This year’s learning leader project was beneficial for a few reasons. First of all, it reaffirmed that what we are doing at MCHS is in the right direction. Since our first wave of teachers did the learning leader project last year, we have already been exposed to a lot of the new apps that we learned at the sessions. We are fortunate at our school to have many teachers who provided sessions at each staff meeting on what they learned. Secondly, it reinforced what I had already learned and forced me to dig deeper into each app. This allowed me to become much more comfortable with the apps so I would use them outside of school too.
Personally the favorite apps I used are Socrative, Google Docs and Google Drive. Socrative is a great tool that allows the students to put their Smartphones to use in the classroom. Kids enjoy using their phones as opposed to pen and paper. In terms of Google apps, I use them all the time because they are so good for group/collaborative projects for kids. In the past, I would have to limit who could be on the document at any time or have the kids copy and paste their work into one document as only one person could use it at a time. Those days are thankfully over. As for Google Drive, I love it. No longer can a student say they didn’t get an assignment or they forgot it was their day to present something. I have all may class work, calendars, assignments, course outlines, etc on Google Drive. They can access it at anytime and from anywhere. Parents can also be added. This alleviates the old excuses and blame that teachers get when a kid has not been doing his work.
In terms of A-ha moments, I have them all the time. I find myself finding news ways to use my iPad and the apps we learned all the time. I am often sitting at home when one hits. I will discover a new way to use on the apps for my classes. This in itself is an A-ha moment.
As for sessions, I held in my school. I held one formal session after school. It attracted about 5 teachers. At the session, I demo’d how to use Socrative to enhance Smartphone usage in the classroom. Teachers were exposed to how they could apply multiple choice and True/False questioning as a review mechanism for their class. I also demo’d how they could use the Exit evaluations and quizzes for formative and summative assessments. Last of all, I helped them get setup on Socrative so they could create their own quizzes and exit evaluations.
In the second session, I help a couple of teachers get setup and use Socrative. They were unable to come on the previous day so I did it again for them.
The impact of the sessions on the school is tough to evaluate. I know the teachers who attended are integrating Smartphones into their assessments now. I am sure word of mouth will carry it further too. As a whole, our school has taken what has been delivered from all of Learning Leaders over the past few years and integrated them into their lessons. The iPad cart gets used regularly so that is a great sign.
Overall, I am very happy with the Learning Leader program and how it continues to evolve. Teachers are sharing what they are discovering with one another.