Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Tech Committee Proposal

So I've done several technology trainings over the past few years. I get really passionate and pumped up during these summer trainings. I can see the excitement for the teachers that come and every year I thing...this is it...this is going to be the year that we see some new things happen. Then the school year begins and the kids flow in and the lesson plans are due and the testing starts and .... well you know.

We do not have a tech integration specialist in our county. We have a fantastic, supportive tech coach at the district level, but she is just one person completely overloaded with the needs of the entire county. I am the school-based tech coordinator, but that is an extended contract position that I have to fit in whenever I'm not working my full time job. That leaves very little time during the school year to support tech integration.

After reading an article in Tech and Learning, I was inspired to propose a technology committee to my district coach and principal. The coach immediately jumped on board and offered up the iPads to those agreeing to serve on the committee. (I told you she was great!) We were looking for a good way to pilot the program anyway. Here is the proposal:
  • Encourage one participant per grade level; possibly special ed also
  • Participants will discuss the condition/functionality of technology available at their particular grade level
  • Participants will discuss exciting technologies that teachers can introduce in thie classrooms
  • Participants will share findings with their respective grade levels during planning/grade level meetings
  • Participants will research grants/available funding to pursue projects for his or her classroom/grade level
  • Each participant on the tech committee will be given an iPad to pilot in his or her classroom. At each meeting, we will discuss ways to use this new technology in the classroom
  • There will be at least six meetings throughout the year
Some of my responsibilities will include leading each meeting, introducing unfamiliar tools, demonstrating ways that the iPad can be used in a classroom setting.

Do any of you have committees like this at your school? Do you have suggestions for us? I would certainly like to hear from you if you do! Also, I'm collecting a list of iPad apps for education if you know of any!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Making Tech About the Content

Well, it's back to school time in my neck of the woods. That means back to the blog for me as well. I hadn't planned on taking so much time off this summer, but...I did. I spent the majority of the summer playing and swimming with my three precious blessings and I don't regret a minute of it. I hope all of you take some time to put work completely aside and enjoy time with your families.

As we get back to school, I have been looking at a lot of new and old tech tools to use to integrate technology in the classroom. I came across this great post by Mrs. Ripp in my reader and it really made me think about tech integration and what I have done in the past in my classroom. So many times the technology that we are using is so new to my students that we get completely caught up in the TOOL and the content gets pushed aside. I'm guilty of it, too. I'm a proud nerd and I love playing with this stuff! In Mrs. Ripp's post, she mentions tools that she is using with her student and very clearly posts the content behind the technology. I would love to see more classrooms use technology in a way that  is second nature and isn't the focal point of the lesson. Here's hoping!!

Wishing everyone the best school year ever!!