We’re off to a busy start this school year. Here’s how I’ve been spending some of my time:
I’ve been getting three different carts of iPads ready for use. Two are in our preK-2 building and the other is for a new extended day program for middle schoolers. Getting to know Apple’s Configurator and trouble-shooting why things aren’t working in a logical manner has been quite time-consuming! The final cart is almost ready and now we’re making sure iOS 6 gets installed. It wasn’t great timing from Apple for us!
I recently assisted a French teacher to assist her with a Voicethread project. Her students each created their own Voicethread with an image of somewhere they either went this summer or wish they had visited. They then recorded themselves describing, in French, various elements of that trip, real or imaginary. Once that was complete, they each had to leave comments for one another, also in French. They turned out well. I’d share one here, but need to get permission from students first.
I’ve worked with a middle school math teacher whose team is a pilot group using Edmodo. We co-taught classes to discuss Codes of Conduct for Edmodo or any other online experiences. A fellow teacher on Twitter helped me find some great resources to get started with Edmodo.I also helped a para-educator who runs a middle school literature group set up Kidblog for the group and again went over Codes of Conduct for using Kidblog and other online tools.
More and more teachers are exploring the idea of blogging using Kidblog. I’ve just ordered copies of “Making Connections with Blogging” to share with other teachers. I attended a session at ISTE this summer facilitated by Lisa Parisi and Brian Crosby, the authors of this book. It’s a great introduction to blogging and includes elements about setting it up, establishing expectations, ideas for posts, and much more. I highly recommend it.
My previous post was about an initiative that our middle school teachers are tackling. They had their Curriculum Night this week with parents. I gathered ideas from my PLN for a document about the rationale for publishing to a larger audience and it was shared that evening.
I teach third and fourth graders each week and this year I’m using Common Sense Media‘s Digital Passport as one tool with those students. It has already opened up many incredible conversations with the students! I got this resource from Richard Byrne’s Free Tech for Teachers site via a tweet.
Last week I had the pleasure of spending a day with other technology integrators and teachers doing some professional development around Flipped PD. It was nice to get some PD myself rather than providing it for others. I look forward to exploring Camtasia Studio some more as a tool for this endeavor.
Also this week I met with participants from the summer course I facilitated about Becoming a Connected Educator. We’re officially required to spend an additional 6 hours together. The biggest challenge is finding common time! We met this week in two separate groups. The group decided that for our next ‘gathering’ we’d have our own Twitter chat. Hopefully that will help everyone feel more comfortable with the idea and logistics of chats. Other members of our PLNs are welcome to help out and participate too. We’re still determining the date and time.
The week ahead is exciting too. I’ll be attending Vita-Learn’s One-to-One School Conference. I look forward to a day of learning and connecting with other Vermont educators. Then I leave Thursday after school to travel to Philadelphia for PLPLive! I will attend a tweet-up that evening and spend Friday connecting with other educators. I have been invited to be a part of one presentation, along with a colleague. There will undoubtedly be a blog post about PLPLive coming soon.
All in all, things are busy and challenging. There are many more things that pop up each day that haven’t been shared in this post, but you get the idea. A common theme in all of this for me? I couldn’t do much of what I do without my PLN. The resources and support provided for me by members who I see locally or connect with in the broader sense are invaluable, inspiring, and amazingly helpful. Thank you PLN!