The Learning Leader Project was definitely a great way for me to kick my own butt into using technology in a more productive and engaging way (and more often). There is something to be said about linking some form of accountability with professional development; it certainly allows for more successful practice!
Some of my favourite apps that I’ve used in my Grade 5 classroom are; Haiku Deck, Google Drive, Dragon Dictation and my absolute favourite has been iMovie! I mostly use Haiku Deck for students who struggle and are significantly behind their peers; we’ve used it to summarize a story, write about our feelings and to write reports. With iMovie, we are finishing creating a “movie” for each student (by the end of the year) which is also posted to our classroom blog; these make great keepsakes for students/parents.
Using Twitter has been one of the most beneficial ways I’ve been able to connect with other teachers/educators. It allows learning and sharing to flow any time of day, and the responses and information shared are quick and effortless. If I had to recommend any form of social media to new and/or seasoned teachers, it would definitely be Twitter!
The sessions delivered to staff went well and included; an introduction to Google Docs/Drive (discussing and demonstrating its usefulness), user friendly iPad apps, and support to those just embarking on the rapidly changing and progressing world of technology! Muir Lake School has been a leading school in technology for a while, so for many teachers much of this information was not new to them. We are however, already seeing the huge benefits of using Google Drive/Docs and enjoying the convenience and continuity among the staff.
I am extremely thankful for being given the opportunity to have hands-on experience during the Learning Leader Project. I will most certainly continue using technology in my classroom, and am far less apprehensive towards learning new technologies as the rewards are many!
Many educators do not only bring a university degree to the classroom, but they also bring valuable experiences from parenting that can enhance their classroom environment. Sometimes these experiences rock us to the core, but I believe everything happens for a purpose.
Having 3 of my own children (age range 12-16), has provided me with experiences that have lent themselves beautifully to the ability to empathize with varying situations/needs that have arisen in my own classroom! As a result, I can more easily relate to my students/parents’ frustrations and successes. I can relate to the challenges of parenting and working full time, and…the list goes on.
Not only am I blessed to work for a school division that strives to support its staff and students, I am blessed to experience this support as a parent as well. Such has been the case with my youngest son! In keeping with the spirit of transparency, I thought I would “speak” from the heart about an issue which is too often misunderstood and inadvertently mishandled.
In an attempt to utilize the technology taught during our last Learning Leader session, I hope you find the following Haiku Deck presentation useful, or at minimum, my hope is that the presentation will ensue compassion!
Two weeks ago if you would have asked me about Twitter, I would have told you that it’s just another form of “social networking” and that I didn’t have time for “one more thing”! Over the past week, I’ve discovered quite the opposite and am proud to report that I have progressed from “lurker” to…well, I’m not really sure what I am in the Twitter world yet, but I’m no lurker!
I’m amazed at just how much information and availability of resources can be found on Twitter. Over the period of just a week, I have acquired more knowlege in “tweets and re-tweets” than I could have imagined; from Hurricane Sandy to Tourette’s Syndrome, from not using tests as principal evaluations to corny Halloween jokes. Of course as an educator, having access to new “pedagogy” and having a plethora of resources literally at my finger tips, is what stands out to me the most – I can see how this form of networking has the potential to really help me grow as a professional!
I haven’t got it all figured out yet though. I don’t really understand how you can have a true conversation when you are limited to 140 characters. I also haven’t figured out how to really carry on a meaningful conversation either…and can the conversation really be meaningful when you don’t even “know” the person you are having the conversation with? These are just a few of the questions I’m hoping I’ll have an answer to (or at least come to peace with) as I “tweet” away!
Next step…using my own classroom blog for something other than a glorified homework board.
Follow me: @Esthervb74 (I’m guessing I probably didn’t even use the correct “Twitter lingo” for that…but I do know that @Esthervb74 is my “handle”…and I’m pretty darn proud of that!)