Thursday, October 10, 2013

Come Play with Technology

As many of you know, I've been taking 2 teachers with me to the Tech Integration Group at Essdack this school year.  It is an opportunity for teachers to "come play with the big boys."  (It really should be come play with the geeks, but I've always wanted to say the other.)  This group explores technology - new web tools and apps, technology techniques like augmented reality, ideas for incorporating technology in the classroom and more.  Below is a little more information about this technology opportunity including future dates and topics for 2013-2014.

I have already taken several teachers this school year and asked them to share about their thoughts and experiences from the day.

During Friday's Tech Integration Group, I learned some helpful tips for integrating technology into my Social Studies classroom using primary documents such as maps from Google Earth. We did an interesting activity comparing maps from the same location during two different periods in history. The activity required us to use critical thinking skills and come up with reasons for why the maps were different as well as which one was the earliest. I can't wait to use that same idea in my classroom! - Sandie Raper
I really enjoyed the day. I think what I learned most is to appreciate the thoughtful and deliberate decisions made by our tech department. I also learned that I can explore new programs without trepidation. Today I learned how to network with other educationally minded people in order to share ideas. I was happy to have the time to "play" around with edmodo, and I feel confident in introducing the program to my students next week. However, most of the students are probably aware of it if they have taken classes from Mrs. Fitzpatrick, Mrs. Wilcox, or Mrs. Schmidt. I also look forward to creating new projects in my English classes that may reach reluctant learners. - Janet Fleske
I learned about several new apps for the ipad. Shadow puppets and Tiny Scan were two that I thought would be helpful in my classroom. We also had a guest appearance from Glenn Wiebe. He showed us several ways to use primary sources such as pictures, quotes etc. He also showed several different ideas for lesson plans using Google Earth. We then went to his website which has all kinds of websites, tools and ideas to implement. He explained to us what the new social studies standards would be like and how the kids were going to have to use Historical thinking to be able to answer correctly. We were then given time to play around on these resources and try to figure them out and get experience on them. - Stephanie Bauer
Attending the technology PLC, I was not sure what to expect to begin with. I really like the sense of community that is developed with the goal of focusing on technology and the incorporation of technology in the classroom. The ideas that are brought up and the questions are great for improving technology in schools, as well as the different problem/ solutions that the different districts are facing. 
I feel that our district is ahead of the game compared to other districts. I’m thankful for the technology connections that our district has and the ability to explore different educational tools. I was surprised by the fact that some district can’t have google apps or other technology things that our district has. I also feel that our district is ahead of the game with teachers starting to use more and more technology all the time. 
When the guy from Mcpherson College talked, he said that things students learn need to be concrete and tangible student improvement. I think this is very true of education, how can we engage students so the content they are learning is concrete and tangible to them. - Joy Schmidt
If you have not had the opportunity to take advantage of one of these technology days, look through the dates and topics below.  Find one that peaks your interest and send me an email to reserve your spot!

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