Tuesday, March 8, 2011

March 8 Reflections

I have used MAC computers at home for 15 years and have never looked at Garage Band.  What a fun tool for creativity, to enhance presentation, and a new way to share information.  I agree with Jackie that this would be a wonderful reward for students.  No cost, students learning, being creative, it is endless, students could continue to build a song over time and they are getting a reward. I hope to use this soon with some of my kids.

I like the Teacher source idea. NCSD has some basic information on our web but this sounds like a true expansion for teachers to work with teachers virtually.  We have run into road blocks with our PLC's and this would be a way for the "singleton" teacher to connect with others, learn from them, collaborate and improve their practice.  Does Gladstone have something similar?? Seems I heard they had information with assessments for teachers to share but it may be more of a 1.0 system where this sounds like 2.0.

I really appreciate being able to have exposure to all of the sites and technology.  This class has opened my eyes that technology really is "easy" now.  It doesn't have to be hard to use technology.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Blogs and Educators

Here is a discussion topic for us!


Saturday, February 12, 2011

2-12-11 Class

My favorite thing today was learning how to take a "screen shot."  I've always wondered how people have these great pictures on their website, facebook page or handout.  I will be using this a lot.

Using the google docs presentation is so convenient.  It is great that you are able to access information from any computer.  I am starting to really like google aps!  This class is really helping me push through the anxiety of trying and using these online tools.  I may even be the expert in my admin group now.

Slide Share is a tool I will be using.  I may even be able to use the exact slide show posted or use it as a guide to make my own.  Regardless - helpful site.

Final Project?  I am struggling.  I could create a survey for my staff on grading practice, supports needed for technology or PLC's.  It would be a way to get information quickly.  A question that will come up... do the answers stay anonymous?   Is there a way to know or not to know how each person answered?  I know that some of our staff do not feel like they can answer surveys honestly, because they worry that "big brother" is watching.  Is there a way to show that it is anonymous?


Go to my survey

Hole in the Wall

Sugat Mitra speaks about how technology should start in remote areas.  I find it interesting that our new buildings have all the new equipment (and they reside in the more affluent part of our district.)  I do not believe this is by design however, my school is in a lower SES area, where many students do not have access to internet or computers at home.  The students in the more affluent part of the district have access to technology at home and at school.  In addition, many students on that side of the district have cars/transportation to go somewhere to access technology if needed. This speaks to the fact that districts should be paying attention to where they spend their technology funds.  The impact will be far greater to students in a lower SES school than to those middle income schools. 

Thursday, February 10, 2011

District Tech Comments, Wordle and Things I want to Learn

I reviewed my district technology plan which was revised 09-10.   I see some things that are great - standard hardware for each school (ie. each teacher will have a laptop, document camera or Smart Board along with a projector).  It will be nice if we can get to this place but I appreciate the fact that it is a goal. There are also plans to increase the basic technology skills of all teachers and I see these classes being offered through my district on a regular basis.  I appreciate the forward thinking of the district to "push" all of us to use technology more while performing our daily tasks. 

The disappointing parts are that this document seems so out of date.  There is discussion about in service for teachers to use Lotus Notes, and the tools associated with it, when the reality is that we ended our contract with Lotus December 2010.  There are many similar examples in the document.  Is this typical because technology changes so quickly? 

Wordle - Lots of fun but I didn't know how to save it or access the wordle I made.  I did use the randomizer button to "mix it up" and see different shapes and colors.

Things I want to learn:
When I was in my undergrad program - almost 30 years ago - I had to take a technology class.  Skills I learned in that class include:  how to use a ditto machine with an idiot sheet,  how to run a 16mm film projector (which came in VERY handy for the first part of my career), laminating machines, overhead projectors and the Ducane automatic filmstrip projector.  It was a useful class.

So in this new 21st Century Technology Class - I hope to learn...
how to use twitter (do I want to know how to do this??)
how to hook up my laptop to the in focus machine - which cord am I suppose to use?
how to print from google docs without having it print super small or only print part of the page
why, when I open and shut down my computer at work, does it take SO LONG! and it doesn't take long to open and shut down when I am at home?

The good news is that my technology skills and knowledge are already improving as a result of this class.  Thanks Todd!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day One Reflection

As I registered for this class, I was concerned that it might be dry and boring but am finding it to be anything but that.  Thank you!  After taking the term assessment, I am clear that I have much to learn.

I really enjoyed watching Sir Ken Robinson on TED.  I will be searching through that site over the next few weeks.  I appreciate this as well as the other great sources of information to learn about technology and education.  I would like more information about the different funding sources you referenced in my small group - E rate and another $500,000 grant.

The big questions I have are:
1.   How do we keep technology and teachers current in our schools?
2.   How do we provide technology equity between schools in the same district?  What models are out there?  When considering low SES schools, should they have more technology at school since many do not have it at home?