Teachers continuously improve their professional practice, model lifelong learning, and exhibit leadership in their school and professional community by promoting and demonstrating the effective use of digital tools and resources.
a. Participate in local and global learning communities to explore creative applications of technology to improve student learning
While taking the Learning with the internet course, I participated in an online conference. This is a global learning community that I participated in. There were so many conferences to choose from that it was hard to narrow it down to just one. The specific conference I participated in helped me to realize there is more than just worksheets to give to my students. Not that I did not realize this point but I found it easy to fall back on the ability to print something and hand it out to my class. I found it interesting that some of the ideas described in this conference were so simple to implement into my classroom. The online conference helped me to improve my students learning.
Artifact: Online Conference
Last summer, I participated in a book study that was offered to my district. The book was Total Participation Techniques: Making Every Student an Active Learner by Persida Himmele and William Himmele and the meetings were conducted as twitter chats on designated nights and times. We were posed with questions and used the book and pictures of the book to answer questions and respond to others posts about the questions. This helped me to under the book better and how I could use twitter for my classes to have a discussion about things we are learning in class.
Artifact: My Twitter Page
b. Exhibit leadership by demonstrating a vision of technology infusion, participating in shared decision making and community building, and developing the leadership and technology skills of others
I am part of the professional development team at the school I work for. One of my duties is to organize technology seminars for teachers in the building. One way we did this was to present on google and some of the different uses of it. Here is a flyer we shared on the teachers google drives to keep for reference after it was explained in detail how to use each feature.
Artifact: Google reference sheet
One of the things I like to show my staff when presenting professional development is new ways to use technology. While I present I use the technology and then afterwards show the staff how I got that tool and where to go to find it. IF they want to learn more they can approach me about the tool after the session is over. One of the tools I introduced to my staff this year was the poll everywhere add on you can use with your google slides. I have used it in my class on many occasions and some of the staff asked me how they can add it onto their google slides as well.
Artifact: Poll Everywhere
c. Evaluate and reflect on current research and professional practice on a regular basis to make effective use of existing and emerging digital tools and resources in support of student learning
One thing I was surprised by was the action research plan that I participated in with a group during Technology Action Research. I had never participated in an action research plan before and was intimidated at first glance, but came to find that it was something that gave me a chance to learn about how my students are perceiving new technology and innovations in our classroom. We performed an action research to see if flipping the classroom is beneficial to students. We found research on flipping the classroom, analyzed it and described our data sources as they pertained to our project. I found that it was important to really analyze a new technology you are using in the classroom to make sure it is something that is benefiting your students or if it is just fluff added into a course and if so making sure you take action to fixing what you are doing.
Artifact: Action Research Plan
I have used Desmos as a support in my classroom for some time now but I did not realize all that it could do. In Technology to Enhance Learning, I created a Voicethread about why I think that Desmos is a good tool to use in the classroom to support learning. Had I not researched this tool further, I would have never known that you could create lessons for your classes and monitor your student's participation through this tool. This project allowed me to evaluate how I was using this tool previously in my classroom and reflect on how I could incorporate it better into my lessons in the future to support my students learning.
Artifact: Desmos Voice Thread
d. Contribute to the effectiveness, vitality, and self-renewal of the teaching professional and of their school community
Last year, my district implemented "We Love to Code" week where every school in the district participated in some way. My school set aside time that week to get the students feet wet with everything they could do if they learned to code. We started them off with a video of people who made a living coding and then set them up with a coding game to see if they could figure it out in the context of a game. Our staff is small and since I was the only staff member who knew how to code HTML, I was sent the students who were interested in learning more. I showed them some of the things I had made coding and then gave some of them little assignments to see if it was something they wanted to continue to pursue.
Artifact: Minecraft Coding Game
During my first year of teaching we had a staff meeting every week that was dubbed 'Tech Thursday.' We would get together and share what we personally use in our classrooms to teach more effectively or make things more efficient. I gave a presentation on using Symbaloo in order to organize your homepage on your computer. It sets up your homepage into apps like a smartphone would so it is very user friendly. During this meeting I went through how to use it and showed the staff how they could set up their own if they would like. I also had a user guide that was passed out to the staff for anyone who wanted information and was not able to attend the meeting.
Artifact: Symbaloo User Guide