiasm about being connected educators to others in our district. I heard one teammate say, “I don’t understand why all teachers aren’t on Twitter.” That did my heart good; it’s nice to have colleagues in my local community feel as I do about connecting with other educators. It truly IS valuable.