Thursday, February 12, 2015

Teacher and Librarian collaborate to create Tech PD, Nicole Guevara, Washington High School

A few years ago, Washington invested in three iPad carts specifically for our Argumentative Literacy classes. Our school has a strong focus on close text reading, writing and discussion. Throughout the year we noted how teachers and students were engaging with the technology and after careful consideration, a few changes were made. This year at the same time I was receiving Chromebooks from the REVITAL grant, the school purchased three Chromebook carts available to all classes.

The tech team decided to try something different with our three iPad carts. We really wanted to see iPads bring lessons to life while enhancing curriculum. Using the REVITAL grant application as a template, I created a proposal form to be completed by teachers interested in having sole access to an iPad cart for a semester. Among the winning proposal entrants was science teacher Kyle Leonard. Kyle has been using the iPads in his class every day since the beginning of school. Other teachers took notice of his great work and also of his students’ level of engagement. He shared with me how eager he was to share some of his knowledge and experience. I agreed that is was a terrific idea and offered my assistance. We decided to create a tech series open to all Washington teachers.

Kyle and I met and plotted our course of action. The first step was to create and send a Google Form interest survey to learn about participant interest and needs. Those went out electronically and in paper form. The next step was to synthesize the responses and decide on an agenda and timeline. We decided on a four-part series each with a specific theme. That information then went out electronically and in paper form. We divided roles and responsibilities and began our preparation. Kyle is going to present three of the sessions as they are programs he specifically prefers while I will present the online learning session as well as take care of the administrative tasks. I also requested these sessions to be put in CPS University so that our teachers can get credit for attending which is a nice incentive to attend.

Our “Educational Resources Tech Series” includes:

Part One: Saving Time with Tech
Monday, February 9

Part Two: Increasing Student Engagement with Tech
Tuesday, March 10

Part Three: Online Learning
Tuesday, April 14

Part Four: Communication & Managing Student Behavior
Tuesday, May 12

We recently held our first meeting. Each teacher took a Chromebook and while signing in I shared the presentation with them. Kyle spent an hour showcasing GradeCam, Common Curriculum, Tiny Scan, and EdTechTeacher. Teachers were especially intrigued by GradeCam. Teachers loved that they could save so much time by grading with a camera and even have those grades directly transferred into Gradebook. Our principal, excited about the adult learning, even stopped in to see the presentation. At the end of the Google Slide presentation, I linked a quick exit survey that I created using Google Form. We will use the feedback to inform our next presentation. Judging by the feedback, our next one will have even more tech thirsty participants.

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