I had an opportunity to speak with almost every PK-8 and specials teacher over the course of five days for 35 minutes in October. I knew that I would see about 80 teachers in 35 minute rotations. The challenge was to provide the teachers with grade appropriate ideas. They came from technology rich and poor schools. The teachers had high, medium, low, and no experience with using technology to support student learning.
Big Picture Thoughts
We recently released the Technology Curriculum Core Maps from PreK through eighth grade. It was the first time I was able to “meet” all the classroom teachers as a group. I wanted to make sure that the teachers realized that they helped to support their students’ technology expertise through the work the students do in every class. The schools are in the process of integrating a teacher evaluation model (formerly Teachscape) based on the work of Danielson and there are many ties between what I wanted to share and the teachers developing as an educator. Finally, the use of technology must always support student learning. I spent a good bit of time looking at various curriculum maps for math, science, English language arts, social studies, and “specials” classes.
Slide Decks and Video
Since the technology integration specialists would only attend one of the four sessions, I recorded every session one of the five days. The first few items in each pertained to all grade levels, so the slides are repeated in the slide decks below, but I only posted the videos in the playlist once. The video playlist includes Big Picture Intro Remarks and sharing the RCAN Collaborate projects. The remaining videos share grade level specific ideas and examples.
The following links contain my slide decks by grade groupings and the notes section shows a tie to a Domain 1-4 area of the teacher evaluation model; ties to the technology curriculum unit, content, and skills; and ideas for integration with subject area curriculum.
The Positive and Needs Improvement Feedback
I am still in the process of looking at all the feedback from the sessions. It seems that the technology sessions were well received. While it is difficult to share useful ideas in a large group setting with conversation from and between the attendees and include movement in 35 minutes I did my best. I was able to elicit feedback from the groups in their experience with collaborative projects from last year and how they might use Go Noodle for student brain breaks. I had everyone get up midway through the presentation to do a very short bit of Go Noodle. By the end of the second week, I decided that it was better to have everyone do the “I Like to Move It” break. I started with “Belly Breathe” for PreK and K, but it wasn’t much of a break – although everyone at least stood up. By the end of the week, I also shared “Don’t Read Like a Robot” in grades 1-5. I didn’t share “Banana Banana Meatball” with the PreK and K. It would have been so good and it ties into patterns learning. I had considered using Plickers during the session, but it seemed like too much juggling, so I had to be satisified with just sharing the basic ideas of Plickers for formative assessment.
In the needs improvement category, some teachers would have liked to have had their laptops or iPads with them. Some teachers would have wanted time for questions and answers. At least one teacher found the content dated (i.e., not cutting edge/October 2016 centric). I find that many of the teachers are unaware of the older ideas I shared. Those ideas tend to be easier to implement such as using Google Maps/Google Earth/Google Lit Trips and I thought it was worth sharing the with the group.
All in all, I believe the 35 minute sessions gave the greater percentage of teachers something to go back and try with their students. If they do not feel confident, they will be able to talk with their school’s technology integration specialist. In addition I am able to go work directly with the schools as requested by principals. I am looking forward to my continued work with the teachers in the coming months and years.
Image Citation: J. Guthrie via Twitter