Planning professional development for the upcoming school year is the focus of this blog post.
First of all, I’d like to encourage schools in our district to better utilize the awesome technology that we already have in place. Many schools have 4-5 laptops in a classroom, computer labs, laptop carts, teacher ipads, activexpressions.
In some of the schools last year, they had 5 nice laptops tethered to a wall in the back of the rooms.
Suggestion: Put the students in groups and get the laptops away from the wall. Give a laptop to each team. Discuss the importance of collaboration and assign job roles. Use www.sweetsearch.com or http:scdiscus.org or www.instagrok.com to research topics from science or social studies. Make an online workstation or journal and write about findings.
Create a series of workshops about how to use computer stations for research, informational writing. math games, and literacy centers.
Stress the importance of using the laptop cart and the labs for simple projects such as inserting clipart and pictures in Word and writing about science topics in first grade.
For grades 2-5 use the laptop carts and labs for Edmodo and Web 2.0 tools.
For the one iPad classroom, Allan November talks about the power of students teaching others using screen casting apps and publishing for a global audience. This picture captures why students need to use screen-casting apps.
Teachers need to know how to post videos or links to videos on their blogs/websites so students can publish their work for a global audience.
Many schools have Activexpressions that are being under utilized. In my opinion, this simple hand held tool can change the classroom environment immediately. Demonstrate how to use the question generator and self-paced questions for activexpressions to gather information and track progress. The next and most important step is to plan instruction based on the results of the quizzes.