As classroom teachers, we often don’t know what kind of technology support we need or want to enhance our teaching. Administrators will ask teachers what kind of PD they want or need, but the truth is that most teachers don’t always have a good response to this. I’ve often said that teachers “don’t know what they don’t know.”
When I was an EdTech TOSA, one way that I reached out to the teachers at my three school sites was by creating short 2 minute videos introducing a new app or technology tip. This would give teachers the opportunity to get an idea of something that they might want to learn more about. For example, if a teacher had heard about Seesaw, but didn’t really know anything about it, they could watch a two minute video about it, and then decide if it was something they would like support with.
I would send a new “Two MInute EdTech Tip” to teachers each week. I always tried to keep the videos short - two minutes or less. Many teachers liked this weekly video because it gave them new ideas to try in their classroom, or something to ask me more about when I would see them at their school site. Sometimes teachers would even ask me to come in and introduce the new app or tool to their class, which I loved doing!
Now that I’m back in the classroom in a new state, new district, and new school, I think something like “Two Minute EdTech Tips” could really be beneficial to the staff at my school site. The school recently transitioned to iPads (from Chromebooks) and I think that the lack of PD on the new device is affecting the usage in classrooms. And, with iPads being such a new (and different) tool to the staff, they “don’t know what they don’t know.”
What do you think? Watch a few of the “Two Minute EdTech Tips” and tell me what you think. Should I start creating more of these videos? Would something like this be useful as a classroom teacher?
As teachers and students begin to wrap up the school year, they complete memory books, sign yearbooks, clean out desks, and take home class work. But what about all of those digital projects student have created throughout the school year? What happens to those? How should students save their work, sign out, and clear their devices? What steps do you and/or your district have in place to support students with this?
As the EdTech TOSA for three schools, I've developed a list of steps and videos to support teachers and students with the end of year procedures for iPads. The list includes the following:
You can find my list of steps for "end of year iPad procedures" as a FREE resource in my teachers pay teachers store "Love-Fleck EdTech." Be sure to check it out and download it today! While you are in my store, make sure to look through some of my other STEM-related resources and give my store a "Follow" to stay up-to-date on new posts.
Seesaw is a student driven digital portfolio that allows teachers, students, and parents to actively view work that is begin done in the classroom. I have heard a lot of buzz around Seesaw over the last couple years, however, because of my position, I have not had the opportunity to use Seesaw with a group of students. Recently, I was approached by a second grade teacher who asked me about using Seesaw in her classroom. Honestly, I had so little experience with Seesaw that I didn't feel confident in coaching her with the app. I proposed that she and I co-teach a Seesaw group, so that both of us could figure out the tools within the app. She agreed, and we got started!
Now, after using Seesaw with a class of 2nd graders for a couple weeks, I can honestly say that I LOVE SEESAW!!! It is a great tool to promote student discourse and collaboration in the classroom. Students are highly engaged and are much more careful in their work when they know that their classmates will be able to see the finished product in the "Class Journal." I also love the "Teacher Approve" feature, which allows you to catch any student errors or misunderstandings before the post becomes visible.
We recently sent home the Parent Letters, which invite parents to view and comment on their own child's Seesaw posts. Hopefully more parents in the classroom will join so that they can actively participate in their child's day. The parent aspect gives families more to talk about after school, and hopefully the ability to avoid the "What did you do in school today?" ... "Nothing" conversations.
I encourage you to check out Seesaw for yourself or ask a teacher who's using it for some feedback. I guarantee that once you try it, you (and your students and families) will absolutely love it!
This school year I am providing support to the teachers at three separate school sites. Because it is often difficult to meet the needs of all teachers quickly and efficiently, I began a new project this year, called "Tuesday's Two Minute EdTech Tips." Basically, I create a short, two minute video each week, highlighting a specific app or website that I think will be interesting to K-8 teachers. I then email the link and short description of the video to teachers each Tuesday.
The goal is to create videos that are super short, and provide a bite-sized introduction, so that teachers can decide whether or not the app is something they want to find out more about. Once they watch the two minute video, they can email me to set up a meeting where we can discuss the app, or I can introduce the app to both students and teacher at the same time.
So far, the feedback on the Two Minute EdTech Tips has been very positive. Teachers like that the videos are short, kind of like a two minute PD. They also like that I am available for following up on the video and supporting them in integrating the app with the learning objectives in their own classroom.
Take a minute and check out my most recent Two Minute EdTech Tip Videos, which focus on computer science and various coding apps that would be great for the Hour of Code!
Learning to type is a vital 21st century skill for students! For the remainder of the school year, our students in grades 2-8 will have access to the TypingClub program, by EdClub, Inc. This a great program because it keeps track of student progress, and they can continue where they left off. There are also badges and incentives to keep the students excited about typing.
The students, grades 2 - 8, are absolutely taking off with this program. They especially like the leader board, as it adds a little fun competition to typing!!
All thoughts, opinions, reflections, and ideas are that of Heather Love-Fleck, and not the school district that employs her. She reserves the right to change her thoughts, opinions, reflections, and ideas at any time.