As we transition to 1:1 iPads in the Middle School, our needs are diverse. Preparing for having Schoology as our LMS will also require support and will present a very different set of challenges. Teaching with technology is not about learning to teach all over again. Teaching with technology is about using technology to be more efficient, more proficient, and to leverage your talents to change lives even more profoundly than before. This means that incorporating technology into your planning is a great way to both learn the tools and create time for other work. Most of you already do this to one extent or another. Whether you invest your energies in Schoology, new Apps, or a more thoughtful and efficient workflow, make it yours. While the role of teacher taking the role of expert in the room is on the decline, the need for you to be an expert at managing the delivery of your discipline has never been more vital, nor has there been a greater opportunity to make your mark.
Aside from teaching the tools themselves, technology does not teach, it enables. At first introducing new tech seems like more work. Nothing seems harder than adding new things to the beginning of an already packed start to the school year. It seems harder because it is. The payoff is astonishing, however. Use the tools to buy yourself more time to breathe, to organize yourself better and to stay excited about teaching.
This site will be a gateway to resources, requesting support, and in some cases, helping you figure out the right questions to ask. I will include lesson examples and ideas, praise and Best Practices, App suggestions and templates. The checklists will be for troubleshooting daily problems with iPads or interfaces like AirServer. Checklists are also what managers of projects use to make sure the product rises to the potential of the design. All teachers are project managers. I encourage you to explore these and make your own. Personally, I don’t always use them to finalize and check off all the boxes but I do find the act of making them adds a great deal of structure to my lessons and I do often refer back to them to remind myself where I am amidst the many details. That is a learning-style and working process thing, so do what works for you.
Templates will offer you useful, ready-to-use tools like newsletter templates for current events assignments, storyboarding templates for visual learning, or quick DoNow lessons for quick breakout exercises. I will offer articles I hope you will find inspiring. I am always inspired by what you accomplish and it is all too rare that we get to see what others do, even in the classroom across the hall. I will be helping you to set up collaborative teams to leverage teacher capital for your benefit, so keep that in the back of your minds as well. If there are areas you have expertise or want to learn more about, please let me know.
This blog will migrate into Schoology throughout the year. As we become more comfortable I hope you will take advantage of in-house PD courses. Take it at your pace, however. Like our students we all have unique learning needs and very different paths to success. Please feel invited to suggest new resources, tutorials, and support to suit your needs and goals. This site will facilitate these communications.
The minds of young people are hard-wired to learn. Getting them to learn the specifics they need to know is a different story entirely. We all know the old way of teaching is on the way out but it can be hard to get a clear sense of where we are going now. The answer to that last will be decided by teachers like you. I became a technologist because I discovered my own teaching and my student’s experiences were transformed by what the tools allow us to accomplish. I am exceptionally grateful for the opportunity to assist you on your own journey along this path.
Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or come see me in the MS Library Tech Classroom!