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Yes but how...?
Welcome back to the BUSD tech panel newsletter! This is the first of two email blasts you will receive, giving you the opportunity to “opt in” to future newsletters. These newsletters will discuss ed-tech trends, ideas and how technology is influencing the world our students are growing up into. Last year I wrote all of the articles, but this year Joel and I will be working on the newsletter together, with occasional contributions from the teachers on the tech panel.
Today's article will focus on how we can best work together to more fully integrate technology into instruction. When we discussed this topic at the tech panel meeting last week, the group felt there are three key variables to getting this to work:
Infrastructure that allows the technology to work well and consistently, including reliably accessing online resources
Sufficient access to technology in the classroom
Comfort level with the equipment and software for staff
It is only with these elements working simultaneously that we can reach the aspirational goals of the Common Core and 21st century learning. Each of these requirements are large topics and we will have dedicated meetings to discuss and address them individually. Last week, we focused on the comfort level with equipment and software amongst our staff and how we can better provide support.
We discussed many exciting ideas for future implementation, especially considering how we can better showcase teacher tech leaders, and extend their expertise to the larger teaching community. One of the ideas we discussed, a technology-integrated instruction exemplar website, has recently been implemented. To start, it currently showcases videos of classroom instruction and lesson plans by teacher leaders. It just went live last week, but right now you can see:
Jim Boyce, a Kawana 3rd grade teacher, guiding his class as they think through their math problems and explain their process using Educreations. Video/Lesson Plan Password: BUSD3150teachers
Sarah Goodin, a Meadow View 5th grade teacher, leading her students as they set up digital portfolios using Weebly for EducationVideo/Lesson Plan
Ashlei Simone, another Meadow View 5th grade teacher, managing her class and increasing collaboration using Edmodo “Facebook for Schools” Lesson Plan
This database will continue to grow as teachers contribute classroom videos and lesson plans. If you want to see what is currently available, you can always go to busd.org, select the Staff tab >Professional Development >Technology > Lesson Plans and Classroom Videos. Also, participation is not limited to the tech panel! I know many more people are doing amazing things with their students and technology. If you would like to share your work, please email Joel and me at firstname.lastname@example.org, or share your lesson plan with us in google docs and we will get it up there.
That is it for the first newsletter of the year if you would like to subscribe click here. If you are not interested in receiving these monthly newsletters, don't do anything and you won't get another until the spring.
From Ashlei Simone “Edmodo is useful for receiving a quick check-in on student learning, paragraph development, student/teacher feedback, and student collaboration. Edmodo can be used in various subjects: polls for math, prompts for writing, reasoning, and to have debates on current event topics.” It is also now linked on the portals for each school.
This app is pretty fun. You point the camera on your device - ios or android - at an image with words in one language and it will convert it into another. Really great for traveling. What makes it even more interesting is that it keeps the original look of the text attempting to match the font and seamlessly lays it over the background. If you're looking at an old rusty sign in French, you will get an old rusty sign in English.