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Google Classroom - Effective Practices for Distance Learning

  This is the first year that our district is running an official K-8 Distance Learning Program (DLP). We currently have 17 teachers and just over 400 students enrolled. We had intended to start with a much smaller program, but circumstances with COVID led us down a different path. It has definitely been challenging.  However, we just wrapped up our first quarter this past Friday and it finally feels like things are settling into a rhythm. With teachers on Fall Break this week, it's a good time to reflect on what has worked and what we could improve on in the future.  Google Classroom Google Classroom is t he main tool we are using to organize teaching and learning materials. Most of our teachers had experience using the platform from the previous year of teaching online, and several teachers were using it prior to that.  I love Classroom because of its versatility. Teachers can customize the way they use it depending on their content, students, and teaching style. As a tech coach,

Educator Spotlight - Amy Marple

Ms. Amy Marple Ms. Amy Marple is a 5th-grade math teacher at Sunset Elementary. She shared the following quote: “Being the TTL for my school has given me the opportunity to help others overcome their fear of technology and find new and exciting ways to make their teaching more effective. I look forward to learning more technology skills in the coming months and sharing them with my colleagues and students." Thank you, Ms. Marple!

Differentiating PD - Skill Checklists

In a previous blog post , I shared three areas where I want to improve when designing and leading PD sessions. One of those goals was the following: Try new strategies to differentiate and support individualized progression I want to share one new way I am trying to address this goal in an upcoming PD session for a group of first-year teachers. One of the things I was asked to do in this session was to help teachers learn and practice Google for Workspace skills that they will need in order to effectively plan for the first few weeks of school. As I began to plan for this PD, I reflected on the following challenges: These are brand-new teachers and I don't know what level of Google Workspace skills they already have I want to make sure the learning is meaningful, regardless of their current skill level I do not have enough time to show them everything they might need to know, so I want to leave them with a resource they can revisit when they need it I decided to create leveled &quo

Technology Integration Frameworks

  " is here to stay in education. When teachers take time to reflect on where they stand with technology and how to best integrate it into their practice, they’re better prepared for post-pandemic instruction." I really enjoyed this Edutopia article, " Different Ways of Looking at How to Use Edtech ," from Katie Nieves . She explains how using technology integration frameworks can help teachers focus on learning as opposed to tools. She gives a brief description of the following frameworks: TPACK SAMR PICRAT I'm designing an "Intro to Tech Integration" PD session for 2nd-year teachers, and I have been trying to decide whether to present multiple frameworks or just focus on one specific framework. When I reached out to Katie on Twitter, she replied that she prefers to encourage teachers to explore multiple frameworks and present them as options. I'm leaning toward that approach, too. Does your school or district use a specific framework

Tech Integration - Multimedia Text Set

Earlier this week, I wrote a blog post about my goals for improving how I design PD and how I am trying to work toward these goals in an upcoming PD session I am planning for a group of first-year teachers. My plan is to introduce them to Google Workspace for Education skills using the question and three themes below to guide our conversations and activities.  Guiding Question: How can we use technology to improve teaching and learning? Access Efficiency Collaboration One of their first activities will be to explore this topic using a Multimedia Text Set (MMTS) and then add examples to a collaborative Jamboard (linked to the middle of doc). Here are the links if you would like to view and/or make a copy: Tech Integration - MMTS Tech Integration - Jamboard The purpose of this activity is to: Provide some background knowledge about the topic (Google Workspace tools) Model how this strategy/tool can be used to provide choice and differentiation for learners Give teachers an opportunity

Educator Spotlight - Shauna Callahan

  Ms. Shauna Callahan Ms. Shauna Callahan is a 7th/8th grade STEAM teacher at Palo Verde Middle School. She shared the following quote: “We need technology in every classroom  and in every student and teacher’s hand, because it is the pen and paper of our time,  and it is the lens through which we experience much of our world." Thank you, Ms. Callahan!

Shifting from Tool-Focused to District Goal-Focused PD

For the upcoming school year, I'm focusing on three areas where I want to improve when designing and leading PD sessions: Shifting from tool-focused to district goal (or pedagogy) focused PD Trying new strategies to differentiate and support individualized progression Providing more time for meaningful collaboration to promote active learning I was recently asked to lead an "Intro to Google" PD for a group of first-year teachers in a few weeks, so this is my first chance to try to work on these goals. This group is a cohort of teachers in our BRIDGE program, which is an alternative teacher preparation program. To try to shift away from being tool-focused, I did the following: Talked with my supervisor to get a better understanding of our district goals Asked our Content Specialists what skills new teachers would need to get started using our district curriculum guides and resources Asked the BRIDGE instructors what skills these teachers would need to be successful in the