In the Learning Leader Project, I have changed my mindset and learned the value of “putting it out there”. I have had the opportunity to take a basic or background knowledge and find/explore ways to expand and reflect upon ways to use an iPad and apps in the classroom and for professional use. My favourite apps are: Evernote, Show Me, Zite, Twitter/Hootsuite, and Google Drive. I use Evernote within my class and professionally. For example, while attending the ELAC conference last weekend, I was able to type my own notes, voice and video record, and photograph aspects of the sessions I attended. In my class, I have created a notebook for each student and am able to provide instant feedback to students, parents, and administrators. Show Me is an app that I use at Outreach to instruct/tutor students who are having difficulty with a particular concept. I have started to play around with Show Me by making my own tutorials and have also used a variety from the data base. Google Drive has given me the opportunity to go “paperless” in my ELA classes. I am able to provide feedback to students as they are drafting an essay or personal response. I am eager to learn and use the voice feedback option. I use Twitter/Hootsuite to build a PLN, share resources, and find resources. I have found many ideas, blogs, articles, websites that have inspired me to find more and do more.
My”a-ha” moment: Education is constantly changing and evolving. By being involved in this project, I have learned to “put it out there” and to use the apps and technology to meet the diverse needs of students and my own teacher style. In some instances, I was able to go “all in” with an app and in some instances I had to play around or reflect on a best practice for my students prior to sharing what I had learned. With technology, it is important as educators to reflect upon the purpose and practice of technology and know when and how to introduce to students and staff.
I recently attended ELAC where one of the keynote speakers, Sean Aiken, spoke at length about exploring, finding your passion, and “putting it out there.” By being a part of this project, I have put it out there (twitter) where I have connected with other professionals within PSD70 and many other districts. Accepting that we are vulnerable to everchanging technology and educational trends allows one to learn about ourselves and collaborate with others and discover our passion for learning and teaching. Putting it out there leads to great learning opportunities. One area of vulnerability for me that I still struggle with (but am becoming much better) is the process of blogging.
Today, I shared my learning and understanding with the Memorial Outreach department. I took the apps learned in the Learning Leader Project and shared how they can be used in our Outreach setting. I focused on Evernote, Show Me, and Google Drive. We discussed professional uses of twitter and blogging. We had a great conversation regarding how iPad apps can become overwhelming and a best practice is to learn or master one or two apps well before moving on to the next.