As a computer science and online learning coordinator, I'm always on the lookout for great teaching resources and project ideas. If you're like me & love to shake things up with new & exciting projects and like to keep on top of the latest and greatest educational technology trends, check out this blog!
Busy, Busy, Busy!
Wow, I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since my last post! I've been so swamped lately that my one post a week goal has gone by the wayside. I recently started taking classes to earn an administrator licence and have also been helping my roommate buy a house (I'm a real estate agent on the side). I've hardly had a minute free, but I'm hoping to get a new post up tomorrow night. I can do it; I know I can!
So check back tomorrow for my next post on free and useful software!
Each Friday, I spend time at the media center of a local high school making myself available to teachers who may need tech help. About a month ago, I was speaking with the school’s librarian and learned that their media center only has one set of encyclopedias available to students. She explained that over the last few years, more and more students have been turning to the Internet for their research needs; very few use the library as a resource for this purpose. As a “techie,” this was no surprise to me, however, I can’t help but wonder how many teachers take the time to help their students learn how to identify a credible Internet source vs. a biased or hoax site.
Coincidentally, several weeks after my conversation with the librarian, my teammate and I were visiting a middle school in the district and were recruited to teach a lesson on website evaluation. We learned that many teachers are not comfortable with this topic and often don’t consciously know what tactics they use to eva…
Like many others, my department has been drawn to blended learning and the personalized learning it allows. Both this year and last year, we worked with a small group of teachers in our district to help them implement blended learning pedagogy in the classroom.
We've had much success, but make no mistake, transforming teaching to provide students with a blended learning experience is no small task. One of our favorite articles on the topic, The Basics of Blended Instruction, by Catlin R, Tucker, provides some great tips for teachers looking to pursue blended learning.
One thing we observed in working with teachers is that it's extremely difficult to wrap your head around the difference between tech integration and blended learning. Truth be told, we were probably a bit fuzzy on it ourselves for quite some time!
As the school year ramps up, our department has been busy creating a training module on COPPA and protecting students online. This is a module that all teachers in our District will be taking this year (and likely every year going forward), thus denoting a significant shift in our District's messaging about tech integration and student safety.
As part of this module, we created a short video using Adobe Voice that explains COPPA. (You can read more about Adobe Voice in my previous post.) Our goal was to help teachers understand COPPA without boring them with a lengthy written explanation. Hopefully, our little video is less dry than the alternatives....
Similar to other districts, ours has struggled in years past with finding a balance between protecting student privacy and empowering teachers to use professional judgement when selecting sites for instructional use and creating student accounts. This year, the Responsible Use Agreement that is part of our Superintendent's Pol…