This week, I have been working on converting all of the professional development materials that are currently listed under my own JDO account to a generic professional development account for the JDO Foundation. While this task sounds incredibly daunting, I was able to accomplish this task MUCH more easily thanks to some great tools (and their collaborative features :) Below are some ways I saved time in completing this transfer.
1. Google Drive
I had created quite a few Blendspace experiences for my course and was really worried that I would have to re-create all of them. Through the collaborative feature, I was able to add the generic account as a collaborator. From the generic account, I could then make a new copy of the Blendspace experiences. Now that the generic account had its own copy of the materials, I didn't have to worry about any ties to my own account.
I LOVE CHROME!!! If you've never used Chrome, you can check out a previous post on One Browser to Rule Them All. Anyway, I was able to create a Chrome profile for the generic account and install any extensions necessary to work on professional development materials, along with all necessary bookmarks (in the case that I am not the person checking the materials any more). This also made it super easy to switch between all of my accounts without needing to log in and log out all of the time. It also made it super easy to make any new accounts, since I just used the Google + sign-up option for all new accounts. Seriously, if you've never used Chrome you should check it out.
If you are interested in learning more about the professional development offered through the JDO Foundation, or about the foundation's mission, please visit jdofoundation.org.
How do you save time using collaborative tools? Please share in the comments below!
This week, I had the opportunity to create some fun infographics on Piktochart based upon Knowles' Andragogy. For people who work with adult learners, this theory provides some helpful reminders about how adults learning experiences should be shaped. Too often, I think we forget the importance of learner autonomy and the great deal of valuable experience adult learners bring with them. These infographics serve as a great reminder.
If you're interested in using these infographics for yourself or for teaching other about adult learning, feel fee to email me at email@example.com so I can send you a downloaded pdf copy. If you have any resources to share related to adult learning, please feel free to leave the link(s) in a comment below!
A couple of weeks ago, I found myself planning for our upcoming block schedule. Due to state testing, our entire bell schedule was modified to accommodate 2 hour and 5 minute periods so that we could administer the math and English PARCC test to our students. Normally, we have 55 minute periods - it would be a big adjustment for both teachers and students. Knowing this, I wanted to make sure I had activities planned that got students out of their seats and allowed a maximum amount of work time where students could practice their skills. Planning these kinds of activities, however, can take a great deal of work.
What sites do you recommend for finding teaching materials? What are other ways you've found to save time as a teacher? Be sure to leave your ideas on the comments below!
Last week, I was able to help launch the first episode of the I am DCTA podcast. Each episode, I focus on the story of a classroom teacher in Denver Public Schools and share the inspiring stories of their work and their students. For our first episode, I interviewed Emily Ayers, an art and Literacy teacher from Kunsmiller Creative Arts Academy. You can listen to the episode below.
I have two more interviews in the works for future episodes, and I hope to schedule more interviews, especially with elementary teachers and teachers from other areas of Denver - the Northeast, Northwest, Southeast, and downtown areas. If you know of a teacher who should be interviewed for the podcast, please feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I am really excited to sharing more stories about the wonderful teachers and students in Denver Public Schools!
If you like what you hear and want to get episodes the moment they come out, please subscribe on iTunes or Android by searching for the title I am DCTA. If you have any suggestions, recommendations, or other comments on the podcast, please feel free to write them in the comments below!
Today, I had the honor of recycling an old PD presentation into a new, updated version for fellow teachers at my school. With the help of a fellow math teacher, Brock Strickland, we presented a variety of online communication tools teachers could use with students and parents. In addition to providing a quick overview, we discussed examples of how we had used each tool in the classroom as well as advantages and disadvantages of each tool. Teachers were able to spend a great deal of time browsing each tool and asking individual questions about how the tool could meet their needs. Below is the presentation.
Many teachers appreciated the immediate applicability of the session as well as the readily-available support for setting up the tool of their choice. All teachers who attended the session and completed the exit ticket responded that they would be likely or very likely to recommend the session to a colleague. It was amazing to see so many teachers get excited about a new technology tool for their classroom! Thank you to all teachers who attended!
What technology tools do you use to communicate with students and parents? Which tool is your favorite?
Please share in the comments below!
Mattea Garcia is a passionate educator dedicated to improving instruction by utilizing technology. This blog is dedicated to reflections on educational technology tools, instructional coaching, and educational equity.