Category Archives: ISTE

Teachers: How Can I Help Meet Your Needs and the Needs of Your Students?

ISTE Padlet

Google Slides Presentation ISTE 14

When training teachers this past school year, I started each session with a question,“How can I meet your needs and ultimately meet the needs of your students?” I was in charge of training faculty and staff members for Title I Schools in Greenville, SC. I saw the tremendous pressure that our teachers were under this year as they implemented the Common Core State Standards and adjusted their teaching styles.  The vast amount of workshops, professional development, and meetings that teachers were required to attend this year was astounding. I knew how valuable their time was and I wanted teachers to realize that the tips that I was sharing with them would truly make a difference in their teaching and ultimately in their students’ learning.  I did not want to waste one minute of their precious time.  Whether I was training during their 45 minute planning period or after school for an hour, I wanted to be as clear and relevant as possible. Here is how I did this:

Google Documents  I prepared several Google Documents to gather information from teachers. One Google Doc was a Sign Up Sheet so teachers could request for me to come in their classroom and model a technology skill or app with their students while teachers observed and assisted me.  Teachers loved learning beside me with their students. Many times, I would tell the students, “Class, I’m showing you how to go to settings and adjust this feature, so if your teacher forgets, you can show her.”  It worked.  I truly taught the students how to do pretty hard technical trouble shooting that the teachers had a hard time grasping, but the students totally understood.  This saved me time, the teacher time, and the students’ time when they could problem solve on their own.  

Padlet as the Bulletin Board for Ideas I used to create a Choice Board for teachers.  I had several topics on the Padlet Wall for teachers to choose from based on the feedback I gathered from Google Docs.  I would present one or two ideas that needed to be shared at the beginning of my session, then I let teachers guide the rest of the PD by their interests.  We were truly operating in a 21st Century Environment with lots of collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, and communication.

Padlet Walls: Science Techbook   January Menu Formative Assessment iPad Ideas and Teaching Strategies Teachers became interactive and shared links to websites and forms they used on the Padlet wall while we learned together.

Todays Meet I also ran a Today’s Meet during the sessions, so I could have a running record of their questions and comments. Many teachers used this same idea during their Literacy Stations after participating in Today’s Meet during training. Students were actively engaged in the lesson and didn’t mind adding their comments and asking questions in this environment. Some students were too shy to talk in class, but felt comfortable sharing ideas using Today’s Meet.  QR Code


Lessons Learned at ISTE 13

How can I process all the great ideas I gleaned from ISTE 13?  I’ll begin with the highlights of my trip:  Meeting Alan November
and getting to see Kathy Schrock’s presentation about teaching with iPads. I was encouraged by Alan November’s way of thinking about student learning and felt affirmed as we share the same vision. His presentation motivated and inspired me to encourage teachers to post their students’ projects and screen recordings on their blogs and possibly on iTunes U for a global audience to see and learn from. Thoughts to ponder:

  • Teachers should talk less and listen more.
  • Students should create videos to teach students.
  • Unlearn locus of control.
  • Teachers who want to control entire curriculum every day, let them retire.
  • Who learns the most from creating the videos? The student replied: I do.
  • Make tutorials for homework instead of a quick 7 minute check off.

I was thrilled that I was able to present how the 1:1 iPad Initiative at Welcome Elementary School transformed learning at the SIGTE Playground.  I found that I enjoyed the attending the playground sessions much more than the regular conference type classroom setting.  I was able to walk around and hear fantastic teachers tell how they are using technology, see examples of student projects’ and hear a variety of presentations in a short amount of time. Some of the sessions that I enjoyed were at the  SIGDS Playground.

It was wonderful listening to Gwynneth Jones share her passion, great ideas,  and view the plethora of workshops on her blog and wiki, thedaringlibrarian, The Apple Distinguished Educator who talked about iTunes U and posting her units of study there for other teachers and students to view encouraged me to do the same with the teachers in GCSD.

The Ignite sessions were inspiring and affirmed my devotion to the teaching profession. Here are a couple of quotes I heard that I loved:  “Adults need to have fun, so children will want to grow up to be one.” Also, “Common core is not in books, it’s how you use the books. High interest trumps reading level every time, ”  by the author Vicki Cobb.

Finally, the closing session of ISTE was amazing with Adam Bellow  You are invited to change the world is a must see video to motivate you as you prepare for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year.

Good luck teachers as you enjoy your time to relax and rejuvenate this summer. You are much appreciated for all you do for your students!