Friday, September 30, 2016

Blogging Challenge Week 4: Blogs I Follow

Lady with binoculars by liftarn
When Bloglines went out of business in early 2015, my blog reading habit took a dive and I moved to spending more time following Twitter. This blog challenge is making me rethink the idea. Last week I set up a Feedly account, and followed other edtech coaches who are participating in the blogging challenge, along with a few others. I  look forward to checking out what blogs other ed tech coaches are following!

Here are a few that I follow:

Penny Christensen (organizer of the #ETCoaches Blogging Challenge - Thank you!)
Steve Wick 
Gregory Gilmore
Matt Miller
The Official Google Blog

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Blogging Challenge Week 3: Tools!

Craftsman penguin by Moini
For this week's #ETCoaches blog challenge, I will write about some of my favorite ed tech tools. Narrowing the list down was difficult, there are so many from which to choose! I'll write about some that I've used for several years and some that I am just beginning to use.

Google Apps for Education (GAFE) I think that moving to GAFE four years ago has lead to a positive change in the frequency and ways students use technology on a day-to-day basis in my district. Teachers and students have discovered that the built in collaboration and research features make the work of learning, solving problems, and sharing their knowledge so much easier. When the suite of tools was new to teachers, there was some initial resistance. I worked hard to learn the ins and outs of each of the applications myself, and then offer learning opportunities to the teachers I serve in as many ways as possible. Examples: Face-to-face workshops, online courses, video tutorials, webinars, and co-teaching. Here is my GAFE PD Website.

Don Johnston Snap&Read and Co:Writer These two tools were just purchased by my district. They are universal reading and writing support tools, available to ALL students. Learn more about the tools by reading my latest online newsletter. I plan to follow a similar plan to what I did when GAFE was first introduced: Use the tools myself, and offer learning opportunities to the teachers I serve in as many ways ass possible. I have lots of work to do!

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Blog Challenge Week 2

Deep thinking or reflecting by carneiroblogbr
This week, we are asked to reflect on our role of being an edtech coach. Using technology was once viewed by many as an extra, something to use if time allowed. I am pleased that this thinking is almost completely gone now, at least in my district. Using technology is now thought of as something that is part of everyday learning routines. Therefore, I am able to support educators as they look for new ways to use technology to help students learn.

My edtech coaching toolkit is large. I pull out tools and techniques for those I work with based on instructional goals and educator experience. I share my toolkit in a variety of ways -- my instructional tech web site, Google Apps for Education PD Site, email newsletters, Twitter chats, FTF presentations, and working collaboratively with individuals and teams.

I work hard to keep learning and stay abreast of new edtech ideas and trends. This helps to keep my edtech coaching toolkit fresh and full! For example...I am a Certified Google Trainer. Just yesterday, I spent half a day taking a Google Educator course even though it was not "required" for re-certification. I picked up some new ideas and can share what I learned with other educators.

Being a part of the ISTE EdTech Coaches PLN pushes me to be the best that I can be. I joined the leadership team two years ago and enjoy the comradery; we are a small but powerful group! Planning events and learning opportunities for other edtech coaches helps me to not put off setting goals and priorities for myself.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Blogging Challenge

I am participating in a blogging challenge with other EdTech Coaches in my PLN. I've been blogging since November of 2006! ...some years more than others. I have several reasons for blogging:

  1. Reflection
  2. Sharing ideas
  3. Sharing good things happening in my district
  4. Sharing resources
  5. Announcements & Events
I am passionate about anything related to ed tech and how it impacts learning, teacher leadership & professional learning strategies. 

I will be updating my blog over the next few weeks during the challenge!

Two New Learning Support Tools