June 13

Summer Learnin’

Tomorrow marks my first day for facilitating professional development (PD) here in our district for the upcoming 2014-15 school year.  I am so excited I can hardly wait!

It feels so good to know that we have planned strong, useful, tech-rich sessions for teachers that model what is possible in their classrooms.  The exercises are meaningful and simple so that teachers can take them right back to their classrooms and be ready to implement them with their students as soon as school begins later this summer.  The tools are also user-friendly so that students and teachers can easily utilize them as go-to resources if they choose.

My morning session will guide teachers to explore building a digital learning community.  They can make choices according to how they think they will be best used in their own repertoire.

After thinking about and choosing a standard of focus, we will look at Diigo, a social bookmarking tool.  I can see this applied in the classroom for student discussions around an article or topic, used as a research bookmarking tool, or as a tool for highlighting and annotating practice (and use).  It would be applicable for reading circles, small group work or stations, and provide a resource for students to learn to make notes for referencing a non-fiction text for an essay, a debate, or a discussion board.

Next, we will explore Edmodo.  During this past year I have seen students and teachers using this tool in a multiplicity of ways.  It is great for communication between students in a group who are collaborating on an out-of-class project.  Teachers have led discussion board reviews prior to a big test.  They have used it as a way to share and discuss online articles, videos, etc.  It offers teachers a way to implement online quizzes, assignments, and discussions of all sorts.  It has also provided a place for teachers and students to store digital work much like an online locker.  Teachers have also used it as a way to connect with other teachers and share ideas.

After a break, we will explore netTrekker for its resources and options for teachers and students to collaborate online.  Not only does it provide students with a safe searching and researching environment, it also allows teachers to make assignments and keep a portfolio that they can share with colleagues.

The teachers will have some time to check into implementing a Twitter account for personal use or to check into getting certification for a professional account.  We also will talk about some other ways teachers can develop personal learning and collaboration communities.  The best thing is that we have banked in some time for teachers to really dig deeper and explore these resources and begin to plan how they might use them to support and extend classroom learning.

We used to think of our professional learning networks/communities as the folks across the hall or in our district but these days, those connections can be with folks across the district or eve across globe!

My afternoon session will focus on blogging in the classroom.  We will be exploring KidBlog, Google Sites, and a district Edublogs account as tools for these efforts.  This is probably my favorite professional development session to facilitate!  It offers teachers time to learn about blogging and plan ways to use it with their students.

I love introducing an online option for teachers and students to share ideas, keep their notes and thoughts organized in one place, and reflect on their learning and practices.  Almost every teacher who has worked with me to set up using blogging as a classroom tool has been enthused and excited about the results it brings.  So, I feel like my love of blogging and its use as a classroom tool is contagious!

I know that the teachers who will join me tomorrow will not arrive at my PD sessions with the excited attitude that I will but I certainly hope they leave with the same enthusiasm that I have.

We will be Tweeting updates using #BYOTFridays.  Join us if you can!

June 6

BYOT Fridays

Today marks the first day of BYOT Fridays for our district PD Focus!  We have Instructional Technology Coaches, BYOT Teacher Leaders, and a representative from netTrekker, Kristin Hokanson as session facilitators today.  If you were not signed up to participate in a BYOT Friday session this week, we hope to see you next week!

The bar was set really high, right Matt?  Join us!  Here is a bit more information:

Secondary BYOT 2014 Summer Professional Development

Collaboration in a Digital Environment

June 20, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

June 13, 8:00 – 11:15 am

Participants will delve into digital collaboration using interactive and engaging resources. Participants will create their own collaborative learning network.  Thinkfinity, Diigo, and Social Networking all have a place in a teacher’s repertoire.


Building a Digital Toolbox with Advanced Search Strategies

June 6, 8:00 – 11:15 am

June 20, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

Using the Scope and Sequence as a guide, participants will practice using advanced search strategies to explore subscription-based resources available for both teacher and student use.  Attendees will assemble text sets and utilize primary documents in a Common Core fashion.  Participants will utilize the Tennessee Electronic Library, Knovation (netTrekker), and Discovery Education to build their 21st Century Toolbox.


Using iPads to Communicate, Collaborate, and Create for Secondary BYOT Teachers

June 6, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

June 27, 8:00 – 11:15 am

This session will focus on utilizing iPads in the classroom to facilitate communication, critical thinking, collaboration, and creativity. Participants will consider their own classroom, their own classroom tasks and student level of integration.  We will explore and evaluate apps.  Educational apps explored in this session will include Educreations, Videolicious, BaiBoard, My StoryBook, and more!


Collaboration Using Edmodo for Secondary BYOT Teachers

June 6,  12:15 – 3:30 pm

June 20, 8:00 – 11:15 am

Participants will create an Edmodo account and expand their classroom walls by posting online assignments and quizzes.  Students can use Edmodo to work collaboratively on a project, review for a test, post homework questions and more.  Learners will connect with the people and resources needed.


Blogging in the Secondary Classroom

June 20, 8:00 – 11:15 am

June 27, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

Join us for this hands-on session where we will explore technology integration ideas and best practices for improving your students’ writing skills through blogging.  Provide students with online access to assignments, homework resources, and information.  Collaborate and share information and build an authentic audience.  KidBlog and Edublogs will be utilized in this session.


Teaching and Learning in the Digital Age

June 13, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

June 27, 8:00 – 11:15 am

Participants will examine best practices for technology integration in a real-life classroom as guided by the ISTE Standards.   In this hands-on session, participants will explore specific standards based on your own school’s needs and develop a plan for implementation.


Creativity and Knowledge on Display

June 13, 8:00 – 11:15 am

June 13, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

Participants will explore options for students to demonstrate understanding of content using relevant digital tools. Learners will practice moving students toward task redesign where they are creating and sharing their knowledge.  Discovery Education’s  BoardBuilder, Glogster, creating Infographics, and Project-Based Learning are explored.


Communicating?  Collaborating?  Creating? Google Is More than Searching! for Secondary BYOT Teachers

June 6,  8:00 – 11:15 am

June 27, 12:15 – 3:30 pm

Participants will expand their use of Google Apps for Education as a go-to resource.  Construct an In-Box for student assignment submissions.  You and your students can create a file cabinet, set up a classroom discussion board, or even create your own secure website.  Participants will harness the power of Google Drive to support their students’ learning.

Follow us on Twitter: #BYOTFridays