Monday, December 22, 2014

The Best Ed Tech Moments of First Semester 2014 (drumroll please.....)

In ascending order, the best moments of instructional technology integration that I participated in this year:

10. Finally seeing keyboarding in the fifth grade curriculum again by means of bluetooth keyboards, iPads, and We skipped a year of keyboarding instruction and our hardworking fifth grade teachers figured out a way to allow our 5th grade students to have keyboarding for 40 minutes a day, 2 days a week for the whole first semester. This is more consistent keyboarding than elementary students have ever received at CCS and we seem to be reaping the benefits of it.

9. Talking about the "lightbulb moment" of deciding what to do when faced with something inappropriate or negative on the Internet with elementary students grades kindergarten - fifth grade. I enjoy talking digital citizenship with my students and explaining how bad choices are "heart choices" that can effect us for the rest of our lives. We talk about the rights and responsibilities of using technology at our school as well.

8. Taking a trip to Harbins Elementary School in Dacula, Georgia with a group of our elementary teachers to see how their school integrates technology into their BYOT environment. It was nice to see the excitement in the eyes of the teachers there and to experience the spinning wheels of my teachers trying to decide what could help their classroom from what they saw. My favorite moment was a group session I attended with about 20 technology coaches that I found inspiring and helpful.

7. This year I have watched a teacher that was hesitant about technology feel comfortable enough with it now that she is running full steam ahead without me in her classroom. She allowed me to work hand in hand with her last year, this year she has done those same projects by herself. She also went to an Edcamp on a Saturday with me and came back with ideas that lead to my number 1 best moment below.

6. This semester our third grade was learning how to use a Bible concordance while doing research on Genesis 1. I entered the classroom deciding we would use with the iPads and immediately saw that the browser version wasn't very iPad friendly. While the classroom teacher continued to work with students about subject matter, I very quickly downloaded the app version of Bible Gateway and we were ready to roll. What could have easily been a fail lesson, became workable by having a tech coach in the classroom with this teacher.

5. Watching teachers teach other teachers about technology. This year I have seen several teachers that use Doceri Whiteboard App teach other teachers how to use it. I have also seen an elementary teacher that used Moodle last year, teach another elementary teacher how to set up a Moodle quiz. These instances made my heart smile!

 4. I went with a small group of teachers to the STEM high school at Chattanooga State Community College and we saw first hand how students step up when a culture of trust is set in place regarding the use of technology with students. We learned how they spend much of 9th grade talking about digital citizenship and how important good skills are to a successful educational environment.

3. I helped to create a blended learning rotation model environment for a lower level fifth grade math class which included the use of Aleks quick tables on iPad devices and Khan Academy using Samsung Chromebooks. I love seeing how it is helping our students become confident and successful learners. See for more details on this endeavor.

2. Watching how quickly a 7th grade advanced math class adapted to quirks in a website and worked together in a short amount of time to problem solve and get the task at hand done. I would teach until I was 100 years old if I could teach this type of motivated student all day long. It was an absolute joy to watch them enjoy learning and making things work. The use of technology in the classroom is raising a group of "troubleshooting" students that learn, adjust, relearn, and succeed.

1.  Seeing the creativity of fifth grade students using DoInk Green screen app to create video reports on various trees they had been studying in Science. Their creativity was amazing and their use of the green screen app has inspired me to look for other opportunities for use. The kids asked to come during their recess time to work on the project they loved it so much!