Sunday, May 03, 2020

Transform Your Teaching - Professional Development for Teachers

Our district has always supported a technology course being taught in the summer and fall. The purpose of it is to give teachers time to learn new skills and design activities for their classrooms. But with Emergency Remote Teaching happening now, the tech team thought it was important that teachers have an opportunity to think about new ways to look at their classroom practice as they continue teaching from home. I stumbled across a great article by John Spencer and AJ Juliani called  7 Big Ideas as You Shift to Online Learning with a free eBook A Beginner's Guide to Shifting to Online Learning. I thought it could fit well into our practice. The main point is that you can't convert your current teaching to online, rather it's important to "think about the creative and connective capacity of technology to design learning experiences that would have been inconceivable before" (pg. 4). 

We decided to run the class - and while it is required reading for the course, we also wanted to give all teachers in the district the opportunity to have a conversation about the article. It was run past the Administrative Team and they thought it was a great idea. We offered 3 times to meet asynchronously. Teachers signed up via a Google Form. Everyone "met" in a Google Hangout. We used a Google slide show for the agenda and with information about next steps. After being introduced, we broke them out in small groups in separate Hangout "rooms" (a model that they could adopt). We mixed the groups - elementary, middle, and high school and administration. The tech integrators were able to "drop" into the breakout rooms. After a 20 minute conversation, each group had a slide to demonstrate their learning. We then came back to the main Hangout and debriefed. 

There was an amazing turnout. It was clear that the 7 Steps in the article resonated with the group and that they were hungry for conversation. I was so impressed with the level of commitment our teachers have for wanting to transform their classrooms. I think we should do this again soon. 

Thank you to John Spencer and AJ Juliani for continuing to produce such relevant material. 

Friday, April 24, 2020

Steam Powered PD with Kern Kelley

The Yarmouth Tech Team met with Kern to talk about what our district is doing for Emergency Remote Learning.

Monday, April 06, 2020


This is very late - finally coming up for air!

4 weeks ago, the superintendent called in the Tech team and asked us if we could pull off some sort of distance learning K-12 we said YES and he said GO. In a little over a week - with administrators and teachers on board we crafted a plan. schedule etc below On Monday 3/9 (In case) we did staff development (more details here). We spent the weekend crafting a plan for the high school and after coming up for air, I only share this in case other schools might find this useful. and on Monday 3/16 teachers were meeting and then packing their stuff to go home.

We are so fortunate to be in a state that values technology (Angus King 2001) and a district that continues to support technology K-12 We have a 4 year cycle for our equipment in Grades 7 -12 and after that they go to spares and 5th and 6th graders. iPads 1-1 in grades 1 -4 that don't go home and KG has class sets. The 1 - 4's are going to be deployed this week and the KG's are
Grades 7 -12 already take home
Grades 5 and 6 use the computers that were in the previous cycle but they didn't take home. The middle school deployed all of those devices, alerted parents and

Our main goal was to keep it simple for staff and students. Our high school is built on relationships and we wanted to make that our priority. We also understood that teachers were going to have to scramble to take remake their classes online, something most of them had never done. And the students also needed support - while they may be tech savvy, this online style doesn't work for every learner.

Staff Prep:
At our staff meeting on 3/9, I introduced the eLearning Overview and the Online Teaching Resources. The three tools that everyone will use are Gmail, Google Classroom, and Google Hangouts Meet. All teachers were already using Gmail and most use Classroom, so we needed to prepare them for how to use Hangouts Meet. We suggested using this Netiquette guide. After the introduction, teachers went back to their classrooms. Each learning area leader hosted a "Hangout" for their group. The department brainstormed ideas for how they would use it with students.

Our normal schedule is a 2 day Block schedule. We changed it to be a three day rotating schedule so that we could have more office hours for student support and give teachers time to craft the changes to their classes. Each Day BlueWhite, and Gold have links to the all classes, attendance, and the support staff that are available to help students. Next was making sure that there was a consistent way to access classes for both parents and students. Feedback from students was that they wanted every teacher to have a landing page. So we created a master sheet of teachers with a link to each teacher page.

More information coming

I am so thankful to the online community.
Resources -
Online Learning Guides from International Schools
Lucy Gray
Wes Fryer

Saturday, April 04, 2020

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

Saturday, March 28, 2020

Weekly Links (weekly)

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.