In my role as an ed tech specialist, I spend a lot of time planning PD and training others. Sometimes, this means the very basics, like how to use Google Drive or sharing ideas for improving workflow. Sometimes, it bridges to more instructional uses, like finding the right tool for the desired use or "leveling up" a unit plan based on the SAMR model. What I don't always get to see is the follow-up to these interactions - how things are applied in real life with students.
That's why I have been so excited this week to hear about some awesome things happening in our schools! Teachers really are amazing...they can take an idea and run with it, and turn it into so much more!
This week, I've heard about:
- Teachers connecting their classes to real-world events (like the recent hurricanes), running a fundraiser via social media, and being able to see the tangible results that their money is bringing via a video chat
- Teachers embarking on a journey to meet the needs of all students by developing parallel lesson plans/units with similar content, one for students who are English speakers and a scaffolded version for newcomer students who are learning the English language
- Teachers who are collaborating across three grade levels in elementary to have students engage in research, write a script, film a video with the green screen, and put the final project together to show their learning
These are just a few examples (I know I've forgotten some that I wanted to share, because there's just too much awesomeness going on in our schools right now)! While all of these endeavors use technology, none of them are really about the technology. It's the creativity, expertise, and caring of the teachers that has really brought these lessons to life. The tech tools are simply avenues to build amazing experiences for kids. And THAT is what it should be about. THAT is what gets me excited. THAT is why I am in this job!
Thank you, teachers, for inspiring me this week!