Final Assignment

The thing that I loved most about the Learning Leader project was the ability to explore new and exciting apps that can engage the students in the classroom, and also get the creativity going into developing new lessons.

My favorite app that we worked with was Haiku Deck.  I love the ability to change the pictures and add little words that give a basic idea of what the presentation is going to be dealing with, without flooding the page with words.  I had a few of my students use this app in creating a project based on culture, and it turned out great.  I especially was proud of the way they were able to dictate their ideas without relying on words on the screen.  Another one of my favoirte apps was Zite.  I really like how you could personalize it to fit your personality in a way.  There were many different options of articles to read and share and I found a lot of interesting ones on there.  I tried to apply a few of them to my practice from the education session which was really why I joined the learning leader, for things to implement into the classroom one way or another.

As for connecting through social media and A-Ha moments, I have to say my first was before the Learning leader project started when, again, I was very skeptical of Twitter.  I gave it a shot and one day when I was looking for something that I could not find anywhere I put it out to the “twittersphere”, I hope I am using that correctly.  Within seconds I was given a few responses and they guided me to exactly what I was looking for.  My biggest problem is that I am still more of a lerker as opposed to giving lots of ideas as well.  That is my goal as I move forward with the technology is to give as much as I take from people on Twitter.

The first session that I made available to staff to attend was an information session on Google Drive.  I was skeptical at first when I learned about Google Drive because I didn’t really see the need for it.  I thought that we have Word, Exel, etc so why use it.  Then I started using it and began to love how easy it was.  My grade partner and I collaborate a lot with different projects, rubrics, assessments, and general resources and using Google Drive has made it that much easier.  The session began with me showing the attendees how to create different folders and documents within those folders, one of the biggest fears that I found coming from people was that they didn’t understand how easily formatted everything was.  After seeing me create a document and it saving automatically, they were hooked.  I then showed them how to share documents with other people so that they can either make changes, comments, or just view it.  Something that I am sure can be utilized greatly in our classrooms.  Finally I showed them some different ways that I have been using Google docs in my practice.  I showed them that I have scanned a lot of my files that were originally word documents back into Google drive, where I can make changes to them easily and have them readily available to send in to be printed.  I showed them that I have almost all of my year, unit, and daily lesson plans into separate folders which makes sub plans incredibly easy, I just find what lesson I am on, and print them out for the sub, I have also on occasion shared them with the sub so that they know what they are teaching the day before.  Finally, I showed them that I have done a lot of my report cards on the Google Drive so that I can access them with ease at home and make changes.  I don’t need to worry about Students Achieve not working.  The second session that Kendra and I did together was a presentation to our entire staff on the app Snap Chat.  This app was the focus of some controversy on our trip to the Vancouver Sun Run so we thought there was no better reason to report on the potential harmfulness it carries.  In this session we created a Prezi that was shown to the staff and we talked about the potential dangers, the way it works, privacy settings, and finally what we can do as teachers to help stop the use of it in inappropriate ways.

Session one

Being able to bring technology into my classroom is something that I am always excited about.  After the first session my excitement grew as I knew there would be countless ways that I can have my students get immersed into technology in a school setting.  They all know about video games and what input to put the tv to in order to start playing, what I hoped to do was harness that excitement and knowledge and bring it into a classroom learning setting.  After the first session I was able to fool around with the iPad and come up with some cool ways to use it in my class getting my students into it right away.  This only confirmed that it was a great decision to join this project, to benefit my students in many different ways.

I had joined Twitter a while ago and to be honest wasn’t that taken with it.  I kind of felt it was more for letting people what you were doing.  I didn’t (and still don’t) think anyone cares that I went to the grocery store and then the gym, so I didn’t use it.  What I failed to realize is that it is a great way to communicate ideas and gather resources from other educators around the world.  After the first session I tried to put up articles that I had read and found interesting to see what other people thought, and it was awesome to get some conversation going, especially with our new report card and the article that I found denouncing the report card as a whole.  It was perfect timing.  I also posted a couple questions to the twitter world with regards to some resources I was hoping to use.  Within minutes in both cases I had an answer.  It was incredible. Even though we are all so busy with report cards, parents, sports teams, etc I know that I am going to try and utilize this tool more and more.

As for moving on and what I hope to gain from this experience, I think that I am trying to keep an open mind and roll with the punches to use a cliche.  I am interested in what there is to learn and excited to implement it into my classroom as much as possible.